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Diamond Head - "Borrowed Time (reissue)" (CD)

Diamond Head - "Borrowed Time (reissue)" CD cover image

"Borrowed Time (reissue)" track listing:

1. In The Heat Of The Night
2. To Heaven From Hell
3. Call Me
4. Lightning To The Nations
5. Borrowed Time
6. Don't You Ever Leave Me
7. Am I Evil?
8. Trick Or Treat
9. 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 and Colin Kimberly (Tommy Vance show, 1982)

Reviewed by on November 9, 2009

"The songs, though not timeless by any means, are still well crafted and performed."

Borrowed Time was originally released in 1982 and was the first major release from Diamond Head, being issued through MCA Records. The record reached number 24 in the U.K. album charts and allowed the band to perform headlining shows in bigger venues, such as the Hammersmith Odeon. Listening to the album now, it sounds very dated, and might have a hard time impressing people who aren't fond of the sound and production values of the early 1980s.

The album features some songs which are almost commercial sounding in nature, and one can't help but wonder if songs such as "Call Me" had been better promoted when released as singles, whether the band would have achieved more mainstream success and recognition. Several songs on the album seem like they would have fit perfectly on the soundtrack of many big budget movies at the time, and probably would have made for successful radio hits if they had been shorter in length.

The songs, though not timeless by any means, are still well crafted and performed however, with impressive performances from each member. It's apparent when listening to songs such as "To Heaven From Hell," where the young American thrash bands such as Metallica got their ideas from. Two of the songs which stand out the most on the album were also featured on the band's previous release, "Lightning To The Nations," and therefore take some credit away from "Borrowed Time". It can also be debated that the songs continue for much longer than they should. A good example of this is contained in the song "Don't You Ever Leave Me," which at nearly eight minutes in length, doesn't seem to change much until the five minute mark, where it transforms into a full on blues song.

This version 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 song that's well worth a listen and really should have been included on the original pressing of the album rather than as a b-side to "Call Me," as it can definitely be argued that it's a superior song. "Shoot Out The Lights" is by far one of the best songs the band ever wrote, but the inclusion of the single edit of "In The Heat Of The Night" seems like a rather pointless addition.

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 heavy 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. Unfortunately, even as a big fan of Tommy Vance and rare interviews, it's not a very interesting listen at all. Vance is genuinely interested in the band and shows he had a good knowledge about them, but the response from the band members seems less than enthusiastic and dull. This is a nice addition but not a very good one.

Highs: The album contains some examples of what made the N.W.O.B.H.M. so good and is still a good listen.

Lows: Some of the songs go on for much longer than needed and the album hasn't aged well at all.

Bottom line: If you're a fan, enthusiast, or someone interested in the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, it's well worth picking up if you don't already have it. If you're the type of person that prefers more modern sounding production and songs, it's not for you.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)