KING DIAMOND
Traditional heavy metal • Denmark

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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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Thanks to Stooge, tupan, adg211288, aglasshouse, diamondblack for the updates

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The Puppet MasterThe Puppet Master
Metal Blade 2003
Audio CD$8.85
$8.84 (used)
ThemThem
Remastered · Extra tracks
Roadrunner Records 1997
Audio CD$36.58
VoodooVoodoo
Metal Blade 1998
Audio CD$17.12
$11.97 (used)
The Spider's LullabyeThe Spider's Lullabye
Remastered
Metal Blade 2009
Audio CD$10.59
$9.50 (used)
Give Me Your Soul...PleaseGive Me Your Soul...Please
Metal Blade 2007
Audio CD$9.97
$9.96 (used)
The Graveyard - ReissueThe Graveyard - Reissue
Remastered
Metal Blade 2009
Audio CD$14.21
$26.83 (used)
Abigail II: The RevengeAbigail II: The Revenge
Metal Blade 2002
Audio CD$5.07
$5.28 (used)
House of GodHouse of God
Metal Blade 2000
Audio CD$18.05
$4.47 (used)
AbigailAbigail
Remastered · Extra tracks
Roadrunner Records 1997
Audio CD$24.96 (used)
King Diamond: Conspiracy [CD]King Diamond: Conspiracy [CD]
MMP
Audio CD$10.79
$10.39 (used)
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King Diamond,Abigail,LP King Diamond,Abigail,LP USD $37.72 Buy It Now 1h 33m
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3h
KING DIAMOND - Them LP Mercyful fate slight rip on cover randy brats denner KING DIAMOND - Them LP Mercyful fate slight rip on cover randy brats denner USD $12.78 (0 bids)
4h
KING DIAMOND  limited numbered /500 Vinyl LP The Spider`s Lullabye (1995/2009) KING DIAMOND limited numbered /500 Vinyl LP The Spider`s Lullabye (1995/2009) USD $99.99 Buy It Now 4h
The Spider's Lullabye [Digipak] by King Diamond (CD, Oct-2009, Metal Blade) The Spider's Lullabye [Digipak] by King Diamond (CD, Oct-2009, Metal Blade) USD $16.86 Buy It Now 5h
KING DIAMOND / ABIGAIL - Japan LP KING DIAMOND / ABIGAIL - Japan LP USD $36.00 (12 bids)
5h
King Diamond Fatal Portrait First Press USA Cassette Tape KING DIAMOND METAL King Diamond Fatal Portrait First Press USA Cassette Tape KING DIAMOND METAL USD $9.99 (0 bids)
USD $14.99 Buy It Now
5h
KING DIAMOND KING DIAMOND "The Eye" ORG 1st RR press RARE OOP!!! USD $20.00 Buy It Now 5h
The Puppet Master by King Diamond (CD, Oct-2003, Metal Blade) The Puppet Master by King Diamond (CD, Oct-2003, Metal Blade) USD $11.95 Buy It Now 5h
Abigail II: The Revenge by King Diamond (CD, Jan-2002, Metal Blade) Abigail II: The Revenge by King Diamond (CD, Jan-2002, Metal Blade) USD $11.95 Buy It Now 5h
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Give Me Your Soul Please King Diamond Audio CD Give Me Your Soul Please King Diamond Audio CD USD $18.96 Buy It Now 8h
 King Diamond ‎– Fatal Portrait ...org,1986..RR Records..first press..rare!! King Diamond ‎– Fatal Portrait ...org,1986..RR Records..first press..rare!! USD $15.50 (7 bids)
8h
KING DIAMOND - THE FAMILY GHOST - ROADRACER  RECORDS-RR 125476 - 12 KING DIAMOND - THE FAMILY GHOST - ROADRACER RECORDS-RR 125476 - 12" LP USD $65.00 Buy It Now 8h
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8h
 King Diamond ‎– The Dark Sides ..in very good condition.org,1988..RR...rare!! King Diamond ‎– The Dark Sides ..in very good condition.org,1988..RR...rare!! USD $22.00 (9 bids)
9h
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10h
KING DIAMOND KING DIAMOND "THE EYE" LP , Vinyl 12" Record Album 33 rpm, New USD $28.99 Buy It Now 11h
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11h
King Diamond ‎ Conspiracy PICTURE DISC 1989  RR 9439 EX King Diamond ‎ Conspiracy PICTURE DISC 1989 RR 9439 EX USD $29.99 (1 bids)
12h
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USD $109.99 Buy It Now
14h
