KING DIAMOND
Traditional heavy metal • Multi-National

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King Diamond is the band that King Diamond (Kim Petersen) formed after the split up of Mercyful Fate - following the departure of Hank Sherman. He was joined by most members of the then defunct Mercyful Fate. The style has lost most of its proto-black metal style and become a heavy metal band. The Satanic focus was replaced by a focus on horror stories. Apart from two albums, each of the albums contained a story told throughout the songs; some stories span more than one album. Only Fatal Portrait and The Spider's Lullaby deviate here, in that only half of the songs form a story while the other songs are independent. His extremely high falsetto vocal style is notable.

Current line-up King Diamond - Vocals, Keyboards (1985-) (Black Rose (Dnk), Mercyful Fate, Danger Zone (Dnk), Brats) Andy LaRocque aka Anders Allhage (1985-) - Guitars (ex-Death, ex-E.F. Band, Illwill) Mike Wead
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KING DIAMOND CONSPIRACY LP MADE IN BRAZIL 1st PRESSING 1989 MERCYFUL FATE KING DIAMOND CONSPIRACY LP MADE IN BRAZIL 1st PRESSING 1989 MERCYFUL FATE USD $89.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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KING DIAMOND ABIGAIL LP MADE IN BRAZIL 1st PRESSING 1987 MERCYFUL FATE KING DIAMOND ABIGAIL LP MADE IN BRAZIL 1st PRESSING 1987 MERCYFUL FATE USD $59.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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MERCYFUL FATE DON'T BREAK THE OATH LP MADE IN BRAZIL 1st PRESS 1984 KING DIAMOND MERCYFUL FATE DON'T BREAK THE OATH LP MADE IN BRAZIL 1st PRESS 1984 KING DIAMOND USD $99.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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Complete Roadrunner Collection 1986 - 1990Complete Roadrunner Collection 1986 - 1990
Box set · Import
Roadrunner UK 2013
Audio CD$14.19
$23.02 (used)
EyeEye
Roadrunner Records 1997
Audio CD$5.35
$4.99 (used)
Fatal PortraitFatal Portrait
Remastered · Extra tracks
Roadrunner UK 1997
Audio CD$4.77
$9.91 (used)
GraveyardGraveyard
Remastered
Metal Blade 2009
Audio CD$8.05
$7.25 (used)
AbigailAbigail
Remastered · Extra tracks
Roadrunner Records 1997
Audio CD$4.52
$4.89 (used)
VoodooVoodoo
Metal Blade 1998
Audio CD$6.31
$5.19 (used)
ConspiracyConspiracy
Remastered · Extra tracks
Roadrunner UK 1997
Audio CD$4.68
$9.91 (used)
Puppet MasterPuppet Master
Metal Blade 2003
Audio CD$8.12
$5.54 (used)
Best ofBest of
Roadrunner Records 2003
Audio CD$9.64
$8.02 (used)
Spider's LullabyeSpider's Lullabye
Remastered
Metal Blade 2009
Audio CD$7.89
$7.88 (used)
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KING DIAMOND Discography

KING DIAMOND albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.13 | 28 ratings
Fatal Portrait
Traditional heavy metal 1986
.. Album Cover 3.90 | 37 ratings
Abigail
Traditional heavy metal 1987
.. Album Cover 3.45 | 26 ratings
"Them"
Traditional heavy metal 1988
.. Album Cover 3.46 | 26 ratings
Conspiracy
Traditional heavy metal 1989
.. Album Cover 3.15 | 20 ratings
The Eye
Traditional heavy metal 1990
.. Album Cover 2.68 | 15 ratings
The Spider's Lullabye
Traditional heavy metal 1995
.. Album Cover 2.95 | 15 ratings
The Graveyard
Traditional heavy metal 1996
.. Album Cover 2.83 | 14 ratings
Voodoo
Traditional heavy metal 1998
.. Album Cover 3.03 | 12 ratings
House of God
Traditional heavy metal 2000
.. Album Cover 2.80 | 10 ratings
Abigail II: The Revenge
Traditional heavy metal 2001
.. Album Cover 3.52 | 12 ratings
The Puppet Master
Traditional heavy metal 2003
.. Album Cover 2.64 | 9 ratings
Give Me Your Soul... Please
Traditional heavy metal 2007

KING DIAMOND EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
No Presents For Christmas
Traditional heavy metal 1985
.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
The Family Ghost
Traditional heavy metal 1987
.. Album Cover 2.27 | 5 ratings
The Dark Sides
Traditional heavy metal 1988

