Review by Adam M on November 22, 2016.
Diamond Head performs a strong take on traditional metal. There are the usual high pitched vocals along with screeching metal guitars. The music moves at a fiery pace that is pleasant to hear.
This is similar to Judas Priest’s material, but features a distinctive flavor all the bands own. The entirety of the sound is very old school in nature and features the classic verse/chorus method of performance. The instrumental performances are solid with just the right emphasis on the guitar riffs. My problem with the album is that it doesn’t sound in any way special. The music is very standard with little deviation into more innovative territories. Still, there are so many classic licks present that one would be hard pressed not to find something to like here if there is any affinity for classic metal whatsoever on the part of the listener. There are a couple of acoustic guitars thrown in, mostly in the track All the Reasons You Live, but for the most part the album does stick to this traditional structure. This works for the band because it suits the style of music they are performing, although the aforementioned track is one of the strongest present. The music is solid for the classic style, but still doesn’t captivate like Judas Priest’s best material. This means the moments aren’t as memorable as those from that band. The catchiness is simply not present as much and the songs drift by too quickly. Still, with the instrumental performances being solid, there is enough of a backbone to enjoy with the band.
There haven’t been many traditional metal releases this year, so Diamond Head must be appreciated for its efforts to invigorate the style. There are enough sing-along choruses to keep the classic metal fan occupied for a long time to come.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10