King Diamond - Deadly Lullabye Live [New CD] King Diamond - Deadly Lullabye Live [New CD] USD $13.64 Buy It Now 15h
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KING DIAMOND - The Graveyard - Reissue - CD ** Brand New ** KING DIAMOND - The Graveyard - Reissue - CD ** Brand New ** USD $38.95 Buy It Now 15h
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MERCYFUL FATE In The Shadows '93 JAPAN 1ST PRESS CD w/OBI WPCP-5498 KING DIAMOND MERCYFUL FATE In The Shadows '93 JAPAN 1ST PRESS CD w/OBI WPCP-5498 KING DIAMOND USD $37.16 Buy It Now 21h
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KING DIAMOND The Spiders Lullabye (RARE PRESS + SLIPCASE)Metallica,Mercyful Fate KING DIAMOND The Spiders Lullabye (RARE PRESS + SLIPCASE)Metallica,Mercyful Fate USD $7.99 (0 bids)
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KING DIAMOND  DEADLY OMENS VOL.2 TEST PRESS   12 KING DIAMOND DEADLY OMENS VOL.2 TEST PRESS 12" VINYL USD $44.99 (0 bids)
1 day
KING DIAMOND LIVE AT THE ORPHEUM THEATRE  2* 12 KING DIAMOND LIVE AT THE ORPHEUM THEATRE 2* 12" RED VINYL'S -SEALED- USD $59.99 (0 bids)
1 day
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King Diamond ‎– King Diamond ‎– "Them" Vinyl Record 1988 FIRST PRESSING USD $79.98 Buy It Now 1 day
King Diamond: Them CD 1988 Roadrunner Roadracer Records USA RRD 9550-2 Original King Diamond: Them CD 1988 Roadrunner Roadracer Records USA RRD 9550-2 Original USD $24.95 Buy It Now 1 day
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King Diamond - Deadly Lullabye Live [New CD] King Diamond - Deadly Lullabye Live [New CD] USD $14.98 Buy It Now 1 day
KING DIAMOND The Dark Sides (Cassette Tape, 1988) US ROADRACER RRC 2455 JK FATE KING DIAMOND The Dark Sides (Cassette Tape, 1988) US ROADRACER RRC 2455 JK FATE USD $6.99 Buy It Now 1 day
The Graveyard by King Diamond (CD, 1999, Metal Blade) The Graveyard by King Diamond (CD, 1999, Metal Blade) USD $9.47 Buy It Now 1 day
Graveyard - King Diamond (CD Used Very Good) Graveyard - King Diamond (CD Used Very Good) USD $10.43 Buy It Now 1 day
KING DIAMOND ABIGAIL VINYL (UK) NEW 2014 33RPM KING DIAMOND ABIGAIL VINYL (UK) NEW 2014 33RPM USD $29.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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1988 Roadrunner Records King Diamond “Them” Cassette Tape RRC 9550 1988 Roadrunner Records King Diamond “Them” Cassette Tape RRC 9550 USD $12.50 Buy It Now 1 day
KING DIAMOND-PUPPET MASTER  VINYL LP NEW KING DIAMOND-PUPPET MASTER VINYL LP NEW USD $40.85 Buy It Now 1 day
KING DIAMOND KING DIAMOND "A Message to the Black Woman" POWER HOUSE 1009 RARE Top Copy EX+ USD $39.99 Buy It Now 1 day
King Diamond ‎– Fatal Portrait Vinyl Record 1986 King Diamond ‎– Fatal Portrait Vinyl Record 1986 USD $49.98 Buy It Now 1 day
KING DIAMOND In Concert 1987 Abigail LP New Sealed Vinyl KING DIAMOND In Concert 1987 Abigail LP New Sealed Vinyl USD $22.22 Buy It Now 1 day
KING DIAMOND Conspiracy LP New Sealed Vinyl KING DIAMOND Conspiracy LP New Sealed Vinyl USD $22.22 Buy It Now 1 day
KING DIAMOND THE DARK SIDES LP RARE TRACKS ROADRACER LABEL FROM 1988 MERCYFUL KING DIAMOND THE DARK SIDES LP RARE TRACKS ROADRACER LABEL FROM 1988 MERCYFUL USD $6.50 (2 bids)
1 day
KING DIAMOND ''THEM'' LP/Vinyl (ROADRUNNER RR9550) Orig. w/ Inner NM KING DIAMOND ''THEM'' LP/Vinyl (ROADRUNNER RR9550) Orig. w/ Inner NM USD $12.00 (5 bids)
1 day
KING DIAMOND tells the tale of abigail LP LTD ED RARE MERCYFUL FATE black metal KING DIAMOND tells the tale of abigail LP LTD ED RARE MERCYFUL FATE black metal USD $10.00 (1 bids)
1 day
Vanda King . Diamond Lil's . CTV . Canadian artist . Arc / Monique LP Vanda King . Diamond Lil's . CTV . Canadian artist . Arc / Monique LP USD $13.38 Buy It Now 1 day
