ALBUM REVIEW: Saxon – Hell, Fire and Damnation

As the old saying goes, change is the only constant, and when you’ve been around as long as NWOBHM legends Saxon, then some form of adjustment – enforced or voluntary – is usually never too far away. For the last eighteen years, the Yorkshire veterans have enjoyed their lengthiest spell ever of an unchanged line-up. This impressive run came to an end earlier this year when guitarist and co-founder Paul Quinn declared a hiatus.

Arriving from suitably prestigious stock, Quinn’s replacement (for this record) is none other than fellow NWOBHMer Brian Tatler, axeman for Midlands metal pioneers Diamond Head. Settling in with unerring ease, Tatler strikes up an instant rapport with co-guitarist Doug Scarratt, the pair going hell bent for leather on their first record together.

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PODCAST: EPISODE 34 – Brian Tatler of Diamond Head on “The Coffin Train” and the NWOBHM

Heavy Metal legend Brian Tatler of Diamond Head is the latest guest on the podcast! We talked about the power of their new album The Coffin Train (Silver Lining Music), why it was important to make an album that was both classic and current sounding, what singer Rasmus Born Andersens brings to the table live and in the studio, playing European music festivals, the early days of NWOBHM, being associated those Metallica covers, the upcoming 30th anniversary of Lightning to the Nations, his relationship with the bands hope to return to tour the USA eventually and more. Continue reading

Diamond Head – The Coffin Train

Three years after the release of their hugely impressive comeback album, Stourbridge NWOBHM veterans Diamond Head return with another slab of traditional heavy metal goodness.Continue reading

Diamond Head – Live at The Robin 2, Bilston, UK


Situated near the heart of The Black Country – an area in the West Midlands which gave birth to bands such as Judas Priest and perennial Christmas faves Slade – The Robin 2 in Bilston tonight plays host to other local heroes, Diamond Head. Formed in 1976, about ten miles away in Stourbridge, Diamond Head sat proudly at the forefront of the legendary New Wave of British Heavy Metal scene, going onto inspire many up and coming bands, the most famous of which shall remain safely nameless for the purpose of this piece.Continue reading

Diamond Head – Diamond Head

Diamond Head – Diamond Head album cover ghostcultmag

Returning to the studio after an absence of nine years, West Midlands NWOBHM act Diamond Head go down the self-titled route with their comeback album Diamond Head (Dissonance).

Guitarist Brian Tatler may be the band’s only original member, but new singer Rasmus Bom Andersen sounds like he’s been in place for years. The band have returned to their classic sound, and his voice suits them perfectly. In fact, if it wasn’t for the album’s crisp production, you could be fooled into thinking this latest offering had been lost in the vaults for years.

There’s nothing here which is going to change the world, or suddenly turn the band into megastars, but if you want to hear what the follow-up to 1982’s Borrowed Time (MCA) could have sounded like without all the Prog waffle and experimental nonsense of Canterbury (MCA) then this really is the album for you.

Tatler’s playing is superb, and the riffs fly at you from all directions. It doesn’t even matter that some of them sound a little familiar. The solos are sweet and precise, the choruses are memorable, and the whole thing is just enjoyable. Something a Diamond Head album hasn’t really been for years.

‘Shout At Devil’ and ‘Speed’ rock seriously hard, ‘Diamonds’ is a great closer, ‘All the Reasons You Live’ is nice and dark, and the amusingly dirty ‘Wizard Sleeve’ with it’s “can I come inside your wizard sleeve” chorus is a song which really does sound like it could have been recorded in the early ’80s.

A fine, and long overdue return to form by a band who don’t sound like they’re desperately attempting to recapture former glories, but who are just doing what comes naturally.

And I didn’t even mention Am I Evil or Metallica once.




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