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Lightning to the Nations/The White Album
Released: 1980, Happy Face Records
Diamond Head are one of those bands that, while putting out some great music, threatened to fade into extinction. They would have slipped through the cracks and the world would have lost some great music if not for Lars Ulrich and Metallica. Yes you heard me, Metallica. Unless you have been on the moon for the last 15 or 16 years you know that Metallica have made a staple of their catalogue a large number of cover songs from bands such as The Misfits, Killing Joke and these New Wave of British Heavy Metallers Diamond Head. Metallica perform 4 covers of Diamond Head songs, all of which come from this CD. These songs being "Helpless", "Am I Evil", "It’s Electric" and "The Prince". For turning me onto such a great band I thank Metallica. For keeping me interested in the music I have no one to thank but Diamond Head. These guys were putting out classic metal when the world was still trying to extricate itself from the abomination that was Disco.
Diamond Head was formed in 1976 in England. The lineup consisted of Colin Kimberly: Bass, Sean Harris: Vocals, Duncan Scott: Drums and Brian Tatler on guitar. In 1978 the band released their first demo and opened for the likes of AC/DC and Iron Maiden. Their first album was released in 1980. Lightning to the Nations or The White Album as it came to be known, as it was officially untitled, had a limited run of 1000 copies and was only sold at the band’s shows. The band pressed more copies as the album was a hit with the fans. This disc contained 7 songs including "Am I Evil", "The Prince" and "Sucking My Love".
What can be said about this CD except that many of you have already heard almost all of it as Metallica have covered 4 of the 7 songs on the release. "Am I Evil" is metal beyond its time. Metallica play this song virtually unchanged as Diamond Head have created a riff heavy, head banging masterpiece. I remember listening to this song for the first time and thinking "another great song by Metallica" My brother quickly straightened me out. Unfortunately at the time I could never find anything by Diamond Head and forgot about them. The first single "Sweet and Innocent" is a little more laid back with a catchy chorus. "Lightning to the Nations" is a great song with loads of great guitar leads and a variety of time changes. Even though this The White Album contains only 7 tracks its clocks in at over 41 minutes, mostly due to the almost 10 minute track "Sucking My Love" which has to be heard to be appreciated.
Diamond Head were one of those bands that were "ahead of their time". Tracks such as "Am I Evil" and "Helpless" sound as good today as they did back in 1980. Maybe even better considering that Diamond Head broke up in 1985. Maybe they would have faded into obscurity if not for Lars Ulrich and Metallica, who knows? What I do know is that Diamond Head are one great band and this CD is a must listen for all true metal fans.