Reviewer: Eric Compton
The legendary Diamond Head just keeps surviving by thriving through lineup changes and lack of label support. This time we get another new vocalist in newcomer Rasmus Bom Andersen. The rest of the lineup has been in the band for about ten to twelve years excluding original guitarist Brian Tatler, original alumni since ’76. Do they still have the fire? One listen to opener “Bones” should mute most opponents. The strings of Tatler and Abberley are menacing bombastic cacophonies behind a lively Wilcox kit. This record is the embodiment of what we need and want – true classic metal played to perfection by talented musicians. These aren’t pro-tool warriors who can phone in the music. This is the ESSENTIAL Diamond Head sound (thus the self-titled album?) that I have been clamoring for. "Shout at the Devil" can never be mistaken for Crue's sonic statement but it does possess an addictive bluesy rattle-and-shake with Andersen’s commanding "Shout" as uplifting and personal redemption. "Set My Soul on Fire" chugs along like an assembly line making really heavy things. It is a slower-tempo groovy piece that allows a little underlining bass whack that hammers the lyrical vibe. I can hear a bit of religious overtones throughout the record, evident on "All the Reasons You Live" (swords will reign from the Heavens and kill off all the misery). Summarizing an album like this is extremely difficult to do. I think it is fleshed out brilliantly with some mid-pace to groove-laden pieces playing well as one solid play through. I like it in its entirety and rarely pick songs. In that way it reminds me of Ye Olde Metal Vinyl. Just put it on and give it a full spin. Utter perfection when you do.
About this Writer:Eric Compton
// Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.