Album-opener Bones kicks things off nicely with a stuttering guitar riff that contains plenty of strong grooves. This also forms the basis of the song's verses, which are the first time we get to hear what Anderson brings to the band. Vocally, his is very similar in style to the previous singers the band have employed previously. His voice is quite melodic, but can have a snarling grit to it when necessary, like the screams at the end of the choruses. Effects-heavy clean guitar chords compliment the heavier riffing perfectly, and brings the band's classic sound right to the fore. Shout at the Devil is a faster, more metal song that sounds like it could have appeared on the old NWOBHM Metal for Muthas compilation back in the early 1980s. Wilcox's slightly frantic drumming drives the verses as Anderson croons over a raw-sounding guitar pattern. The clean guitar contrasts are used again to good effect, which makes me realise how much the band have used this signature technique previously. The chorus is more of a metal affair, with a strong vocal display and a simple, but powerful guitar riff. There is a very fluid guitar solo too, presumably from Tatler, that moves away from the shred-heavy sound of metal and into the more lyrical realms of classic rock. Opening with a methodical, slightly doomy, riff Set my Soul on Fire is a great mid-paced rocker that is driven by Tatler's riffing. Anderson's almost bluesy wails here definitely have something of Robert Plant about them in places, especially his wordless sections. The chorus stings a little, with harsh stabs of guitar that compliment the vocals perfectly. Tatler and Abberley team up mid-way through for a slow, dual guitar solo while Moohan's thick bass keeps perfect time. See You Rise is a very bass-driven song. The intro is dominated by it, and even when the main guitar riff kicks in properly, Moohan still makes his presence felt. The fast verses are strong, and the drop in speed as the song moves into a dark-sounding chorus only helps to make it more powerful. The song contains Anderson's grittiest performance on the album too, and that makes it one of the best songs here. While the majority of this album has a raw sound, All the Reasons You Live is more polished, with a simple string arrangement over the song's acoustic intro that ramps up as the electric guitars kick in. The song has more an 1980s sound to it, with a polished, rumbling bass sound, and a chorus backed by subtle but dramatic string section. It helps the song stand out from the rest of the album. There is a pretty dramatic guitar solo too, that really shows off Tatler's phrasing skills. He has always been an extremely underrated guitarist, and this shows whys. Wizard Sleeve gets back to the rawer, more rock sound the band is known for. This is a short, simple, but upbeat riff-based rocker with a memorable chorus and a really great bouncy riff that is full of energy.
Our Time is Now is quite a contrast to Wizard Sleeve, with a heavy blues sound and plenty of excellent bass guitar playing. Moohan owns the song with a melodic bassline throughout, which gives the guitars more room to sit back and play simple, crunching chords over the top. The song is quite a powerful one however, and the huge guitar chords really come pounding out of the speakers. Anderson really croons his way through this song, injecting plenty of emotion into his delivery. He has a surprisingly wide vocal range that is not instantly apparent, but this song showcases his versatility well. The little tribute to Am I Evil? at the end is also fun and welcome! Speed opens with Wilcox's drums and slowly builds up adding bass and guitars as it moves on. The song is a simple rocker however, which really benefits from the overall raw sound the album has. It is just a real heads down rocker, a song that relies on it's energy and does not pretend to be anything else. Tatler has another excellent guitar solo here too, which is faster than usual, to fit the name of the song I expect! Blood on my Hands is another mid-paced number that has a riff reminiscent of Black Sabbath a little, and a varying song structure which keeps things interesting. The chorus soars, with some screams from Anderson, and mid-way through the song drops into a slow, melodic, crawling section. The change of pace works well, and the song slowly builds it's way back up to full speed as the guitars slowly get louder. A final reprise of the ringing chorus ends the song in a strong fashion. Diamonds opens with a slightly funky-sounding guitar pattern, which makes it stand out instantly. This does not last long however, as the verse really speeds out of the blocks with a speedy chugging rhythm. The funky section does return in the middle of the song to form a slightly strange breakdown before the song takes off again with a melodic guitar solo. The album's final number Silence is another song that uses prominent string sounds. It builds up from a haunting clean guitar melody, and explodes into a symphonic rock song with driving strings and a staccato guitar riff. The verses retain the haunting atmosphere and rumbling bass of the song's intro, but it is not long before the strings come back in with real force. This is an extremely epic song by the band's standards, and shows off the slightly progressive edge they have to their songwriting. It is definitely the most ambitious song here, and works well to close out an album that has mostly been simple and powerful. Overall, Diamond Head is a solid new album from a band that has not been active in the studio much over the past few years. It proves the band still have something to say musically, which is great to see.
The album was released on 22nd April 2016 via Dissonance Productions. Below is the band's promotional trailer for the album.