Black Diamonds
Destination Paradise
Label: Metalapolis Records / SPV
Out: May 31st, 2024
Playing time: 51:44

Switzerland is home to a large number of great Rock and Metal bands. First and foremost, Krokus, Gotthard and Shakra. But the list is much longer. Now I’m getting to know a new band for me – Black Diamonds. But the Swiss are not newcomers. The band was founded back in 2004 by bassist Andy Barrels and singer Mich Kehl. So, the musicians are celebrating their twentieth anniversary this year. Despite this long time, “Destination Paradise” is only their fifth album. They reached third place in the Swiss album charts with “No-Tell Hotel”. So, you can look forward to the latest album with great anticipation.

The opening track “Through Hell And Back” already shows the band’s direction. Powerful Hard Rock, with the twin guitars clearly taking center stage. The drums provide plenty of drive. Singer Mich Kehl impresses with his clear and powerful voice. The pre-released single “After The Rain” is a great Melodic Rock anthem. “Everyday Heroes” creates a great atmosphere with the driving beat of the drums and the mid-tempo vocal part. Although a little faster, “Bottoms Up” follows on seamlessly. Things get really emotional with the power ballad “Only for A While”. Starting as a piano ballad, the entire rhythm section is later discreetly introduced. The guitar solo in the middle section is the icing on the cake. Later, “Valley Of The Broken Hearted” continues in the mid-tempo range. While you can really rock out again with “Rock N’ Roll Is My Religion”. After a quiet start, “Nothing’s Gonna Keep Me From You” also develops into a Melodic Hard Rock song. “From The Ashes” follows a similar pattern but sounds very different. Pounding drums and, once again, the excellent interplay between the two guitarists. Mich sings a duet with David Balfour from label mates Maverick on the melodic and partly commercial “Leave A Light On”. Sounds somehow familiar to me. Oh yes, one of Belinda Carlisle’s great hits. The rocking “Yesterday’s News” really gets things going again. The regular finale is “Paradise”. But wait. The CD version also includes the bonus track “Run With Us”. This is also a cover version. The original comes from Canadian pop starlet Lisa Lougheed.

“Destination Paradise” is a well-made Rock album with lots of catchy melodies. Every now and then the sound drifts into Pop realms, but without being cheesy. There are no failures among the thirteen songs. Every single one has hit potential. Black Diamonds can’t keep up with the heaviness of the bands mentioned at the beginning, but they manage to spread a good mood over fifty minutes.

Black Diamonds – After The Rain:


Mich Kehl – Vocals, Guitar, Backing Vocals
Andi Barrels – Bass, Gesang*, Keyboard, E-Bow, Backing Vocals
Chris Blade Johnson – Guitar, Keyboard, Piano, Backing Vocals
Manu Peng – Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
* Vocals on Songs 4 and 8

Special Guest:
David Balfour – Vocals on “Leave A Light On”

Track list:

  • Through Hell And Back
  • After The Rain
  • Everyday Heroes
  • Bottoms Up
  • Only For A While
  • Valley Of The Broken Hearted
  • Rock n’ Roll Is My Religion
  • Nothing’s Gonna Keep Me From You
  • From The Ashes
  • Leave A Light On
  • Yesterday’s News
  • Paradise
  • Run With Us (CD Bonustrack)
  • Album - 8/10
  • Cover-Art - 7/10
  • Songwriting - 9/10


Disturbingly Good


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