Audio CD: Abigail / Fatal Portrait, KING DIAMOND. New Cond. Extra tracks, Origin Audio CD: Abigail / Fatal Portrait, KING DIAMOND. New Cond. Extra tracks, Origin USD $33.87 Buy It Now 1 day
KING DIAMOND - ABIGAIL - 180GR  VINYL LP NEW+ KING DIAMOND - ABIGAIL - 180GR VINYL LP NEW+ USD $32.45 Buy It Now 1 day
King Diamond - Abigail II: The Revenge King Diamond - Abigail II: The Revenge USD $14.21 Buy It Now 1 day
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King Diamond - Conspiracy, 9 track, 1990 Korea Only Different Cover. King Diamond - Conspiracy, 9 track, 1990 Korea Only Different Cover. USD $30.00 Buy It Now 1 day
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King Diamond / Deadly Lullabyes JAPAN 2CD *V King Diamond / Deadly Lullabyes JAPAN 2CD *V USD $69.99 Buy It Now 2 days
A TORTURED SOUL-Kiss Of The Thorn King Diamond A TORTURED SOUL-Kiss Of The Thorn King Diamond USD $11.99 Buy It Now 2 days
KING DIAMOND CONSPIRACY 1990 LP LYRIC W/INSERT NM- ~ NM Promo KING DIAMOND CONSPIRACY 1990 LP LYRIC W/INSERT NM- ~ NM Promo USD $29.99 Buy It Now 2 days
KING DIAMOND FATAL PORTRAIT LYRIC BACK CVR & DIFF LABEL LP KING DIAMOND FATAL PORTRAIT LYRIC BACK CVR & DIFF LABEL LP USD $14.99 Buy It Now 2 days
KING DIAMOND IN CONCERT 1987 ABIGAIL 1991 LP PICTURE W/INSERT NM ~ MINT- Promo KING DIAMOND IN CONCERT 1987 ABIGAIL 1991 LP PICTURE W/INSERT NM ~ MINT- Promo USD $69.99 Buy It Now 2 days
KING DIAMOND THEM 1988 LP PICTURE & LYRIC W/INSERT NM ~ MINT- White Label Promo KING DIAMOND THEM 1988 LP PICTURE & LYRIC W/INSERT NM ~ MINT- White Label Promo USD $79.99 Buy It Now 2 days
KING DIAMOND THEM 1990 LP PICTURE & LYRIC W/INSERT NM- ~ NM Promo KING DIAMOND THEM 1990 LP PICTURE & LYRIC W/INSERT NM- ~ NM Promo USD $34.99 Buy It Now 2 days
KING DIAMOND and BLACK ROSE 20 years Ago 1st U.S. press HTF CD KING DIAMOND and BLACK ROSE 20 years Ago 1st U.S. press HTF CD USD $20.00 Buy It Now 2 days
KING  DIAMOND  KING DIAMOND " THE DARK SIDE " VINYL ALBUM USD $51.15 (0 bids)
2 days
METAL BLADE 3 SEALED CD Massacre Amored Saint Gwar King Diamond Crisis Og lp 45 METAL BLADE 3 SEALED CD Massacre Amored Saint Gwar King Diamond Crisis Og lp 45 USD $13.50 Buy It Now 2 days
King Diamond: Deadly Lullabyes - Live 2 CD Set 2004 Metal Blade Records USA King Diamond: Deadly Lullabyes - Live 2 CD Set 2004 Metal Blade Records USA USD $19.95 Buy It Now 2 days
King Diamond: The Spider's Lullabye CD 1995 Attic / Metal Blade Records / BMG King Diamond: The Spider's Lullabye CD 1995 Attic / Metal Blade Records / BMG USD $12.95 Buy It Now 2 days
King Diamond: In Concert 1987 Abigail CD 1997 Gold Remaster Roadrunner RR 8784-2 King Diamond: In Concert 1987 Abigail CD 1997 Gold Remaster Roadrunner RR 8784-2 USD $24.95 Buy It Now 2 days
RARE PROMO MCA Canada CASSETTE TAPE Peter Gabriel KING DIAMOND Little Caesar '91 RARE PROMO MCA Canada CASSETTE TAPE Peter Gabriel KING DIAMOND Little Caesar '91 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2 days
KING DIAMOND the dark sides US/Canadian ROADRACER 12-inch EP Compilation + PVC i KING DIAMOND the dark sides US/Canadian ROADRACER 12-inch EP Compilation + PVC i USD $38.37 Buy It Now 2 days
King Diamond King Diamond "No Presents For Christmas Lp" USD $30.00 (0 bids)
USD $50.00 Buy It Now
2 days
KING DIAMOND - Abigail LP - Black Vinyl - SEALED new copy KING DIAMOND - Abigail LP - Black Vinyl - SEALED new copy USD $24.99 Buy It Now 2 days
KING DIAMOND Abigail II: The Revenge KICP 864 CD JAPAN KING DIAMOND Abigail II: The Revenge KICP 864 CD JAPAN USD $83.95 Buy It Now 2 days
KING DIAMOND / MERCYFUL FATE A Dangerous Meeting CD 1992 RARE 1st PRESS HTF OOP KING DIAMOND / MERCYFUL FATE A Dangerous Meeting CD 1992 RARE 1st PRESS HTF OOP USD $12.00 Buy It Now 2 days
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KING DIAMOND Discography

