Andy Peebles Interview (Inc. To the Devil His Due) [*]
The NWOBHM returns! Re-release of the 3rd full length album from 1983. Taking a turn from the norm on this release, it was mostly a Tatler/Harris solo album, as they had a slew of guest musicians play on different tracks. ... more »Limited to 2,000 numerated copies.
The NWOBHM returns! Re-release of the 3rd full length album from 1983. Taking a turn from the norm on this release, it was mostly a Tatler/Harris solo album, as they had a slew of guest musicians play on different tracks. Limited to 2,000 numerated copies.
"Many people heap scorn on "Canterbury." I wonder if they've given it more than a single listen. No, it's not "Lightning to the Nations," or even "Borrowed Time," but that's what makes it good. The recording has a bright, punchy mid-1980's sound, courtesy of producer Mike Shipley (who engineered for producer Mutt Lange of AC/DC, Def Leppard, Cars fame). Some of the keyboard tones have not aged well, but Brian Tatler's guitar is crisp and Sean Harris' voice is clear. Arguably overwrought backing vocals fit well on some cuts, but are distracting on others.Track review: Makin' Music - Grade B: The first U.K. single release from the album. Lyrics full of "rocking for the good of mankind"-type cheese; like a mild version of "It's Electric" off LTTN, but the chiming guitar intro and odd ascending riff leading to what is essentially an "a cappella" chorus make this tune unlike anything Diamond Head had done before. Out of Phase - Grade B+: Jangling acoustic guitar intro joined by Harris's heartfelt voice, then everybody else piles on, including overbearing backing vocals. There must be a half-dozen time and key changes in this little ditty. The second single released in the U.K., it'd get an "A" if not for the obnoxious backup singing.Kingmaker - Grade B+: It takes a few listens to fully appreciate this one. The sound of a castle drawbridge or something like it opens this slow but complex track; complex almost to a fault. The lyrics contain possible historical references, but with only a handful of lines in the entire song it's hard to know for sure. Time changes and turns abound and the backing vocals actually work here. Even better, Tatler burns a hole right through the middle with an extended, Schenker-esque solo. Essentially progressive rock and bravura guitar workout, this might as well have been an instrumental.One More Night - Grade A-: The a-grade is for pure nerve. This is Diamond Head's take on dance hall swing. The only thing that's missing is a horn section. The lyrics cover honest emotional ground seldom trod in the NWOBHM and the music reveals a band willing to try anything.To the Devil His Due - Grade B-: A remarkable vocal performance and surprising time/key changes can't quite save the weakest track on the disc. Just as Tatler starts to really lift this dirge with some tasty solo work, the song fades to a close. Oh well ... Knight of the Swords - Grade B: If you like DH's "Borrowed Time" disc for the Rodney Matthews cover art and Elric-inspired title track, you'll love this. Another song with lyrics based on author Michael Moorcock's work - this time it's Corum, fighting to restore balance between law and chaos in an up-tempo tune that sounds like minimalist Iron Maiden, especially in a galloping solo section. Strangely, it never really seems to get where it's supposed to go, like they left out a verse or something.Ishmael- Grade A+: What a freaking great song. Unusual time signature and unusual subject matter wrapped in an Arab motif, it's practically world music. We're talking Peter Gabriel territory on this one. "Ishmael" stands in stark contrast to speculation that MCA was pressuring DH to write hits. It's not a commercial song by any stretch of the imagination, just a breathtaking piece of music. I Need Your Love - Grade A: An amped-up, streamlined counterpart to "One More Night" that drops the big band pretense and tightens the attack. Quick, efficient and listenable, it could have been a hit.Canterbury - Grade A+: A personal favorite. I mean, how many musicians in any genre have written a song about Thomas Becket? Heavy prog-rock influence on this one - like something Queen could have done. Admittedly pretentious, but a total blast and a perfect way to close the disc. Summary: When considered alongside "Lightning to the Nations" and "Borrowed Time," "Canterbury" demonstrates Diamond Head's musical growth, sophistication and depth; attributes too rare in hard rock/heavy metal, then or now."
You gotta love the album, or be a die-hard fan
Hagay J. Kupfer | 12/07/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"by no means this album re-issue is representative of the band's material. for someone looking for an summary of the band's early years (and even some of the later), it is best to choose "Am I Evil?: Anthology" Am I Evil?: Anthology, while the re-issue of the first album, "The White Album"/"Lightning to the Nations" is also a very good output by the early Diamond Head. still, this album does have a few great songs (which again, can also be found in the anthology), such as "Ishmael" and "Knight of the Swords". the last bonus track is an interesting interview with Diamond Head's lead vocalist, Sean Harris. unlike these bonus-tracks-interviews, which tend to be too long and too boring, this one actually gives an extra value. I found out that it seems like Diamond Head's leading forces are not in the same mind as you'd expect from a heavy metal band. it's interesting to hear Harris' influences and his ways of working, writing, and producing music."
Forerunner to Alice in Chains
William M. Iacuessa | Cape Cod | 03/11/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album took Diamond Head into another sound, one that is clearly a forerunner of Alice in Chains "Dirt," particularly the song "Would" which has its beat lifted from a track on Canterbury. Shame the original band broke up during the recording. Their lyrics were never great but that would not have stopped them from sharing the stage with the heavy metal/MTV scene to come. "
The last release with the original line up.....
Geoff M. Blair | Batesville, AR USA | 04/06/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"You have to approach this one with an open mind. They intentionally go in non metal directions on a few tracks. It is a pretty good album though, give it a few listens. The chemistry of the original line up was unique, and this cd actually has some real standouts. "To the Devil His Due" is classic DH, and the limited edition has bonus materials such as the extended version of "Makin' Music" and "Sucking My Love" live. Original bassist Colin Kimberely and drummer Duncan Scott exited after tracking their parts, marking the end of that era. It took me forever to find this album, without the 100 dollar out of print/import price."