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With their second album, the Swedes of Enforcer come back with pretty much the same formula they had developed on their tasty debut, 2008’s Into the Night. We're still in known territory with their speedy, melodic NWOBHM-oriented heavy metal that sounds an awful lot like early Iron Maiden minus the punky influences. The main difference here is that they slowed things up a bit, adding a little hard rocking fun for good measure (quite possibly originating from early-Def Leppard and Tygers of Pan Tang) which suits their catchy compositions nicely.
The few misfires of singer Olof Wikstrand have also been corrected when compared to Into the Night and he’s much more in control of his high-pitched spectrum on Diamonds than he was on Enforcer’s debut offering, to the point that he often sounds a bit like The Darkness’ singer, the awful Justin Hawkins, only a lot less annoying and way “gutsier”. Diamonds also has quite a lot of backing vocals “à la” Def Leppard which contribute to enlighten the overall performance of the vocalist.
The production of Diamonds is the other good news when comparing it with its predecessor. Where Into the Night was bordering on amateurism, Diamonds is a feast for the ears with its precise and dynamic sound, not modern in any way, this production, firmly rooted in the era Enforcer reveres is exactly what the band needed.
Another good thing about Diamonds is its moderate length, it seems that the band has focused on its strongest material and, thus, delivered a no-filler 40 minutes album which brings it even closer to the good-ole-times Heavy Metal albums formula it seems to rely on.
I realize I haven’t spoken of any song in particular. The reason is simple actually, Diamonds is an effort that you listen from start to finish with a big smile on your face, an horned fist risen in the hair and hair all over the place with demented headbanging. Really, If you are a fan of old-school Heavy Metal, this is a mindblowing trip down Nostalgia Lane. Anyway, if I had to mention 3 songs from Enforcer's mighty collection it'd probably be Roll the Dice and its delightful “disco-rhythmed” solo break, Katana and its 6 minutes of pure epic melodic Heavy Metal or the eponymous instrumental with its exquisite dueling guitars and even a little surprise towards the end of it. But, really, all the songs featured here are great so it’s hard to see those three as highlights as I truely consider the album as a whole and have no real favorite among those 10 kick-ass tunes.
To sum things up, Diamonds is undoubtedly a must hear for anyone favoring old-school heavy metal especially in times where double bass too often takes the control. Sure, it’s nothing new or groundbreaking, it’s just fun albums that makes you headbang like crazy and, trust me, there’s nothing wrong with it and when it’s so amazingly done, it leaves with a sore neck, a silly smile on your face and... Hungry for more!