When listening to this album one thing springs to mind – Iron Maiden. The band have an obvious love of Eddie and pay homage to Britain’s finest throughout the album. Where ‘homage’ becomes ‘plagiarism’ is debatable but I think Black Diamond inject just enough of their own individual style into the tracks to make it acceptable.

Formed in Slovenia in 2005 the guitar duo of Igor Manasijevic and Nejc Madic, have written around 40 tracks, ten of which feature on the album. The pair found it hard to recruit band members and had to hire in musicians to complete the recording.

The results though give the impression that the band were a solid, well rehearsed unit rather than hired session men which is mainly due to Igor and Nejc’ s eye for detail and need for perfection.

One thing that impresses is the high calibre of the songwriting on the album. The tracks are all well formed and contain great melodies and harmonies. A good example of this is ‘Power Of Mind’ which actually starts sounding more like Metallica before morphing into another Maidenesque romp.

One criticism that could be levelled at the band is that some tracks tend to be overly long. No song is less than 5 minutes with most pushing the 6 or 7 minute mark. A little trimming in some areas would have provided  punchier and more accessible tracks which may have made more commercial sense.

Overall, this is a good album which contains some great music. I think that it is not individual enough to get the band established in their own right and that the lack of a short punchy lead track will exclude it from rock radio airplay. There is future potential though.  ***1/2

Original link: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/2014/01/album-review-black-diamond-last-man-standing/