KING DIAMOND live albums

.. Album Cover 2.25 | 7 ratings
In Concert 1987: Abigail
Traditional heavy metal 1990
.. Album Cover 3.30 | 4 ratings
Deadly Lullabyes "Live"
Traditional heavy metal 2004

KING DIAMOND demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
King Diamond
Traditional heavy metal 1985

KING DIAMOND boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
A Dangerous Meeting
Traditional heavy metal 1992
.. Album Cover 2.05 | 2 ratings
Nightmares in the Nineties
Traditional heavy metal 2001
.. Album Cover 2.27 | 3 ratings
King Diamond & Black Rose: 20 Years Ago (A Night of Rehearsal)
Traditional heavy metal 2001
.. Album Cover 2.10 | 2 ratings
The Best Of King Diamond
Traditional heavy metal 2003

KING DIAMOND singles (0)

KING DIAMOND movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

KING DIAMOND Reviews

KING DIAMOND Fatal Portrait

Album · 1986 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Fatal Portrait" is the debut full-length studio album by Danish/Swedish heavy metal act King Diamond. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in February 1986. After the demise of Danish heavy metal act Mercyful Fate in April 1985, because of creative differences between lead vocalist King Diamond and guitarist Hank Shermann, King Diamond formed a new band using his stage name as the new band name. Former Mercyful Fate guitarist Michael Denner and bassist Timi Hansen also joined King Diamond. New second guitarist was Andy LaRoque and new drummer Mikkey Dee. Both Swedes. King Diamond shifted his lyrical focus and imagery from satanic/occult themes to horror stories. Mainly delivered in concept album form.

..."Fatal Portrait" is one of the few exceptions in the band´s discography though, as only some of the tracks on the album form a concept story, while the rest are individual tracks with no conceptual connection to each other. In short the concept story is about a girl who is locked in the attic by her mother, dies and then comes back as a ghost/spirit to haunt her mother (there are more to the story, but these are the basics).

Compared to the murky, occult and at times anarchistic material by Mercyful Fate (atonal soloing, challenging song structures, loose rythm structures), the music on "Fatal Portrait" is generally more streamlined and melodic heavy metal with a few nods toward thrash/power metal delivered in a theatrical fashion. King Diamond´s high pitched vocals and harmony vocals provide the music with a very distinct sound, but the guitar playing by Andy LaRoque should also be mentioned as an exceptional element on "Fatal Portrait". Michael Denner is a great guitarist too with his melodic playing style, but Andy LaRoque really is something special to my ears. The musicianship is overall excellent though and all involved deserve a mention for their tight inventive playing.

The material is generally of high quality. The tracks are memorable and feature both melodic and harder edged qualities. It´s a great dynamic mix of elements that provide "Fatal Portrait" with enough variation to ensure it a longevity that not many albums possess. Tracks like "The Portrait", the unbelievably melodic "Dressed in White" and "Haunted" are among the highlights. I know "Halloween" is probably the most famous track from "Fatal Portrait" but personally I´ve always felt it was among the weakest tracks. Still great though.

Taking into account that "Fatal Portrait" was released in 1986, the sound production is pretty strong. Sure the guitar sound could have been a bit more powerful, but other than that the production is really enjoyable.

While you can loosely associate the music with traditional heavy metal, King Diamond´s original approach to singing (he was/is of course strongly influenced by singers like Dave Byron (Uriah Heep) and Rob Halford (Judas Priest)) and arranging and the general image of the band were pretty unique back in 1986 (and still is today). With vocals this distinct sounding, the music of King Diamond will always be an aquired taste, but to the fans this is a fantastic start to a fantastic career for the band. A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.

KING DIAMOND "Them"

Album · 1988 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Mjöllnir
Following the excellent Abigail was always going to present some difficulty, but you guessed it, there was no need to fear as the King Diamond concept formula was now perfected. I’m a huge fan of this band’s early albums but this is truly the peak of the mountain for me. “Them” is a claustrophobic, unnerving and sophisticated album hindered only by a very thin production (which even a remastering had trouble fixing). The tale of King, his grandma and “THEM” (the spirits in the house of “Amon” they communicate with via bloody tea in the story) is one that sticks in the mind for a long time.

Mercyful Fate stalwarts Timi Hansen and Michael Denner depart, to be replaced by Hal Patino and Pete Blakk respectively. Blakk makes a more than adequate sparring partner for Andy LaRocque and each song’s numerous twists and turns are sewn together by their dazzling solos. Developing further the idea of song structures moving with the demands of the story rather than a simple matter of verse followed by chorus, it adds a variety that makes it stand apart from the previous album. “The Invisible Guests” binds various sections together with a chorus that feels vigorously pulled together and opener “Welcome Home” stretches its legs to set the scene with urgent changes, always retaining a sheer headbanging goodness. “Tea” follows with a very dreamy vocal style from King which develops the unsettling atmosphere.