KING DIAMOND albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.41 | 36 ratings
Fatal Portrait
Traditional heavy metal 1986
.. Album Cover 4.22 | 47 ratings
Abigail
Traditional heavy metal 1987
.. Album Cover 3.76 | 32 ratings
"Them"
Traditional heavy metal 1988
.. Album Cover 3.90 | 31 ratings
Conspiracy
Traditional heavy metal 1989
.. Album Cover 3.25 | 23 ratings
The Eye
Traditional heavy metal 1990
.. Album Cover 2.86 | 18 ratings
The Spider's Lullabye
Traditional heavy metal 1995
.. Album Cover 3.15 | 17 ratings
The Graveyard
Traditional heavy metal 1996
.. Album Cover 3.52 | 18 ratings
Voodoo
Traditional heavy metal 1998
.. Album Cover 3.20 | 14 ratings
House of God
Traditional heavy metal 2000
.. Album Cover 3.01 | 12 ratings
Abigail II: The Revenge
Traditional heavy metal 2001
.. Album Cover 3.42 | 14 ratings
The Puppet Master
Traditional heavy metal 2003
.. Album Cover 2.75 | 10 ratings
Give Me Your Soul... Please
Traditional heavy metal 2007

KING DIAMOND EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 2.66 | 7 ratings
The Dark Sides
Traditional heavy metal 1988

