When Bloodgood’s lead guitarist left the band to go solo, fans of the 80s metal stalwarts weren’t entirely sure what to expect. We probably assumed more heavy metal–at least that’s what I expected. And while there is certainly some hard rock (almost glam metal) at times, The Other Side was much broader in scope.
The album showcased Zaffiro’s excellent guitar work, as we’d already become familiar with through three albums with Bloodgood: Bloodgood (1986), Detonation (1987, often hailed as the band’s finest effort), and Rock in a Hard Place (1988). But what we didn’t know was that he was also a fine singer, and was on his way to becoming a fantastic and sought-after producer (working on albums by The Reach, Zion, Holy Solider and dozens more). In fact, he self-produced this album.
The first time I heard “Diversity” I wasn’t sure what to make of it. The guitar intro wasn’t too unexpected (and very similar to riffs on Zion’s Thunder from the Mountain, which Zaffiro produced), but then those harmonized vocals drop in. What the heck is happening here–was David going soft? Nonetheless, I kept listening. Over time, the track became my favorite song on the album.
Lyrically, the song deals with following the leading of the Spirit into uncharted territories. One can’t help but hear his internal struggles over the decision to leave Bloodgood:
I feel Your leading and I know that I must go
I fold my hands and let You take you take control
Diversity–showing me faces and taking me places that I’ve never been
Diversity–pushing me further but never erasing all that I am
David released three more albums of guitar-oriented rock, but also opened the floodgates on his production work throughout the 90s and well into the 2000s.