Album Reviews

Diamond Head – The Coffin Train Review

Released by Silver Linings Music

Release date : May 24th, 2019

Genre: Heavy Metal

 

Line-up:

Brian Tatler – Guitars

Rasmus Bom Andersen – Vocals

Karl Wilcox – Drums

Andy “Abbz” Abberley – Guitars

Dean Ashton – Bass


Tracklist:

1. Belly Of The Beast

2. The Messenger

3. The Coffin Train

4. Shades Of Black

5. The Sleeper (Prelude)

6. The Sleeper

7. Death By Design

8. Serrated Love

9. The Phoenix

10. Until We Burn

 

Diamond Head is a Heavy Metal band formed in 1976 by Brian Tatler, mostly known for their debut album “Lightning For The Nations” which cemented them as one of the founders of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal.

The first record of the band was declared as a major influence for creating music from Dave Mustaine and Metallica at their early days and it was obvious at the time that the band had a great future in the music scene. Some unfortunate events lead the group to disband in 1985 and even though some comeback efforts were made, Tatler parted ways original singer Sean Harris permanently in 2003. This year the group is back with “The Coffin Train”, the second record with singer Rasmus Bom Andersen. This is the sequel of their self titled release, that still reminded of the group’s classic sound, but also contained different elements, in an obvious effort to open the door to new musical directions.

This attempt is more evident with their new album, where Diamond Head gets further away from their roots. “Belly Of The Beast” is the high gear intro track that the listener could dream of, where the known Tatler’s guitar playing style fits well with a Harris-inspired Andersen on the microphone. Unfortunately, this is the only tune that stays loyal to the classic sound of the band and the rest of the songs are basically mid-tempo Hard Rock tunes with some sparkles, mostly by the guitar riffs and melodies composed by Tatler. While Andersen seems to be a talented vocalist, he sounds limited and sometimes irritating on this release. His singing style reminds the alternative rock vocalists of the nineties, while sometimes he sounds very close to a cheap copy of the belated Chris Cornell. He obviously fits much better with material that is closer to the classic Diamond Head style like “Shades Of Black”.

Moreover, there are some title choices that sound incompatible with Heavy Metal songs, like “Serrated Love” or “The Sleeper“, a fact that tends to give a more commercial character to the album. “Death By Design” could be another song that has similarities with the roots of the group, but it’s a desperate effort of the listener to find some highlights in an album that shows the attempt of a classic band to follow the evolution of the modern Heavy Metal scene. That is not always a negative thing if the theory that musicians should try to evolve, experiment themselves and follow the path of innovation is concerned. In this case though, there are are no elements that prove that Diamond Head tried to create new original material.

It’s clear that the British band was headed to a contemporary direction, but maybe it’s too late for this kind of choices after forty years of presence in the music business. “The Coffin Train” is a good album, but it’s not the kind of material that someone could expect from a legendary band. In the end, the sensation of dealing with colorless, common and forgettable songs prevails to the listener. If the devoted fans of the band have been waiting for some classic NWOBHM sound, this is definitely not the case.

 

Ratings: 5/10

Written by: Katerina Paisoglou

My Global Mind – Staff Writer

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