CD review DIAMOND HEAD ‘Lightning to the Nations 2020’

It was 40 years ago that a group of young metal heads from Stourbridge, England released a debut album that was recorded in seven days and came without frills and decoration. Without getting full support, the album didn’t get the attention music and songs deserved. ‘Lightning to the Nations’, so the title of Diamond Head’s debut, stood in the shadows of rock giants and it have been the live shows that brought the band to a wider audience and metal fans.

Diamond Head went through different eras as a band. There were the first three longplayers and a split as a band in 1985. A first return in 1991 led to the ‘Death and Progress’ album before the next hiatus ended the activities. The band’s most successful era is certainly in the 2000’s with the latest two studio albums being great deliveries.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the debut album, Diamond Head re-recorded all the seven tracks of the debut and added another four cover versions to make it a complete package. Having listened to the album several times makes me confident in saying that re-recording the tracks was surely worth the effort. Not only that songs like ‘Lightning to the Nations’, ‘Helpless’ and ‘The Prince’ belong to the timeless classics in metal, these songs shine much brighter in this redone version.

Brian Tatler and bandmates bring new life to these classics, songs that paved the way for the NWoBHM. In this context it’s also not to forget that the thundering ‘Am I Evil?’ belongs to the timeless metal anthems with Metallica’s interpretation of this milestone helping to make it even popular.

What Diamond Head releases with ‘Lightning to the Nations 2020’ is more than re-release. It’s an album being the spark that ignites a metal fireworks that finally gets the attention it deserves.

Next to the songs from the debut, there are four cover versions too. Now, Metallica covered Diamond Head songs in the past and now it was Diamond Head’s turn to unleash a blistering version of ‘No Remorse’, not by coincidence a track Metallica’s debut album. Furthermore heroes of the time that are honored on the album, bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Judas Priest that had an impact on Diamond Head’s sound.

Diamond Head haven’t had a winning streak when turning the wheel of fortune but slowly things start to shift. Excellent tours together with Saxon, energizing live shows and now the re-recorded debut finally help the band to step away from being an underground legend only. Diamond Head is back since a few years with full-force and ‘Lightning to the Nations 2020’ is a next step in strengthening their standing.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Lightning to the Nations
  2. The Prince
  3. Sucking My Love
  4. Am I Evil?
  5. Sweet and Innocent
  6. It’s Electric
  7. Helpless
  8. No Remorse (Metallica cover)
  9. Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin cover)
  10. Sinner (Judas Priest cover)
  11. Rat Bat Blue (Deep Purple cover)

Label: Silver Lining Music

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: November 27th, 2020

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