The album’s story is connected through the songs more smoothly than on Abigail, with the silences in between feeling like moments to intake a deep breath before the next part of the tale is revealed. Later tracks pile on a sense of hopelessness (“Mother’s Getting Weaker”) and a feeling of madness and disorientation is communicated very well through the music (“The Accusation Chair”). The title track is a short eerie instrumental, reliant on the cliches of horror soundtracks maybe, but very effective nonetheless. Also, by the end of the album it’s clear that things are not quite done with yet...

Not everyone enjoys this album to the same level as the last one, and it requires a fair amount of work to wipe away the cobwebs of the production to find the gleaming gems beyond but it is worth it. Rounding off my edition is an intriguing alternative “ending” track, and some rough mixes which are so-so. Once again, the sleeve art is great and reigns the viewer into the concentrated sphere of the story. To be continued...

KING DIAMOND The Puppet Master

Album · 2003 · Traditional heavy metal
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Warthur
An album delivering precisely what we expect from King Diamond's solo album, nothing less and certainly not nothing more. As fun as Diamond's horror story concept albums are, there's a lack of variety between them which means I find it hard to tear myself away from the higher quality ones. What does The Puppet Master offer that raises it head and shoulders above other average albums from the band? Why should I listen to The Puppet Master instead of giving Abigail another spin? By this point in his career, Diamond seems to have reconciled himself to making the same album over and over agan, and if you really absolutely love that album then you may as well buy it when it's called The Puppet Master.

KING DIAMOND Abigail II: The Revenge

Album · 2001 · Traditional heavy metal
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Warthur
Producing a belated sequel to Abigail - an album whose story didn't exactly cry out for a sequel in the first place - might have led some fans to imagine King Diamond had run out of ideas, but as it turns out the album ends up being something of a return to form. Finally managing to find a way to keep the distinctive sound of the band whilst incorporating some innovations from extreme metal - in particular, some of King Diamond's vocals get to strange territory even for him - the band do a decent job of presenting a continuation of the story and playing some good old mildly thrashy heavy metal. Not as iconic as the original, but a good enough listen nonetheless.

KING DIAMOND Fatal Portrait

Album · 1986 · Traditional heavy metal
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J-Man
By the time Fatal Portrait was released in 1986, King Diamond had already established himself as a household name within the metal community through his work in the legendary Mercyful Fate. His distinct high-pitched howl captivated many metalheads on classics like Melissa and Don't Break the Oath, and a 'solo' album naturally seemed like a good idea. Of course, in retrospect, we know that the King's solo ensemble ended up being every bit as successful as Mercyful Fate, but the suspense leading up to Fatal Portrait must've been pretty great back in the mid-eighties'. With a fantastic group of musicians to back up his musical vision, King Diamond delivers nine solid tracks of thrashy traditional heavy metal on this debut. In many ways, Fatal Portrait lacks the maturity and sense of perfection that would be achieved on Abigail, but that's not to discount the quality of this release; although it's not the King's finest hour, Fatal Portrait is still a very worthy debut.

In many ways, the music on Fatal Portrait is quite similar to what was heard on the first two Mercyful Fate albums. There's a bit more of a thrash metal influence this time around, but the roots of the music are still in traditional heavy metal - and, of course, having King Diamond's vocals at front and center is enough to put a unique stamp on any album. The musicians supporting him are all clearly skillful, though it's mostly the guitar playing that really grabs my attention. Both the bass and drum performances are competent enough, but don't strive for much more than that - the fretwork from Andy LaRoque and Michael Denner, on the other hand, is absolutely spectacular. The lead guitar solos are phenomenal across the board, and the powerful riffage doesn't suffer from any shortcomings either. My only real gripe is that, with a few exceptions, the songwriting is generally less remarkable than on later King Diamond efforts. Not all of the songs here are particularly great, but a few excellent tracks like “Haunted” do help save the album from ever feeling mediocre as a whole. Still, there aren't nearly as many jaw-dropping moments as there would be on future releases, and most of Fatal Portrait leans more towards 'average' than it does towards extraordinary.

The production could also be a bit more dynamic, but if truth be told, Fatal Portrait is still a very solid effort from King Diamond. The riffs are powerful, the musicianship is impressive, and the King's vocals are as unique as ever. Fatal Portrait is not a high point in his career, though, and newcomers to King Diamond's music should make sure to check out a few other albums (either as a solo artist or with Mercyful Fate) before giving this a listen. Next time around is when things would really start getting good...

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