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Diamond Head - 'Diamond Head' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/cc/9f/0d/diamond-head-diamond-head-62-1479589979.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 19, 2016    
 
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A fine juxtaposition of the classic and the new.

Surprising though it sounds, a legendary status can be more of an actual curse than a suspected blessing to this particular band. Some "cult" bands tend to go all modern, disappointing their old fans, while others go the other way around to similarly mediocre results. With their newest, self-titled release, the NWOBHM heroes prove the combination of both approaches to be the most convincing.

The very first track on the album (similarly to its cover art) is a huge nod and wink to the band's beginnings. There's a certain grain of the 'Lightning To The Nations' era Diamond Head in 'Bones'; its varied tempo and rough NWOBHM-esque riffs being nothing but a throwback to that era. An instant head-banging classic, 'Shout At The Devil' has DH's new singer Rasmus Bom Andersen making quite a usage of his decent set of pipes. 'Set My Soul On Fire' draws much from the early Black Sabbath era with its sinister, lumbering riff. This fascinating journey to "way-back" loses its nostalgia with 'See You Rise' and 'All The Reasons You Live'; both a clear testimony to the fact the group is to be reckoned with in Modern Metal aesthetics too.

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'Wizard Sleeve' is no worse than its predecessors in this respect; another furiously fast, straight-forward track on the album. 'Our Time Is Now' and the aptly titled 'Speed' follow, both pieces strongly embedded in the contemporary era. 'Blood On My Hands' brings some vintage flavour to the table again with its raw instrumental background. A deliberate testimony to the group's glorious NWOBHM past, as well as an anthemic piece for the thousands of fist-pumping metal-heads, 'Diamonds' is the penultimate track on the album. The grand finale 'Silence' shows yet another incarnation to the Stourbridge-based outfit – particularly interesting with its Symphonic undertones and a distinctively Progressive vibe to it.

Diamond Head's newest self-titled effort is a fine juxtaposition of the classic and the new – with both the echoes of the band's cult recordings and a generous handful of freshness to the sound. It's nostalgic enough for the staunch fans of the NWOBHM era, but may also be of interest to those not so eager to look back. Everything in this life is a matter of compromise, they say – and here, a perfect one is reached by Brian Tatler and his current band mates.

Alexandra Mrozowska

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