Following a good but disjointed and muddled debut that only flirted with the concept format, Abigal remedies this in focusing on the dramatic gothic horror that the band had only touched on. This turned out to be a massive success, establishing all the hallmarks of King's post-Mercyful Fate style. Horror story concept, blistering reems of lead guitar trade-offs, light progressive elements, and the full use of King's incredible range to portray multiple characters all came to the fore. They had more or less followed the traditional metal rulebook but scrawled all over it with their own unique anotations.
I won't detail the plot here (as it's one that may give too much away in explaining it clearly) but it's one of the more creative ones King (the man himself) has come up with. The story is presented well in songs that follow each other with astonishing fluidity and enough variety to not get bogged down in the pitfall of staleness that many lesser metal bands fail to avoid. It's suprisingly catchy and every song has excitingly edgy riffs, sharp twists and turns in structure to balance the cheese factor (yes, it's high!) and horror cliché which will make this of interest to prog metal fans as well as more traditionally minded metalheads. "Arrival", "A Mansion in Darkness", "The Family Ghost", and "Black Horsemen" are my personal highlights.
By now the band was done warming up, and although I'd say the next album is the best overall, Abigail still has several unrivalled songs and really started the ball rolling for an incredible solo career, so I have to give it its 5 stars!