DIAMOND HEAD – Borrowed Time [Japan HR-HM 1000 reissue series] (2018)
Universal Music Japan started last year a curious but more than welcomed campaign: the reissue of long time out of print albums from their catalog titled ‘HR/HM 1000‘, that meaning Hard Rock / Heavy Metal at the price of 1000 Yen = about 9 USD. “Borrowed Time” is DIAMOND HEAD‘s first major album for to MCA Records, and where they added a strong melodic sense to their music and a hard rock groove. One of my favorite albums from the early 80 British scene.
This HR-HM 1000 reissue is the one to get, it uses the last remaster and it’s available at very affordable price.
With this second studio album, Diamond Head put aside the NWOBHM dark facet in favor to a more lively, melodic vibe and the addition of progressive elements.
The two 7-minute long epics, ‘Don’t You Ever Leave Me’ and the title track demonstrate this point perfectly, however the overall sound is not prog-rock, but hard rockin’.
Then you have songs such as ‘Call Me’ and the killer ‘In The Heat Of The Night’, definitely melodic hard oriented with a radio-ready feeling without turning bland. These kind of tunes were developed by many bands from the era with heavy metal roots, like Praying Mantis, Samson, etc.
As a whole, all tracks are really well crafted and performed with impressive performances from each member. It’s apparent when listening to ‘To Heaven From Hell’ where the young American bands such as Metallica got their ideas from. They ever covered ‘Am I Evil’ on their first album.
This reissue of the album comes with a lot of bonus material including b-sides and live recordings. The song ‘Trick Or Treat’ is a fairly standard song when looking at the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal movement as a whole, but it’s pretty good and well worth your time.
‘Dead Reckoning’ is another very good song that really should have been included on the original pressing of the album rather than as a b-side to ‘Call Me’.
And ‘Shoot Out The Lights’ is by far one of the best songs the band ever wrote, heavy yet melodic.
The live tracks are surprisingly good too, with ‘Play It Loud’ and ‘Sweet And Innocent’ being great examples of why the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal was so influential and still listened to today. These are terrific slabs of early 1980s ‘true’ metal.
The final track on this release is an interview from 1982 where bass player Colin Kimberly and vocalist Sean Harris talk with legendary radio DJ Tommy Vance.
“Borrowed Time” easily contains some of Diamond Head’s best moments, and despite the fact that the band display a more commercial, easy to the ears sound, each member is at the top of his game, and the music sounds amazing.
It’s a mix a classic 80s metal with melody and groove, plus some elaborated, progressive moments. The remaster is potent and clear, well balanced.
01 – In the Heat of the Night
02 – To Heaven From Hell
03 – Call Me
04 – Lightning to the Nations
05 – Borrowed Time
06 – Don’t You Ever Leave Me
07 – Am I Evil?
08 – Trick or Treat
09 – Dead Reckoning
10 – Shoot Out the Lights
11 – In the Heat of the Night
12 – Play It Loud (live)
13 – Sweet and Innocent (live)
14 – Interview with Sean Harris & Colin Kimberley (June ’82)
Sean Harris – voice, backing vocals, percussion, vocoder
Brian Tatler – guitars, backing vocals
Colin Kimberley – bass, Taurus bass pedals, backing vocals
Duncan Scott – drums, percussion
BUY IT !