ALBUM REVIEW: Def Leppard – Diamond Star Halos

Seven years after their previous, eponymously titled, album Def Leppard are back with Diamond Star Halos (UMG). It is a long gap between records and right from the off their trademark arena-ready hard rock is in full swing in ‘Take What You Want’ – with it’s crunching chords and touches of On Through The Night. The first three tracks conform to their trademark sound, with the seventies-inspired, glam stomper ‘Kick’ one of the highlights – they have compensated for the familiarity by stuffing it full of hooks. ‘Fire It Up’ is a hard rocker with a slinky little riff and daft and hackneyed lyrics designed purely for a singalong.

There are a few more rockers like this on the record, like the glossy melodies and chunky guitars of ‘SOS Emergency’, but the rest of the sixty-one minutes is a varied and diverse affair. Which is a refreshing move for the twelfth record of a band in their forty-fifth year, the most intriguing of which is ‘This Guitar’ – a ballad featuring country musician Alison Krauss which flirts heavily with the genre and is better than it has any right to be. Alas, whilst well intentioned, this approach does not pay off as the vast bulk of this record is overdone, middle of the road and unmemorable.

‘Goodbye For Good This Time’ is the former; a catchy but overblown and gushing ballad, complete with orchestration and the so-bad-it’s-good line; “there’s a lie in belief”. Talking of ballads, none here match the giddy heights of ‘Animal’ or ‘Hysteria’ – the mid paced ‘Angels (Can’t Help You Now)’ is better but you will struggle to recall it the second it is over.

‘Open Your Eyes’ is a slow burner, with Rick Savage‘s bass line the key to its subtle charms. The rest needs more fire and energy, more upbeat tracks and silly anthems. ‘From Here To Eternity’ closes off the record in a moody but slightly dull fashion.


Diamond Star Halos is a wide and varied album that, despite the odd chink of light, is run of the mill and forgettable.


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5 / 10





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