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Diamond Head: Diamond Head

NWOBHM mavens return to update their classic sound.

Diamond Head album cover

They may remain famous primarily thanks to the patronage of others, but heavy metal connoisseurs know how fundamentally important Diamond Head are to the way that the genre has evolved over the last four decades.

Unfortunately, despite being widely admired, recent incarnations of the band have strayed far enough away from the rambunctious hard rock template of classic records like Lightning To The Nations to leave the impression that guitarist Brian Tatler was trying to reinvent his own wheel.

This album’s title says it all about where the band stand in 2016: these songs bristle with the same urgency and subtly progressive fervour that first enchanted a young Lars Ulrich 35 years ago. Even the production, although punchy and contemporary enough, echoes the raw might of classic Head and gives songs like Our Time Is Now and Set My Soul On Fire a welcome muscularity.

Even on breezier, more straightforward rock’n’roll tracks like Speed and Wizard Sleeve, Diamond Head sound freshly re-engaged with the power and glory of their seminal early works, the alt.metal trappings of 2007’s What’s In Your Head? banished in favour of what comes naturally. In truth, Tatler’s crew have never sounded more vital.

Dom Lawson has been writing for Hammer and Prog for 14 intermittently enjoyable years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He listens to more music than you. And then writes about it.