Diamond Head Self Titled (2016) 9/10 "Old Ideas, Fresh Sound"
“Diamond Head” is the self titled seventh studio record by New Wave of British Heavy Metal legends Diamond Head and was released on March 11th, 2016. Since pretty much day one I have been a pretty big Diamond Head fan. “Lightning to The Nations” and “Borrowed Time” I always had on constant rotation and Brian Tatler is a god in my book. He is a riff making machine and seeing how this band has been through so many line up changes, luckily he has been through the whole run pulling out mostly consistent material throughout the past thirty turbulent years. Now that they are back after seven years and with a brand new lead singer, lets see if the Head have anything left to prove.
1.Bones- Opening with a cool rolling riff with a catchy drum beat, this song starts really strong and oh when the vocals come in, they come in with a bang. Their new singer Rasmus Anderson has a very Sean Harris feel but his range is really great and he brings his own style to the table as well. The whole band is on fire and this song just sounds like old school Diamond Head but with a fresh take to it and its catchy as hell.
2.Shout at the Devil- No not a Motley Crue cover, thank god. This song is a total ripper and a bit more straight forward than the first song. It has that total NWOBHM feel to it and the chorus is really cheesy but it kicks so much ass. The soloing is really killer too this song has everything that Diamond Head is and has always been about. Better than Motley Crue eh?
3.Set My Soul On Fire- This song has a heavier chugging to it and the mid pace actually works fairly well. I love the chants in the background too it adds a darker atmosphere as well. A good jam.
4.See You Rise- The frantic acoustic riffing is interesting and really builds with the driving bass into a really hard driving riff. This almost sounds a bit like Tygers of Pan Tang but hey same movement similar styles so Im not surprised. One of the catchiest songs on the record easily.
5.All The Reasons You Live- This is one of the most well composed songs on the record as well with a very atmospheric opening that sets an impressionable tone and makes me albums think im listening to Amon Amarth. The song is very mid paced almost middle spot of a rock song and a ballad. However, I find it really works well.
6.Wizards Sleeve-This is another old school fast paced tune that is catchy like all the songs before as well. I really like how present the bass guitar is too. Sounds like it could've been on their first record and would've fit very well.
7.Our Time is Now- The dirty bluesy riff is really killer on this track and the bass really gets to shine during the verses which I really dig as well. This tune is a bit more laid back in terms of speed but still has that dark classic heavy metal feel to it.
8.Speed- Obviously this song had to be classic speed metal bordering on 70s hard rock and it still really works. There is some really nice heavy chugging that I catch my self bobbing my head to and the solo is really awesome as well. I hope they throw this one in their live set.
9.Blood On My Hands-This song sort of sounds like Lightning To The Nations but definitely is not. It has a much less straight forward tone to it and is a bit more foreboding. I really like the chorus here as well it works against the ascending note picking verses into straight riffing. Another great song.
10.Diamonds- This song almost has a jazzy feel to it in the beginning but then heads right into old school speed metal riffing. I kind of think this song is a statement with the chorus screaming Diamonds are forever, I hope so indeed boys.
11.Silence-Opening with another atmospheric mood and some nice acoustics, I really like how it really builds up with more of the band slowly coming from the shadows. It almost has a stargazer feel to it and I really like to see how well this song is for a more straightforward band like these guys. This is is an excellent closer to the record because it really has an epic feel to it like most closers do and shows how matured this band really is and how well of song composers they are.
Overall, I give this record a stellar and solid 9 out of 10. Diamond Head are back, and in a big way. Despite the numerous line up changes, Brian Tatler and the boys really pulled together a solid record that takes old styles and makes them fresh. They really do say diamonds are forever and I believe Diamond Head are the definition of that.