Album review: DIAMOND HEAD – s/t

DIAMOND HEAD

Dissonance [Release date 22.04.16]

As Brian Tatler says in a recent interview with GRTR! Rasmus Bom Anderson has given the band a kick up the arse.  The Danish singer has co-written the material but also provides excellent vocals throughout.  I realised this when I saw the band at Hard Rock Hell in 2014, soon after he joined.  He’s closer in spirit to original vocalist and fan favourite Sean Harris.  Of course, then as now the anthemic ‘Am I Evil’ was the much-awaited staple and this song is best associated with the band, not least because of the Metallica cover.

This latest album will certainly energise their live setlist and is the band’s best effort since their heyday.  Forever known as the “nearly men” of NWOBHM, they’ve come up with a selection of songs that hark back to their formative albums but also sound contemporary.  In this respect, the production values are very high and there is a sheen that would shame many of their contemporaries.

Songs like ‘Bones’, ‘Shout At The Devil’ and ‘Set My Soul On Fire’ epitomise their new-found vigour whilst the dramatically orchestrated ‘All The Reasons You Live’ demonstrates the album’s dynamics and the band’s sheer bravado.

For out and out rockers, try ‘See You Rise’, ‘Wizard Sleeve’ or ‘Speed’ which maintain the very high quality quotient and offer more great vehicles for Anderson’s vocals and Tatler’s erudite guitar work bolstered by Andy “Abbz” Abberley.  And if you are looking for another standout ‘Blood On My Hands’ and, moreover, ‘Silence’ deliver the mix of metal menace and proto-prog that permeated an album like ‘Canterbury’.  The latter is a tour de force that also underscores the Led Zeppelin/Kashmir vibe that isn’t far away.

With a still-healthy interest in the genre that they trailblazed Diamond Head should get some renewed, and well deserved, attention with this album.  And perhaps – 40 years on – time to re-evaluate their back catalogue too.  ****

Review by David Randall

David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.

Interview (Brian Tatler, April 2016)
Gig review (April 2016)


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 26 July.. In the first hour David pays tribute to the blues/rock guitarist Peter Green.

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