dB rating: 8/10
Release Date: March 11th, 2016
Label: Dissonance Productions
For all the musical missteps and lineup shuffling that has been a constant thread throughout Diamond Head’s star-crossed career, the one thing the band has never lacked is amazing riffs. When founder (and only original member) Brian Tatler finally hangs up his Flying V, his legacy will be the abundance of Hall of Fame-quality riffs he left this world. This is no small achievement, as the kinds of riffs required to fuel classics like “Am I Evil?” and inspire Metallica and Megadeth are not easy to come by. Some guitarists might be lucky to write a couple stone-cold classics in a career, while Tatler routinely stacked songs with them.
Forty years after the band was formed, he still hasn’t lost his touch. It doesn’t matter that some of the musicians he’s currently surrounded himself with likely weren’t even born when the NWOBHM exploded in England, or that he has yet another vocalist (Rasmus Born Andersen) fronting Diamond Head, Tatler hasn’t lost his touch as an unparalleled riffmeister. Diamond Head offers indisputable proof of that.
Like Satan’s (the band) 2015 Atom by Atom, Diamond Head’s new self-titled album keeps with the spirit of the NWOBHM, but still has something vital and interesting to offer in 2016. Andersen doesn’t try to ape original vocalist Sean Harris, but his range and abilities are similar. And the songs, thanks to Tatler’s masterclass riffing, are all rock solid from top to bottom. The only questionable move here is naming a song “Shout at the Devil,” which is an otherwise killer track. Diamond Head is a great way to celebrate the band’s 40th anniversary as it confirms that, in spite of the erratic musical output and the bad breaks suffered over the years, these guys deserve their legendary status.
This review taken from the July 2016 issue.