26 September 2023

Diamond Star Halos

Start the conversation

Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By Def Leppard, Bludgeon Riffola/Mercury Records 2022.

Another thank you to Neil from Services Australia for this album. I may have to put him on commission.

English heavy rock band Def Leppard is one of the most successful hard rock bands off all time.

They rate right up there with the goliaths of the genre such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black sabbath, Metallica etc. for record sales and influence.

Through the 1980s and into the early 1990s Def Leppard reigned supreme with three outstanding albums; Pyromania (1983), Hysteria, (1987), and Adrenalize (1992).

They all charted well with Pyromania reaching #2 on the Billboard Albums chart, Hysteria doing even better spawning six Top 20 US singles and topping the charts in the US, UK, NZ, Australia, Canada, and Norway, and Adrenalize replicated this success reaching the top of the charts in many countries around the world.

Diamond Star Halos is their 12-studio album and it’s already been acclaimed as their best album since their glory years (It’s reached #3 in Australia, 5 UK, 2 US, so far).

I find the album to be a bit of a chameleon, it starts brilliantly with Take What You Want being one of the best hard rock tracks they’ve ever penned.

Great sold rock follow-ups ensue in Kick and Fire It Up which leads us to track four and an out-and-out country-rock cut.

This Guitar, with guest Alison Krauss duetting on vocals, is a good track but it felt like too much of a seismic shift.

While listening to it with headphones I exclaimed out loud “my God it’s a bloody country song” much to the bemusement of my wife who was busy listening to a podcast.

There’s a series of good tracks through the middle of the album although, to be honest none of them are memorable.

While good they’re maybe too generic, I feel they could have been lifted from any Def Leppard album.

And then as we approach the closing tracks on the 15-cut disc they once again hit their straps, from track 12, Angels Can’t Help You Now, through 13 Lifeless (once again with Alison Krauss), 14Unbreakable, and the outstanding closer From Here To Eternity I was totally captivated.

From Here To Eternity was written by Rick Savage and it’s the perfect end to the disc. At 5.37 minutes it’s the longest cut and the best.

It’s as if Savage has channelled Brian May (Queen) and David Gilmour (Pink Floyd).

It’s the closest to Prog Rock that Leppard have come, and I don’t think they’ve ever done anything better.

Chameleon it may be but it’s still a good record.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.