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Diamond Head - Coffin Train

Label: Silver Lining Music
Format: Download
Released: 2019
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 9.5/10

Boy, these kids are gonna be important someday. . .
Diamond Head have been around since 1976, and they’ve quietly influenced everyone - - quite literally everyone - - in Metal, either directly or indirectly. Even their peers of the 70s and 80s picked up some tricks from them along the way. These lesser-known legends of the past are back with a triumphant new 2019 album to remind us all how it’s done. No matter your expectation for “Coffin Train,” it will surpass and surprise you.


I know you have questions. “Have Diamond Head lost a step? Become out of touch?” Not at all. Vocalist Rasmus Bom Anderson sings his parts with all of the gusto of a young Rik Emmett (Triumph) or Dave King (Fastway, Flogging Molly), with occasional flares of Chris Cornell.
At the risk of a backhanded compliment, the songwriting and production on “Coffin Train” are rooted firmly in the past. There’s no evidence of any modern studio trickery or experimental song construction. DH are like master craftsmen who create masterpieces working only with wood and simple materials - - no strange alloy compounds or Escher-like structures, just straightforward, practical, functionally excellent songs. The formula is simple: likable, original riffs with familiar elements and feel entwined with creative, gripping vocal melodies. And it works. Sometimes, the old ways are best.
Brian Tatler has proven himself to be one of the genre’s great songwriters, and he still lives up to that billing in 2019 with “Coffin Train.” Time and time again, on songs like “Belly of the Beast,” “Until We Burn,” the title track, “The Sleeper,” things start off simply, then get rolling into something great. There’s not a bad song on the record, and the final song will leave you wanting more. Get all aboard for this one.

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