Release and reception
The song was originally released on Diamond Head's 1980 debut, Lightning to the Nations, but then also re-recorded for their second album Borrowed Time. It remains a live favourite and is still included in the band's setlist to this day. However, Sean Harris has gotten fed up with continually playing "Am I Evil?", one of the reasons he took the stage dressed as the Grim Reaper during their performance at the National Bowl.
The song has roots with Gustav Holst's "Mars, the Bringer of War" (from The Planets Suite) and used a riff, that was used earlier on "Ring of Fire" by The Eric Burdon Band in 1974.