Review: Diamond Head – The Coffin Train

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Hi there! I’m back. Turns out weddings are big and stressful and take a lot of time away from other things. Who would have thought? Now who wants some good ol’ NWOBHM?

Diamond Head is one of the formative NWOBHM bands, starting in 1976, but it seems they tend to get looked over a lot of the time. I know that I personally haven’t listened to much of their material, especially not compared to how much Iron Maiden I grew up listening to. I’m sure a big part of that is due to Maiden staying fairly active as a group where as Diamond Head had a fairly long hiatus, but they’ve still influenced a lot of big names out there. So what better time to give one of the old guard bands a fair shake than when they release a new album?

The opening track, “Belly of the Beast,” is a fun and catchy banger, and their current vocalist Rasmus Bom Andersen has some great pipes on him. The intervals in his singing are insanely clean and it makes the vocal lines really shine. The fun continues on in the next track “The Messenger,” a galloping track that really ushers in some of those old school and proggy vibes. The title track is slower, a little doomy and somewhat mournful, with a music video that has some very, very heavy handed symbolism.

“Shades of Black” has a section in the middle that really stands out with a slower, creeping feeling to it that carries into a rad bass solo with some really awesome textures and moods to it. And here’s where I began to check out a bit. The songs are all good, they’re all well-written heavy metal tracks with great production and everyone in the band is a good musician. But the songs all begin to blend together.

“The Sleeper” starts out great with a slight Iron Maiden vibe to it and it has some of the best vocal performance on the record from Ras, but again I started to check out. It was all high quality stuff, it was just all pretty similar. There’s not a single track on this record I would call a bad song. “Until we Burn” is a great album closer, but after having all the most energetic songs at the beginning of the record, it’s hard for me to stay as invested. I would still recommend this album, but maybe split this into a couple listening sessions.

The Coffin Train is out now through Silver Lining Music.

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