KING DIAMOND live albums

.. Album Cover 2.32 | 9 ratings
In Concert 1987: Abigail
Traditional heavy metal 1990
.. Album Cover 3.34 | 5 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
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Welcome Home
Traditional heavy metal 1988

KING DIAMOND re-issues & compilations

.. Album Cover 2.61 | 3 ratings
A Dangerous Meeting
Traditional heavy metal 1992
.. Album Cover 2.05 | 2 ratings
Nightmares in the Nineties
Traditional heavy metal 2001
.. Album Cover 2.31 | 4 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 (3)

.. Album Cover
2.10 | 2 ratings
No Presents For Christmas
Traditional heavy metal 1985
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Halloween
Traditional heavy metal 1986
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
The Family Ghost
Traditional heavy metal 1987

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

KING DIAMOND Reviews

KING DIAMOND The Dark Sides

EP · 1988 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Andy
"The Dark Sides" is a good compilation. Short but good.If "Halloween" and "Them" are from "Fatal Portrait" and "Them", "No Presents for Christmas" is a single track (and as bonus track on limited edition of "Fatal Portrait"), "Shrine" is another single track (and as bonus track on limited edition on "Abigail")as "The Lake" is another single track (and as bonus track on limited edition on "Fatal Portrait". "Phone Call" is a previously unreleased track (this is only a fake phone call between King and his grandmother).

The music is good, obvioudly. Typical 80's Heavy Metal with good melodies and power. In my opinion is an excellent addition to a good 80's Metal collection or if you love Traditional Heavy Metal. But is clear that "The Dark Sides" isn't a compilation that introduce King Diamond in a good manner. Notwithstanding, because it also contains rare songs, And because is a good sidekick during a driving trip i think that this Ep/ compilation is good. But not essential.

KING DIAMOND House of God

Album · 2000 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"House of God" is the 9th full-length studio album by multi-national heavy metal act King Diamond. The album was released through Metal Blade Records (US)/Massacre Records (Europe) in June 2000. Since the release of "Voodoo (1998)" there have been a couple of lineup changes as guitarist Herb Simonsen has been replaced by Glen Drover (Eidolon) and bassist Chris Estes has been replaced by David Harbour.

As with almost all King Diamond albums "House of God" is a concept album. This time loosely based on the legend of Rennes-le-Château. It´s the story that tells that Jesus Christ didn´t die on the cross, but fled to France, maried Marie Magdalene, had children and that his final resting place is the church of Rennes-le-Château. There are several stories/myths though and one also tells that the holy grail is hidden at the church of Rennes-le-Château. That is only a part of the concept story on "House of God" though which also features a twisted love affair (between the protagonist and a shapeshifting woman/wolf), unpleasant horrors and other King Diamond specialities like curses, deaths, and occultism. It all boils down to an existentialistic theme that questions the existence of God and Satan.

The music on the album is the usual theatrical heavy metal style with power/thrash metal springlings, that King Diamond have played since day one. Powerful riffs, atmospheric keyboards, shredding melodic soloing, and King Diamond´s high pitched vocals in front. His use of harmonies and choirs are exquisite as always. Tracks like "The Trees Have Eyes", "Black Devil" and the beautiful instrumental closer "Peace of Mind" all score high in my book, but "House of God" is actually quite the inspired and consistent album and one of the band´s better post 1990 albums. The story might be a bit disjointed and King Diamond has probably been slightly too ambitious with the concept on this one, but the actual music is great.

