Monday, March 8, 2010

Initial Impressions: Diamond Head: Lighting to the Nations

Diamond Head is a somewhat well-known band, but not for what they themselves have done. This album, also known as The White Album, features four songs that were covered by Metallica over the years. The NWOBHM band was a major influence on the career of the pioneering thrash metal band. This is a very solid album and people who enjoy Metallica should check out one of the bands responsible for leading them in the metal direction.

Diamond Head plays faster songs than many of their contemporaries. Of course this is partially due to the punk influences. The punk influences though merely caused the band to play faster. Diamond Head sounds more like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden than any punk band.

The musicianship is very impressive. The riffs are incredible. This is easily one of the best early metal albums from a riff standpoint. Every song here is memorable and the reason for that is the catchy riffs. The guitar solos are also very well-played and add a lot to the music. The vocals are a little on the high side, and are really the only weakness on the album. Metallica covered "The Prince", "Am I Evil", "It's Electric", and "Helpless".

Before I sum things up, here's a little rant. I like it when record companies reissue albums. I even sometimes like it when they put bonus tracks on the album. I don't like it when they add a bunch of random bonus tracks that ruin the overall feel of the album. This is the reissue. There are seven bonus tracks on it, as many songs as the original album. That means this is twice as long as intended. The bonus tracks are nowhere near as strong as the original material either, making the last half of the album somewhat boring. If you want this album, try to get one without the bonus songs.

Other than that, this is a great NWOBHM album. It was the last one on my list when I started looking into the scene a little bit more. It's the best one I have heard so far.

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