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Diamond Head - Death and Progress (Reissue) Award winner

Diamond Head
Death and Progress (Reissue)
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 22 July 2017, 12:10 PM

The most usual mistake that people commit when looking back to the end of the 70s and beginning of the 80s, when NWOBHM was boiling hot and heavy on England, with excellent bands, is to see only IRON MAIDEN. Sorry for those who consider them a kind of religion, but the NWOBHM movement had many others. Maybe the greatest Metal movement of all times, and they were only another band in the middle of endless talent. Names as TANK, ANGELWITCH, TYGERS OF PAN TANG, QUARTZ, DEMON, and many more could be named here to a great and perfect homage. Maybe one of the most talented promises of those days was DIAMOND HEAD, a quartet from Stourbridge (England) that is notorious for the comparisons of their work with LED ZEPPELIN (and sorry again, but I can’t see resemblance between both bands). As a tribute to their past, here is a reissue for “Death and Progress”, their fourth album, released originally in 1993.

Even not being as good as “Lightning to the Nations” (their greatest classic), this album is as good as their second, “Borrowed Time”. It’s a heavy and thunderous Hard’n’Heavy form of music, with very good technical insight. On the guitars, Brian Tatler is a master on the riffs, and the rhythmic session was totally new, because Pete Vuckovic replaced Colin Kimberley on bass guitar, and Karl Wilcox replaced Duncan Scott on the drums. On the vocals of Sean Harris is the main reason to be called “the new LED ZEPPELIN”, for his tunes and ways to sing are very similar to Robert Plant’s way (signing that he is really an excellent singer). All these elements are fused to create a catchy and heavy form of music that make us think “why in the blazes they didn’t get a better answer from the public?” back on those days.

Produced by Andrew Scarth, with Max Norman and MEGADETH’s leader Dave Mustaine producing the song “Truckin’”, we can say that “Death and Progress” has a very good sound quality, with all in their due places, and a clear sound (but keeping the nasty feeling from the 80s). You can have the best of the songs of the album with no trouble at all. The artwork for the cover, done by David Birch, is simple, what make all our attention be focused only on their musical work.

As I said in the beginning, you can’t compare this album with their classics, because it would be not a fair thing. But as well, “Death and Progress” has some very good songs, as the heavy and nasty “Starcrossed (Lovers of the Night)”, the catchy “Truckin’” (the guitars are perfect here), the strong and melodic “Calling Your Name (The Light)” (how lovely the voice of Sean sounds on this song), the accessible and catchy tempos of “I Can’t Help Myself”, the raw energy of “Paradise”, the lovely riffs of “Run”, the savage and amazing “Wild on the Streets”.

It’s a great album, indeed, but why in the blazes a reissue of “Lightning to the Nations” or even from the compilation “Behold the Beginning” can’t be done? Listen to this, and you’ll understand why METALLICA and MEGADETH are deeply influenced by their work.

Originality: 8
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Starcrossed (Lovers of the Night)
2. Truckin’
3. Calling Your Name (The Light)
4. I Can’t Help Myself
5. Paradise
6. Dust
7. Run
8. Wild on the Streets
9. Damnation Street
10. Home
Lineup:
Sean Harris - Vocals
Brian Tatler - Guitars
Pete Vuckovic - Bass
Karl Wilcox - Drums
Record Label: Dissonance Productions
     


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