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Review: Diamond Head - Lightning to the Nations (The White Album) [Remastered 2021]
Diamond Head
Lightning to the Nations (The White Album) [Remastered 2021]

Label: Silver Lining Music
Year released: 2022
Originally released in: 1980
Duration: 1:40:21
Tracks: 19
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: October 28, 2022
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Lightning to the Nations (The White Album) [Remastered 2021]

Rated 4.63/5 (92.5%) (8 Votes)

Diamond Head's 1980 album, Lightning to the Nations, also known as The White Album due to the original plain white cover with band signatures, is a cornerstone NWOBHM release and its impact on heavy metal are undeniable (just ask Metallica). It has been reissued several times and even completely rerecorded in 2020 by the current Diamond Head lineup. This new version includes the classic seven songs from the original plus a plethora of bonus tracks and is all wrapped up in new cover art.

Lightning to the Nations is an album worth owning if for no other reason than the original seven songs. The title track, "It's Electric," "Helpless," "The Prince" and the superlative "Am I Evil?" are some of the best metal songs to come out of the NWOBHM movement. The combination of power, hooks and lyrical themes helped defined what would be considered "heavy metal" for future bands and fans (along with Saxon, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and a host of other bands, of course). If you already own one of the prior versions (and you should), the bonus content will be the deciding factor and it can be broken down into two groups; different mixes of songs from the album and tracks that appeared on singles, EPs, and compilations. The "lost mixes" of songs like "Lightning to the Nations" and "Sucking My Love" are interesting and the songs still easily recognizable, but none sound superior to the album versions, just different. Some of the bonus songs, like "I Don't Got" and "Shoot Out the Lights" are typical Diamond Head tracks, perhaps not as good as the ones that made it to the album, so they are nice to have but not truly essential. Others, like "Streets of Gold" and "Play it Loud" are like works in progress bridging the gap between Diamond Head's influences (I can hear Ted Nugent, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sweet and other '70s hard rock acts) and where they ultimately landed. Listening to the upbeat accessibility of "Diamond Lights" next to "Am I Evil?" is just short of hearing separate bands with Sean Harris' vocals and Brian Tatler's guitar styles keeping things consistent.

So, what you have here is a reissue with unquestionably great source material and a large chunk of bonus content that is a notch or two lower in terms of quality, but still solid. If you don't already own Lightning to the Nations, you should grab this version and get it all in one place. You won't be disappointed. If you do have a copy, it will come down to how much you need to hear alternate mixes of songs you already have and bonus tracks that are good but probably didn't make the original album for a reason.

Other related information on the site
Review: Lightning to the Nations (reviewed by Sirliftsalot48)
Review: Lightning to the Nations 2020 (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Lightning to the Nations 2020 (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
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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