Diamond Head – Diamond Head (Dissonance Productions)

Wednesday, 4th May 2016
Rating: 8/10

Diamond Head probably don’t need to do a new album at this point in their career, but they should anyway. It’s the classic grapple of avoiding the “nostalgia act” tag versus remaining relevant well after your prime. And frankly, no one would fault Brian Tatler and crew for falling prey to being just a nostalgia act; Lightning to the Nations is certainly good enough to hold it down in perpetuity. Instead, the venerable Brits have regrouped with a new singer, Rasmus Bom Anderson, and subsequently returned with a batch of songs that is their best in eons in the form of a self-titled effort.

Anderson, as so properly explained to us by Tatler, gives Diamond Head a shot in the arm. He’s as smooth as a baby’s behind, or whatever other correlating adjective you want to us, but sings in such a persuasive manner that you’d get the sense he was given carte blanche by Tatler. The denim strut of “Bones” or the passionate “Our Time is Now” make easy work, while the Zeppelin-esque “Set My Soul On Fire” and closer “Silence” find the man working the room with his confident range. And Tatler, not surprisingly, has dug into the ‘ole dusty bag of riff tricks, raking the coals with AOR simplicity (“All the Reasons You Live”) and searing NWOBHM action (“Blood on My Hands”).

While Diamond Head weren’t necessarily personas non gratias prior to the release of this particular album, there wasn’t much clamoring for anything new. Alas, Diamond Head (the album) reverses course, emerging as an album that when you break it down, runs upstream against the easy-creation digital LPs, half-baked reunion jaunts, and simple cash-ins. Good to know the genuine article has its place in Diamond Head.

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