It’s hard to contemplate that only a few years ago, founding member Brian Tatler of Diamond Head, who formed the band in 1976 did not envisage recording anymore albums but with the arrival of vocalist Rasmus Bom Andersen in 2014 and a self titled studio album in 2016, latest album The Coffin Train has just been released via Silver Lining Music.
Mixed and produced by Ras, it is a tour de force of epic proportions and in my opinion, rivals any of their early albums. Yes, it’s that good! Opener ‘Belly Of The Beast’ is a foot to the floor pounder due to drummer Karl Wilcox powering through his kit with some serious footwork. The riffs come thick and fast from Brian and Andy ‘Abbz’ Abberley as do the fretboard burning solos but when Ras chips in, he is hitting notes that I’ve never heard him reach. The quality keeps on coming as the lengthy guitar intro to ‘The Messenger’ segues into a chugging groove. The melodies grab you from the off and the riffs are almost doom like. The title track sees Ras hit another level, a compelling Chris Cornell like performance. The rest of the band stretch out with jazzy chords that vie with big booming riffs and off kilter drum patterns. Strangely enough the instrumental midsection has touches of ‘Am I Evil’.
‘Shades Of Black’ is dominated by the bass guitar battery of Dean Ashton who pins this two part song down. Laid back riffing gives Ras space to soar to the heavens as it kicks in midway with the riffs slamming hard for a full on headbanging outro. ‘The Sleeper(prelude)’ is a short, sharp eerie piece to ‘The Sleeper’, a power ballad but has enough power to fire up the national grid. Noodling bass lines and a gripping Ras roared midsection sees it muscle up into a heavy orchestral stomp. ‘Death By Design’ has Earth core rattling dynamics and they throw in some sure fire crowd pleasing “Whoa oh oh’s” for good measure.
The six minute epic ‘Serrated Love’ is a bass heavy, pulsating slow burner. Guitars solo majestically and it ends gently acoustic. ‘The Phoenix’ definitely rises here on the wings of crunching hard rock that sees the band lock in tight throughout and ‘Until We Burn’ closes the album and what a way it does as it rises and falls on multi tempo riffing and bass lines with a showstopping lead vocal but don’t take my word for it. Buy the album and be blown away!
Belly Of The Beast.
The Coffin Train.
Shades Of Black.
Death By Design.
Until We Burn.