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Review: Diamond Head - The Coffin Train
Diamond Head
The Coffin Train

Label: Silver Lining Music
Year released: 2019
Duration: 50:05
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: May 12, 2019
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
The Coffin Train


Despite their pedigree as a NWOBHM legend, I wasn't initially expecting much from Diamond Head's 2019 offering, The Coffin Train. That said, this album is a massive riff fest that combines pounding metal anthems with epic, layered hard rock in a superb modern production. I used to listen to these guys back in the '80s and I never remember them sounding anywhere near this good. "Belly of the Beast" rages out of the gates, stomping any thoughts you might have had that this was just another '80s band trying to lamely cash in on their past glory. "The Messenger" burns with simmering heat before giving way to the almost-doom title track of the album. "Shades of Black" evokes the eastern influences first brought to western rock by Rainbow's "Stargazer". "Death by Design" gets back to the immediacy of "Belly of the Beast" with some savage guitar work courtesy of guitarist Brian Tatler, the sole remaining original member of the band and the album seesaws between ethereal and in-your-face before wrapping up with the Led Zeppelin-esque "Until We Burn" with its "Kashmir"-inspired soaring chorus. Speaking of choruses, singer Rasmus Bom Andersen handles everything he's given like a pro and makes it sound effortless as he goes about his business of hitting every note and not letting the emotion get lost in the performance. If I may be allowed to pick one nit it would be one more rocker and one less atmospheric track. That's not meant to be a knock on the atmospheric stuff as it is all good, but the rockers kill and I'm just being greedy.

The Coffin Train is one of the biggest and best surprises of 2019 and Diamond Head deserves all the credit in the world for hitting the nail squarely on the head. It is the best thing the band has done since Lightning to the Nations and maybe, MAYBE, even a little better.

Other related information on the site
Review: Lightning to the Nations (reviewed by Sirliftsalot48)
Interview with guitarist Brian Tatler on December 13, 2019 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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