Founding guitarist Brian Tatler is the only surviving member from the glorious NWOBHM years, when Diamond Head were one of the best bands of the movement. So, you have a glimpse here of the landmark diamond guitars that made the band so unique, but you’re missing the emotional aura of Sean Harris on vocals, so the perfect equation just cannot be completed.
The new singer Rasmus Bom Andersen fits what Tatler has in mind for these new songs and you can clearly listen to a wide range of hard rocking power on the new album. From familiar rhythms like the first notes of ‘Bones’ and ‘Blood On My Hands’ to ‘All The Reasons You Live’, which brings to mind Glenn Hughes with a very unusual orchestration for the standard of the band. You can also hear a typical old-school Diamond Head song like ‘Wizards Sleeve’, where Rasmus tries to emulate Sean Harris at a Dionysian party. But at this party, the wine lacks taste. Not even the AC/DC-esque chords of ‘Speed’ let the party go wild.
Everything might be well-placed and the guitar solos are the stand-out (really beautiful ideas here) but once it ends, you wonder “where are the great songs?” How unusual does this sound? There is a specific type of riffing in most songs and (the talented, we must confess) Rasmus tries to sound like that old diamond voice, but doesn’t quite reach that heady high. In moments like ‘Diamonds’ with the catchy chorus (and once more, such a cool guitar solo!) he shines, maybe diamonds just aren’t forever…
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