Diamond Head - The Coffin Train review

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Band: Diamond Head
Album: The Coffin Train
Release date: May 2019

01. Belly Of The Beast
02. The Messenger
03. The Coffin Train
04. Shades Of Black
05. The Sleeper (Prelude)
06. The Sleeper
07. Death By Design
08. Serrated Love
09. The Phoenix
10. Until We Burn

Oi, Metalstormers! I got a 'surprise of the year' contender right here for ya.

I must admit that I had completely given up hope on Diamond Head. It is true that their self-titled album that was released three years ago showed a glimmer of hope but, frankly, it was too little too late. I mean, if you have driven your train through endless valleys of uninspired mediocrity for decades, you need much more than merely a passable journey for any metalhead to hop on board again. You need a miraculous achievement.

You need The Coffin Train.

Let me start with the cover art. Diamond Head are renowned for having completely uninteresting artwork (their debut didn't even have a bloody cover), with the only exception being Borrowed Time. This time around it seems that they gave it some extra thought and this is only the second album of the band that features something decent for you to look at for a first impression. Musically, The Coffin Train is permeated by some of the best music of the '70s (Black Sabbath, Rush, Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple), as well as a generous touch of bleakness borrowed from '90s grunge.

The Coffin Train is completely filler-free. The album opener, "Belly Of The Beast", is a heavy metal dynamite, Diamond Head-style, and really sounds like it was taken straight from the Lightning To The Nations demos. Then, "The Messenger" rocks hard and gives way to three wonderful tracks that feature similar structure, with a slow, doomy and atmospheric build-up, until they reach a grand and thundering finale. In fact, the title track is the first instance Diamond Head made the hair on the back of my neck stand up since "To The Devil His Due". The main riff of "Serrated Love" is one of the heaviest this band has ever come up with, and features killer bass lines that follow through in the addictively groovy "The Phoenix", which also boasts one of the most memorable choruses you're going to listen to this year.

For the first time in decades, Diamond Head sound determined to succeed and have crafted something truly exciting. Brian Tatler has rediscovered his mojo and if the solos of "The Coffin Train" and "Serrated Love", as well as the lead guitar work of "Death By Design" are not convincing enough to confirm this, I don't know what is. Much love must go to Rasmus Bom Andersen whose vocals are simply jaw-dropping, reminiscing the great Sean Harris when he hits the high notes and the late Chris Cornell when the music gets slower and darker; the title track and the closer "Until We Burn" are a couple of good examples of the latter.

There is so much quality in The Coffin Train and in this review I have only scratched the surface of this diverse and modern-sounding album that is hands down the best Diamond Head release since Borrowed Time. In fact, I'll go as far as to say that it doesn't fall far behind the band's first two iconic records.

Now, that's what I call a surprise. And pure metal class.

"Until the end the lights will shine
After it ends the songs survive"


Written on 30.07.2019 by Only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud!


Comments: 8   Visited by: 150 users
30.07.2019 - 11:48
Indeed, really didn't expect to love this one this much. One of the best redemption arcs.
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.

2020 goodies
30.07.2019 - 11:54
Written by RaduP on 30.07.2019 at 11:48

Indeed, really didn't expect to love this one this much. One of the best redemption arcs.

Seriously, it has slowly made its way to the list of my AOTY contenders.
30.07.2019 - 12:33
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Best band cover, i lost hope to this band after 1rh album, maybe i ned a try
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
30.07.2019 - 12:54
Written by Bad English on 30.07.2019 at 12:33

Best band cover, i lost hope to this band after 1rh album, maybe i ned a try

It's a fantastic album, you should definitely try it and probably also revisit Borrowed Time. Even Canterbury has a few good songs ("To The Devil His Due" ).
30.07.2019 - 16:34
Crème fraiche
I love it when seasoned vets like these guys have triumphant comebacks!!! Fuck yeah!!
31.07.2019 - 13:51
Ball Fondlers
Seriously good album. I think I'll still be listening to this one for years to come. Thanks for the review
02.08.2019 - 05:02
Excellent guitar playing and tone, awesome vocal performance and well written songs. Superb album!!! Nice audible bass as well.

Congrats Mr Tatler, well done sir!!
02.08.2019 - 21:40
What has really hooked me on this album is the variety, and the sheer quality of that variety. They sound excellent throughout and never bog down.

And I have to say that "Until We Burn" may be the vocal performance of the year. Rasmus makes a very difficult vocal melody sound effortless. \m/
Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy

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