When you are part of the Heavy Metal community, the name DIAMOND HEAD is hard to miss. Whether you are a long-time fan or a casual listener, you would have come across the name of these Heavy Metal pioneers at some point. For me, this is my first experience of the icons and from listening to their latest album The Coffin Train it’s very easy to see why they are highly respected.
Like a lot of great Heavy Metal albums, The Coffin Train doesn’t beat around the bush. The opener Belly Of The Beast gets straight down to business with its rapid beats, excellent guitar work and dominant vocals. This track is very infectious. When you listen to the track enough times, it has a great power. Let’s just say you only have to think of the song name and it stays in the mind for hours.
The album is an excellent portfolio of hard-hitting tracks, ones that require your undivided attention. One thing I have noticed about this collection of tracks is how well the prominent vocals and excellent guitar work function together.
There are some tracks that give you the get up and go you need to feel motivated. Tracks such as The Messenger and Death By Design will certainly help with this.
Like its previous track, The Messenger goes straight in for the kill. Only this time, it’s in the form of a finger blistering guitar solo accompanied by the strong beats and riffs. The melody itself is a fist pumping and head banging beauty that will be well received by new listeners and long-time fans alike. There’s nothing more typically metal than the lyric “I am the messenger of death” which can be heard loud and proud in the chorus.
In today’s fast paced world, we need to slow down and take a breath. The songs Shades Of Black and The Sleeper are calming tracks that will mellow you out. Both of these tracks have strong melodies too so they will also keep your attention peaked.
Shades Of Black is a smooth and calming song that helps you to slow down. I particularly admire the guitar work in Shades Of Black. The bassline is very prominent throughout and their iconic guitar solos also prevail.
When I first listened to The Sleeper, I was in a very tired state and I shortly realised that this track is very appropriately named. The somewhat sluggish tones from The Sleeper reinforced that laziness and drowsiness. Even when listening to it in a more alert state brings that fatigue to the surface. I’m not saying this is a bad track, far from it. I personally think it’s one of the best songs on the album. The Sleeper has a very calming effect and it keeps your attention peaked. I admire this power the track bestows.
It ends on a valiant note with the track Until We Burn. When the track starts to play, it gives off a profound vibe that helps you to reflect on what you have listened to previously. It’s a very empowering song that gives you hope. It’s great to hear that the fantastic guitars continue on until the very end.
Consistency is a valuable thing with bands as it draws listeners back again and again. It’s more than safe to say DIAMOND HEAD head kept a great consistency throughout the album. The dominant vocals, brilliant guitar work, pounding beats and prominent bass lines stay with you from start to finish. Long time fans will not be disappointed and there’s no doubt that new listeners will take to this as well.
Words: Lotty Whittingham
The Coffin Train is out now via Silver Lining.