December 1, 2016 Diamond Head Deliver At Webster Hall NYC 11-20-16
Hailing from Stourbridge, England, the iconic Heavy Metal band Diamond Head formed in 1976, at the forefront of a movement that came to be known as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, or NWOBHM. Mixing invigorating guitar chords with their Blues Rock style, Diamond Head came to be known as one of the innovators of Heavy Metal music. Debuting in 1980 with Lightning to the Nations, their 1982’s follow-up, Borrowed Time, quickly brought them to critical acclamation. With a career that seemed promising, Diamond Head called it quits shortly after the release of 1983’s Canterbury.
Interestingly enough, Metallica resurrected the notable “Am I Evil?” as a B-Side to 1984’s single “Creeping Death,” perhaps reminding people of the importance of Diamond Head. Thankfully Diamond Head resurfaced in the early nineties with original members Brian Tatler (lead guitar) and Sean Harris (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), and a new cast of Pete Vuckovic (bass) and Karl Wilcox (drums). Looking to be a promising return, however, it was after 1993’s Death and Progress when they broke up once again.
Keeping the legacy alive, in the early 2000s, Tatler and Wilcox re-joined, making Tatler the only original member left as another new lineup formed featuring Nick Tart (vocals), Eddie Moohan (bass), and Adrian Mills (rhythm guitar). Releasing All Will Be Revealed in 2005, the lineup remained consistent up until 2014, when Vocalist Rasmus Bom Andersen replaced Tart. Now, in 2016, Diamond Head lives on with their seventh studio , the self-titled effort released back in April showcasing a fresh look and sound from the band. An exciting time for the band, following the album’s release, one more change has been made when Bassist Dean Ashton joined in to replace Moohan. Despite these extreme changes, Diamond Head has continued to make history for themselves as they announced their longest headlining North American Tour in their entire career. As they support the new album and faces, the tour kicked off on November 2nd in San Francisco and closed on November 27th in Milwaukee, WI. After nearly two weeks into their run, they stopped at New York City’s Webster Hall’s The Studio for an intimate Sunday evening performance on November 20th, 2016.
The start of what would be a short work week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, concert goers managed to arrive early to support the local scene as Brooklyn’s Metal act Anaka were ready to open up the night. Anaka formed in 2000 and have shared the same stage with many renowned acts including KoRn, Trivium, Asking Alexandria and Otep. This evening, members Jimmy Pallis (lead vocals), Peter Pallis (guitar/vocals), Karl Andreassen (bass/vocals), Tony Heredia (drums), and Matthieu Bene (guitar) were ready to showcase their brutality with heavy riffs and endless cutthroat interaction.
Jimmy ignited the night with an incredible amount of energy as they went into songs “Doomsday Divide” and “Deathborn.” Jimmy thanked the crowd for the Metal support by gathering together simply for the love of music as they moved into “Ominous Visions” and “Erase.” He then asked the loyal crowd if they were having a good time as the set continued with “The Glorified Crusade.” As the set was running out of time, Anaka had room for one more song and closed with “Voice of the Faceless.” Worth checking out live, Anaka is an active group in the local New York scene as they are confirmed to open for Lordi on February 23, 2017 at Stage 48.
After a short break, it was time for the next local supporting act, Metalfier. No stranger to the New York scene, Metalfier recently headlined their own show at Irving Plaza and opened for renowned acts including Doro Pesch and Venom Inc. The band has gone through several lineup changes since their initial formation in 2004. However, Frontman Andrew Janda (vocals/guitar) holds a determination to keep the band a vigorously active group. Janda and his new cast ascended the platform and moved with a Symphonic introduction as they began “Into the Unknown” and “Holidaze.” As the set continued to move and blast through the speakers, they flowed into “Heavy Metal Life” followed by “Battle Within.” Janda took a moment to showcase his appreciation for the audience as he thanked everyone for joining on a Sunday night, continuing into “Everybody is Somebody” followed by “Bad Reputation.” After endless ruthless grooves, it was time for Metalfier to release one last tune as they closed the set with “Devil Inside My Head.”
Fully warmed up and ready to go, the stage was cleared off to make room for Diamond Head with the latest lineup of Tatler, Wilcox, Andersen, and Ashton. Walking onto the platform with a bold introduction, they went into “Borrowed Time.” Having everyone’s full attention, Andersen asked if they were ready for a nightmare as they moved into the new tune “Bones” followed by the classic of “Lightning to the Nations.” Sprinkling in a few hits, Andersen took a moment to interact with the audience by mentioning how pleased they were to be in New York on the halfway mark of the tour. Promising to keep the set diverse, they offered more new songs including “Diamonds.”
Switching gears, and going back in time, they performed 1980’s “Helpless” before another new track, “Set My Soul on Fire.” As the set continued to heat up, Andersen demanded everyone’s participation as they went into 1982’s “In The Heat of the Night.” Keeping them engaged, Andersen asked the audience to raise their hands to the sky as they moved into “To Heaven From Hell.” He gave a special shoutout to a Mike in the audience, who was sitting up front; an individual who has been to two hundred fifty-one Diamond Head gigs. An honorable loyal follower, Diamond Head made sure to make it an extra special night for him, as well as everyone else, as they went into 1993’s “Starcrossers (Lovers of the Night),” a song allegedly never before performed live.
As they continued to move along with dedications, they introduced yet another welcomed new song, “Shout At The Devil.” Keeping the music coming, and exciting, they dedicated “Sucking My Love” to all the ladies in the room before the segue into “The Prince.” Following with “It’s Electric,” sadly, the night was coming down to a close as Andersen said so himself, “We have good news and bad news. The good news is, we brought our new album and a limited edition vinyl. The bad news is, it’s the end of the show.” An inevitable fact that all good things must come to an end, they closed the night on a high note with “Am I Evil?” where Tatler took full advantage of the stage as fans continued to sing along.
Seeming the show was all but over, Diamond Head surprised loyal fans with one last song before Wilcox stepped away from his kit as he thanked the audience for coming out to see them. Showcasing his appreciation, he emphasized that they could not do what they do if no one showed up . After this heartfelt brief speech, they wrapped it all up with “Shoot Out the Lights,” sending the audience away completely satisfied.
All in all, Diamond Head gave New York an endless amount of energy as the crowd left with pure satisfaction. It was an evening well-worth losing sleep over before the start of the work week. Hopefully, they will return soon enough, but in the meantime, it would be worth checking out their latest album.