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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Diamond Head

Lightning to the Nations: The White Album

Review by Gary Hill

I first heard of Diamond Head years ago when they were listed as a big influence on Metallica. I don't think I've ever actually heard them before, though. After checking out this great double CD reissue set, I have to say that think they were an enormous influence on early Metallica - and a lot of other music. I really like this album a lot. Well, I guess I should say both of these albums. The first disc with the main disc is the stronger of the two, but there is plenty of good stuff on the second disc, too.
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 1 at
Track by Track Review
Disc One; The White Album

Lightning to the Nation

This is a cool metal tune. It has a lot of the kind of sound that would be such a big influence on thrash, but the tempo is more like old school metal. This is a powerhouse tune with soaring vocals and some great riffs.

The Prince
I love this fast paced metal grind. It's definitely been a big influence on Metallica. That said, there even seems to be some funk and Southern rock in this at times.
Sucking My Love
I love this song. It has such a great early metal sound. This is very much the kind of thing that made up the sound of the NWOBHM. The drop back section is so cool. The guitar work on it is magic, and so is the general tenor and tone. The killer jam that comes out of that is incredible, too. This thing is about nine and a half minutes and it's well worth every bit of that duration. It might be my favorite tune here.
Am I Evil?
Metallica actually covered this song. Listening to the original version, there's no question why they did. It comes in with a powerhouse riffing jam and builds outward from there. There are definitely neo-classical elements as it works outward and through a short guitar solo. Then it fires out to a more standard metal jam. It works through some shifts and changes, but never loses sight of being a killer rocker. The guitar solo section later features more neo-classical stylings. I love the move to a different metal grind at the end.
Sweet and Innocent
A straight ahead metal jam, this thing rocks like crazy. It's a stomper for sure.
It's Electric
As this comes in it feels very much like something Motorhead might have done. It's a raw rocker that works reallly well.
I know the inspiration on Metallica is obvious, but I have to think that Iron Maiden was influenced by this cut. It's a killer metal tune with some interesting twists and turns.
Disc Two; The Singles

Shoot Out the Lights

This lands more in the straightforward hard rocking territory. It's a killer tune, though.

Streets of Gold
On the one hand, this is a pretty typical early thrash kind of thing. The guitar solo section, though, makes me think of Thin Lizzy at the start. Yet, it works.
Waited Too Long
I really like this stomper a lot. It's no frills, but it works.
Play It Loud
The riff driven jam on this is solid. They do play it loud, and it works.
Diamond Lights
Although this is very definitely metal, it is also very catchy. I like it a lot. It's the best on this second disc for sure.
We Won't Be Back
This is a straight-ahead hard rocker that's a little rough around the edges.
I Don't Got
The riff driving this has a real classic rock feeling to it. The cut is metal, but also has a raw edge.
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