"To the Devil His Due"


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RATING: 7.5/10

Many metal fans recognize the name DIAMOND HEAD as the band that got international notice when METALLICA covered "Helpless", "It's Electric", and "Am I Evil". As this DVD shows, those in the know about the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) realize that the group had more than a handful of songs that included killer riffs and memorable melodies, and that includes some of the newer material. Energized from momentum gained in later years, thanks to continued name-dropping from the likes of the Ulrich/Hetfield boys and MEGADETH, guitarist Brian Tatler refused to let the band die.

"To the Devil His Due" captures the band on the 25th anniversary of the NWOBHM at the London Astoria on November 4, 2005. Though long-time vocalist Sean Harris left DIAMOND HEAD, his replacement, Nick Tart, does an admirable job of filling his shoes on stage at the Astoria. The vocalist offers a youthful injection with an animated stage presence and a soulful voice. If nothing else, "To the Devil His Due" attests to the band's arsenal of strong songs, beyond the above mentioned METALLICA cover tunes. Twin leads, dueling solos, and some fine boogie metal moments (e.g. "The Prince) make for a fun viewing/listening session. Even "Mine All Mine" from 2005's "All Will be Revealed" is worthy of your attention. The sound and picture quality is better than average — nothing flashy, but the camera work is strong.

It is during the interview segment that a slew of memories from, among others, the pre-METALLICA days are brought forth. Tatler tells the fascinating tale of then 17-year old Lars Ulrich traveling to England to see a DIAMOND SHOW and ultimately staying with the band for a week afterwards. A hugely successful latter-day tour supporting MEGADETH, discussion of the NWOBHM era, and a variety of other tidbits, including Tony Iommi's guest playing on "Starcrossed" (from 1993's "Death and Progress"), are included in the segment.

"To the Devil his Due" is perhaps not essential, but certainly should be of interest to those wishing to learn a bit more about the lesser-known bands of the NWOBHM explosion. It will also interest anyone that yearns for the sound of a quality melodic heavy metal band.


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