The debut album from yet another talented new band on the scene, this Slovenian five-piece has actually been around since 2005 before finally releasing their debut album. Ten tracks of traditional metal with a bit of a power infusion in them, Black Diamond show a definite side of maturity for a debut album.

Opus 91-96, Edge Of Sanity and Power Of Mind are at the forefront of the album and therefore they are the first impressions that the listener soaks in. I must say that musically the band is pretty tight, Opus 91-96 and Power Of Mind are particularly strong and Edge Of Sanity has very good moments in there as well. Of the three I would say Power Of Mind is the most consistent and is one of those tracks that will stay with you long after you are done listening to the album. Dreams Of Tomorrow clocks in at almost eight minutes, but despite it’s size, it doesn’t drag down and is a very good number. The first half of the CD concludes with a ballad in Hold Me Tonight that unfortunately to my ears sounds a bit awkward, not one of my favorite tunes.

The second half starts out with their self-titled “theme” song so to speak, and it is also a very solid track. The Thing That Couldn’t Die has a haunting beginning and slowly builds throughout the track, and shows some of the most energy and intensity you will find on the album. It must be said that the guitar work on this track has a definite Iron Maiden gallop to the feel! Lazne Zvezde is a puzzler for me. It is an epic track at nearly nine minutes, but it is in a foreign language which leaves me feeling a bit lost, though musically it’s not bad. If I knew the meaning, I would probably be able to appreciate it better though. I will just leave that one up for the individual listener to decide upon. Tears In Eyes is an interesting spooky type of ballad which is both a nice change of pace and a stellar piece of songwriting. Mastermind ends things out nicely.

I would say overall, this CD was definitely worth the wait for me (I had tried to track it down for a couple of months before it finally got in my hands). I would say my biggest concern is that the songs are a bit on the long side and that could potentially turn off some listeners. Other than that, a very solid effort and a nice addition to the already impressive selection of music this year!!

m/ 7 m/

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