BLACK DIAMONDS – Once Upon A Time (2017)
Though they’ve been together since 2004, “Once Upon A Time” is only the third release from Swiss melodic hard rock act BLACK DIAMONDS, but listening to this new album for AOR Heaven Records, you’d be easily fooled into thinking that this was some long lost artifact from 1987.
With hooks aplenty and a boatload of crispy & crunchy guitar riffs, “Once Upon A Time” is a treasure trove of ’80s arena rock cliches, but I mean that in a good way.
You can hear influences from Bon Jovi of yesteryear, Def Leppard, Twisted Sister, Poison and Kiss, plus more currently The Poodles or Crazy Lixx, all rolled into one.
The faithful elements of the genre are in play: twin guitar harmony, stinging guitar solos, a steady rock groove from the rhythm section, and clean harmonious vocal arrangements, with all these wrapped in abundance of melody.
I mean, every song here – and I mean EVERY SONG – contains a killer hook that screams ‘hit video on MTV’ back in their heyday, with some of the best being “Love Stick Love”, “The Ghost and the Shadow”, “Romeo & Juliet”, “Vampires of the Night”, and the raucous “Not Going Home”.
And, for all the ladies in the house, check out “This is a Love Story”, an upbeat power ballad that closes out the album in fine fashion.
We have two enjoyable bonus tracks as well, a cover of the classic “Rock ‘n’ roll Music” and a surprisingly, really different version of “Vampires of the Night (Piano Version)”.
Of course, Black Diamonds won’t win many awards for originality, but who cares when they are able to deliver such catchy, fun party melodic hard rock like this.
For all you folks out there who can’t get enough of ’80s melodic hard rock catchiness, here’s a band who will take you right back in time to those glory years.
01 – Tales Untold
02 – The Ghost and the Shadow
03 – Love Stick Love
04 – Romeo & Juliet
05 – Pieces of a Broken Dream
06 – Love, Lies, Loneliness
07 – Thrillride
08 – Vampires of the Night
09 – Not Going Home
10 – Hard to Let Go
11 – Years
12 – This Is a Love Story
13 – Rock ‘n’ roll Music
14 – Vampires of the Night (Piano Version)
Mich – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Andi – Bass, Vocals
Manu – Drums, Vocals
Dee – Lead Guitar, Vocals
BUY IT !