Behold the Beginning compiles tracks taken from Diamond Head's official debut album, Lightning to the Nations, and a non-LP single, the poppy ballad "Waited Too Long." Diamond Head are at their best when they are also at their darkest, and epics like "Am I Evil?" "The Prince," and "Helpless" (all eventually covered by Metallica) are far and away the highlights. One can hear echoes of Metallica's future compositional approach in these songs, as Diamond Head strings together a series of strong, technically accomplished riffs, often introducing brand-new musical elements skillfully into the songs. Most of the rest of the material -- odes to sex, heavy metal, and the streets -- seems tamer and less original. Even so, Diamond Head is an undeniably good band, and fans of Metallica will definitely want to hear the band who planted the roots for what was to become their trademark style.
AllMusic Review by Steve Huey