Music Review: Black Diamonds – Destination Paradise

Written by: Fi McMillan


Album Title:

Release Date:

Black Diamonds

Destination Paradise

31st May 2024

Destination Paradise, the fifth studio album from Swiss rockers Black Diamonds, is unapologetically drenched in nostalgia. This is a band who revel in the hard rock and high glam of the ’80s – a period that has left indelible marks on the music we’ve all come to love. So, there’s nothing here you won’t have heard before…but when it’s this much fun, does that matter?

Thunderous opening track, Through Hell and Back sets the scene – growling vocals compete with soaring guitar lines, building to a chorus that demands you sing along. The guitar prowess is a real highlight throughout the album, with the addition of Chris Blade on lead guitar complementing vocalist and guitarist Mich Kehl.

One of the faster tracks on the album, Bottoms Up, sees bassist Andi Barrels take up vocal duties, bringing a raspier, rawer quality to this pounding celebration of friendship. The track also features one of the most enjoyable solos on the album, though there is stiff competition from Valley of the Broken Hearted. The latter track brings some of the most interesting flourishes on the album, as well as an irresistible hook.

In contrast, the pace is slowed right down with soft rock ballad Only for a While. Opening with piano, the track song swells, and you’ll sway along as the rest of the instruments blend in. There is a more than a hint of Journey here.

Black Diamonds might not be reinventing the wheel, but when they ride it with this much passion and power, they don’t need to.

The album occasionally strayed too far into slightly cheesy territory for me – Everyday Heroes was a bit too simplistic as a rock track, and unmemorable lyrically as well as musically. Your appetite for cheese will determine how you feel about their celebration of rock and its influence on every part of their lives with Rock N’Roll is My Religion. This bombastic pop rock song will either have you grinning and dancing around, or it might all feel a bit…naff.

That said, every time the album takes a slightly self-indulgent turn, it follows up with a banger. Nothing’s Gonna Keep Me From You powers along with chugging riffs before being elevated by a great key change, and the tempo stays up with From the Ashes.

Album closer Run With Us will be playing on repeat in your head for days – a chorus rich in harmony, guitars that beg you to follow, and a sense that by loving this music, you get to live in a much bigger world. It is this same, very genuine, very sincere love of this kind of music that sees them pull off a truly storming cover of Belinda Carlisle’s Leave a Light on For Me – a really enjoyable standout moment. Black Diamonds might not be reinventing the wheel, but when they ride it with this much passion and power, they don’t need to.



Check out Black Diamonds on their website and social pages:






Band Members

Mich Kehl – Vocals, guitar, backing vocals
Andi Barrels – Bass, vocals (tracks 4 and 8), keyboards, e-bow, backing vocals
Chris Blade Johnson – Guitar, keyboards, piano, backing vocals
Manu Peng – Drums, percussion, backing vocals
Special Guest: David Balfour – Vocals on Leave a Light On

Track Listing

  1. Through Hell And Back
  2. After The Rain
  3. Everyday Heroes
  4. Bottoms Up
  5. Only For A While
  6. Valley Of The Broken Hearted
  7. Rock n’ Roll Is My Religion
  8. Nothing’s Gonna Keep Me From You
  9. From The Ashes
  10. Leave A Light On,
  11. Yesterday’s News
  12. Paradise
  13. Run With Us (CD bonus track)
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