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Review: Diamond Head - Lightning to the Nations 2020
Diamond Head
www.facebook.com/DiamondHeadOfficial
Lightning to the Nations 2020

Label: Silver Lining Music
Year released: 2020
Originally released in: 1980
Duration: 1:00:55
Tracks: 11
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4.75/5

Review online: December 22, 2020
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
for:
Lightning to the Nations 2020

Rated 4.21/5 (84.21%) (19 Votes)
Review

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of this classic album, Diamond Head decided to rerecord Lightning to the Nations with the current lineup and also added four cool cover tracks, making for a damn fine album. I do not own the original (which is weird), but I have heard it many times and that I never was all that impressed by how they sounded, like the music lacked power—mind you, the fact that Metallica covered some of the songs had a little to do in making the originals sound kind of tame. In other words, great songs that were hurt by a less than stellar sound.

Well, that's all taken care of with this rerecording. The songs come off sounding much heavier, crunchier and more powerful than they originally did, all without losing their essence, what made them good in the first place. All those songs flow so seamlessly, lots of catchy melodies that instantly stick in your head and the actualized delivery makes it even more "air-instrument worthy". Lightning to the Nations was always a fun album, and now they've made it practically perfect. There's a review of the original album on this site, so I'll stick to the changes with this new edition.

They slapped four covers at the end of the album. That's always risky, as bonus tracks, covers or not, often clash with the original tracks. Not so much here. Of course, they picked some known classics and they stand out, but I find that they fit well here and they're really icing on the cake that is this rerecording. There's a great cover of Metallica's "No Remorse", from their classic Kill 'em All album, that is very faithful to the original and shows that Diamond Head really can thrash. I'd go as far as to say that they play it better than Metallica do these days—admittedly, not much of a challenge, but still. ;) A more metallic delivery of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" is bound to get the party going (has anyone alive not heard this?), while their rendition of Judas Priest's "Sinner" is a highlight of the album. Deep Purple's "Rat Bat Blue" acts as a good closer, though it doesn't pack as much punch as the others.

Album rerecordings often come off as gimmicky or unnecessary, but Diamond Head did a great job with this one, pumping a lot of molten metal and more experienced musicianship into a timeless classic. Mandatory.

Other related information on the site
Review: Lightning to the Nations (reviewed by Sirliftsalot48)
Review: Lightning to the Nations 2020 (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: The Coffin Train (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: The Coffin Train (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with guitarist Brian Tatler on December 13, 2019 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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