Diamond Head: Brian Tatler (vocals, guitar); Sean Harris (vocals); Colin Kimberly (bass); Duncan Scott (drums).
Recorded at Old Smithy Recording Studio, Worcester, England. Includes liner notes by Jon Sutherland.
Diamond Head's first album--aka the 'White Album," LIGHTNING TO THE NATIONS, or simply "Diamond Head"--is somewhat like the Ark of the Covenant of heavy metal. By unlocking its New Wave of British Heavy Metal secrets, one will discover most all the connecting points between the genre's '70s originators and the ensuing '80s hordes--arguably even more so than via Iron Maiden. And, like Maiden's brilliantly roughshod eponymous debut of 1980, Diamond Head's masterpiece was anything but a marvel of recording technology, but rather a living, breathing, electrifying studio performance financed by the band itself on a shoestring budget. The seven tracks contained within truly were imbued with an astonishing, almost magical synthesis of variety, creativity, and maturity. Despite their inexperience, guitar prodigy Brian Tatler, singer Sean Harris, bassist Colin Kimberley, and drummer Duncan Scott miraculously managed to mesh the primal power of Sabbath with the epic grandeur of Led Zeppelin, countered by the punchy, no-fuss songwriting economy of Judas Priest. Not until Castle/Sanctuary's beautifully packaged 2001 reissue was LIGHTNING TO THE NATIONS truly restored to its original, untainted glory, and then enhanced with an additional eight songs culled from a number of singles and EPs recorded around the same period. Among these, "Shoot Out the Lights," "Streets of Gold," and "Play It Loud" deserve the highest praise, as all three are built on colossal riffs and hooks as good as on the songs that did make it onto LIGHTNING TO THE NATIONS.
Record Collector (magazine) (p.97) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[O]wing much to the heavy blues-rock bands of the 70s, such as Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin -- the latter being most apparent in Sean Harris' soaring and somewhat sexually-charged vocals..."