Diamond Head European Tour Manchester Factory 251 October 14, 2018
Review by Adam McCann
In The Heat Of The Night
Set My Soul On Fire
Lightning To The Nations
Shoot Out The Lights
Am I Evil?
Sucking My Love
For the last few years, there has been a significant revival within the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) scene, both in the old guard delivering albums of their careers and touring as well as young bands playing music in the traditional heavy metal way. Tonight, Diamond Head, one of NWOBHM’s most influential bands play the intimate and cosy Factory251 in Manchester, the site of the famous Factory Records which featured the likes of Joy Division and New Order. Tonight, the doors for Diamond Head open early and that is because tonight, joining Diamond Head are Stormrider, Amethyst and KilliT.
Local band Stormrider take to the stage first and give Manchester a taste of their traditional heavy metal. As a band, Stormrider keep it real and tonight they do the metal world justice. Although the band suffer with poor sound throughout, they unfortunately deliver a set to a relatively empty room. But, Stormrider deliver an enjoyable set full of the vigour, integrity and healthy amount of cheese required to pull off this genre of music. Another local band, Amethyst follow Stormrider and considerably crank up the volume. Amethyst’s blend of thrashing groove metal may not have fit the bill perfectly, but as the venue began to fill up, the band easily manages to get the audience to participate with their ferocious riffs and melodic vocals juxtaposed alongside guttural growls giving Amethyst an interesting dichotomy. Following an intense set by Amethyst, pop/rockers Killit take to the stage to deliver a set of well-rehearsed rock anthems in the making and although this is the wrong band to have as the main support for Diamond Head, KilIit are not unlistenable. However, much of their music and image is lost on an audience which expected something else other than a pretty boy pop styled vocalist and a lead guitarist whose low slung Les Paul, curly long hair and endless sex faces are a top hat away from being Slash.
Finally, although late, Diamond Head take to the stage opening with the strange choice of ‘Borrowed Time’ from the album of the same name. This song is a slow burner but does add a mouth-watering anticipation to the build-up before blasting into ‘Dead Reckoning’. Fortunately for Diamond Head, the sound is now considerably better than it was for their opening bands. Brian Tatler’s guitar can be heard throughout as well as Rasmus Bom Andersen’s fantastic voice, the same of which can’t be said for Andy Abberley’s guitar as his six strings pale in audibility compared to Tatler. Andersen’s voice is strong, easily tearing through the tracks such as ‘Bones’, ‘Set My Soul On Fire’ and ‘Diamonds’ from Diamond Head’s superb 2016 self-titled album. Furthermore, Andersen shows just how versatile a vocalist he is, handling the Sean Harris tracks effortlessly adding a new dimension to tracks like ‘The Prince’, ‘It’s Electric’ and the perennial ‘Am I Evil?’ with some more than willing audience participation.
Diamond Head burn through a set of classic songs, interspersed with some more unexpected songs like ‘Call Me’ and ‘Dead Reckoning’ delivering a set which is energetic, fun and appealing to any heavy metal fan. Unfortunately, a show this good made everyone there tonight think: “how are Diamond Head not bigger than they are?”. However, with just a European tour to put under their belt, the heavy metal world will wait for the bands next album released later this year.
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann