Diamond Head - What's in your head? 1.5/5

Reviewed: 4-25-08


1. Skin on skin
2. I feel no pain
3. This planet and me
4. Reign supreme
5. Killing me
6. Tonight
7. Pray for me
8. What's in your head?
9. Nothing to lose
10. Calling out
11. Victim

Everyone and his cat seems to be making a comeback these days; the last few years have seen Judas Priest, Exodus, Onslaught and about a million others return from some sort of obscurity with varying degrees of success. And with what seems like the entire New Wave of British Heavy Metal back touring and releasing new CDs in some incarnation or another, it was inevitable that the legendary Diamond Head name would eventually be dusted down again and attached to some sort of product.

'What's in your head?' is the 2nd CD recorded by this new version of the band (other than founder Brian Tatler, only drummer Karl Wilcox had any previous recording experience with the Head), and one so desperately devoid of creativity and innovation it would be a pain to listen to were it not so desperately forgettable.

Tatler has seemingly run completely out of inspiration, and the shapeless nature of the CD reflects this as the songs wander endlessly around at the same pace until things seem to just suddenly stop after almost 50 minutes of pure boredom. For a guitarist of such deservedly legendary stature, the lack of memorable riffs and solos on 'What's in your head?' is unbelievable and the whole affair strikes of going through the motions in order to fashion a product to sell at the gigs where fans wait impatiently for them to belt out the classics.

The only song that leaves any sort of serious impression, in fact, is the opener "Skin on skin", and for all the wrong reasons. Original vocalist Sean Harris is long gone, of course, and standing in shoes many sizes to big for him is Nick Tart, a man with a nasally, dislikeable voice similar to that of ousted Cloven Hoof stand-in Matt Moreton. His vocal style, coupled with an out of place 'heavy' guitar sound makes the opening track seem like some clueless attempt to sound modern. The horrible lyrics, sleazy vocal delivery and chugging chords make for a thoroughly unpleasant listen, and that the rest of the CD is such a colourless mush is actually something of a relief next to this monstrosity.

There is very little else to be said for this CD. Fans of Diamond Head will find nothing to remind them of the celebrated early releases, and newcomers will find nothing of any note to a fan of heavy metal or rock music to encourage repeated listens. No riffs, no time changes, no direction, nothing. The CD is almost the equivalent of white noise.

It goes to show that for every Iced Earth or Blitzkrieg out there, where one founding member can carry the original band's legacy forward with grace and dignity, there is a Diamond Head, where a once great name is dragged through the mud in a desperate attempt to wring the last pennies out of it. Were it to bear another logo on the cover slip this CD would merely be instantly forgettable nonsense that would never have gotten a record deal in the first place. Under the Diamond Head banner, 'What's in your head?' is a disgrace.




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