What's old is old again

Like many bands that spawned more legends than initial sales, Diamond Head has had a much more successful semi-afterlife. Lars Ulrich's legendary patronage has kept the band's early work in the ears of a couple of generations (after all, "Am I Evil?" is a Diamond Head song), but the band has occasionally released new work during the past four decades as well.

Diamond Head
Diamond Head
(Dissonance Productions)
A quick sample of those reveals . . . very little. Sean Harris finally "left" the band in 2004 (his status as singer was always off-and-on), and Ras Born is the latest to take the mike. Rest assured, he can wail.

And Brian Tatler can still whip out the classic rock riffs. With the possible exception of the modern production values, this sounds like it could have come out in 1980. The style, sensibility and churn are all there. Fans of NWOBHM will be most pleased.

Diamond Head does not advance the sound. It does not try to do anything other than make "new" Diamond Head music. If you slipped this into a stack of records that included Hell Bent for Leather, Killers and On Through the Night, you wouldn't blink. Sometimes being a dinosaur is its own reward.

But goddamn if this doesn't just rock all to hell. Born does have the voice, and Tatler can still lay the licks. These songs are stuck in an era from generations ago. Who cares? Time to get down to the pub and stomp some heads.

Jon Worley

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