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KING DIAMOND - Abigail cover
4.35 | 52 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1987

Filed under Heavy Metal


1. Funeral (1:30)
2. Arrival (5:26)
3. A Mansion In Darkness (4:34)
4. The Family Ghost (4:05)
5. The 7th Day Of July 1777 (4:50)
6. Omens (3:56)
7. The Possession (3:26)
8. Abigail (4:50)
9. Black Horsemen (7:39)

Total Time 40:20


- King Diamond / vocals
- Andy LaRocque / guitar
- Michael Denner / guitar
- Timi Hansen / bass guitar
- Mikkey Dee / drums

Guests musician:

- Roberto Falcao / keyboards

About this release

Release date: October 21st, 1987
Label: Roadrunner Records

Recorded and mixed at Sound Track Studio, Copenhagen, December - February 1986-1987.

Chart positions:
# 39 Sweden
# 123 USA

A music video was made for the song "The Family Ghost".

Though initially planned as a stand alone concept album, in 2002 King Diamond released Abigail II: The Revenge which takes up the story some 18 years later.

Reissued by Roadrunner Records on November 11th 1997 remastered on a gold disc and a new expanded booklet with the bonus tracks:
10. Shrine (04:23)
11. A Mansion in Darkness (Rough Mix) (04:35)
12. The Family Ghost (Rough Mix) (04:09)
13. The Possession (Rough Mix) (03:28)

Reissued by Roadrunner Records on September 8th 2003 as a part of Roadrunner's Two from the Vault series remastered along with Fatal Portrait on 2 CD's.

Reissued in 2005 for Roadrunner Records 25th anniversary with 4 bonus tracks and bonus DVD.

Miscellaneous staff:
- Bill Turjancik / Production assistant (1997 re-issue)
- Jeff Daniel / Producer (1997 re-issue)
- Torbjorn Jorgensen / Cover art
- Thomas Holm / Cover art
- Öle Ludgren / Cover art
- Jorgen Bak / Cover art
- Andy LaRocque / Additional guitar production
- Roberto Falcao / Engineering
- Michael Denner / Assistant producer
- Mikkey Dee / Assistant producer
- King Diamond / Producer
- Chris Gehringer / Remastering (1997 re-issue)

Thanks to Stooge, progshine, UMUR, diamondblack for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

King Diamond's entire career had been building up to him putting out a fully-fledged concept album - from the oblique references to Melissa running through the first two Mercyful Fate albums to the connected songs on Fatal Portrait - and when he finally took the plunge on Abigail he didn't disappoint in the slightest. The range of dramatic situations in the story allows the theatrical side of his ever-versatile vocal performance free reign, whilst his backing band provides the story with a suitably flashy, thrashy musical underpinning. Fans of the more complex varieties of traditional heavy metal will find plenty to love in the haunted mansion the album transports the listener to!

Members reviews

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!

Ratings only

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  • algerd
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  • Fido73
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  • progshine
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