The sound production is a bit "dry" or maybe "pro tooled" is a better word, but still powerful sounding. Maybe it´s a matter of taste though and others might enjoy the sound production more than I do. It´s only a slight distraction though and not a major issue. So even though there are a couple of issues (I´m not a fan of the drumming style either. It´s too "stiff" and could have prospered from a more organic playing style) with "House of God" that prevents it from being rated "out of the scale", it´s still a very solid release and a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

KING DIAMOND Abigail II: The Revenge

Album · 2001 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Abigail II: The Revenge" is the 10th full-length studio album by multi-national heavy metal act King Diamond. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in January 2002. "Abigail II: The Revenge" features an almost completely revamped lineup compared to the lineup that recorded "House of God (2000)". King Diamond (Vocals) and Andy LaRocque (Guitars) are the only remaining members from the last album. New drummer is Matt Thompson, but the other new members are a bit more prolific. Bassist Hal Patino, who had not been part of the lineup since "The Eye (1990)" has returned for another stint and Mercyful Fate guitarist Mike Wead (ex-Memento Mori, ex-Hexenhaus) has been added as the second guitarist in King Diamond.

"Abigail II: The Revenge" is a concept album and plotwise it´s a sequal to "Abigail (1987)". The story in the original "Abigail (1987)" album took place in 1845 (and in sequences in 1777), while the story in "Abigail II: The Revenge" takes place in 1863. It´s actually a bit confusing but apparently Abigail was kept alive by the Black Horsemen, because she was the half-sister of O´Brian (one of the black Horsemen) and is now 18 years old and on her way to meet her father and avenge her mother. Jonathan is now an old and crippled man (who apparently didn´t die when he fell down the stairs in the grand finale of "Abigail (1987)"), who mistakes Abigail for his late wife Miriam and ends up raping her to produce an heir. Abigail then, with the help of "Little one" (the spririt of the stillborn Abigail), kills both the house servant Brandon Henry and Jonathan. While setting the house on fire to kill Jonathan, Abigail is also trapped in the fire and dies.

Most of King Diamond´s horror themed concept stories have grabbed me and left a lasting impression on me, but "Abigail II: The Revenge" is one of the few that fails to impress me. The storyline is simply too confusing and the story seems forced to me. The inclusion of the necklace from "The Eye (1990)" seems especially forced, but also the whole family tree thing with Abigail suddenly being O´Brian´s halfsister doesn´t work very well.

The music is the usual heavy metal style spiced up with the occasional thrashy riff and of course with King Diamond´s distinct high pitched vocals in front. The guitar solos are as always one of the great assets when listening to a King Diamond album and King Diamond´s vocal arrangements are also both intriguing and as creepy as we expect them to be. But with a story that doesn´t really work, it´s also as if the other flaws become more apparent and while the music is generally of good quality, I can´t help thinking that the band sound slightly tired and uninspired and that they use more heavy metal cliches than necessary. I know that sounds a bit harsh, and probably also a bit too harsh, but when you add to the equation a sound production that´s dry, sterile, and quite frankly a bit lifeless, the end result isn´t as satisfying as I had hoped it would be. Still a 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is deserved and that of course speaks volumes of the quality of King Diamond´s music even if it doesn´t work as well on this album as on his best work.

KING DIAMOND Voodoo

Album · 1998 · Traditional heavy metal
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"Voodoo" is the 8th full-length studio album by multi-national heavy metal act King Diamond. The album was released through Metal Blade Records (US)/Massacre Records (Europe) in February 1998. "Voodoo" sees a lineup change as drummer Darrin Anthony, who played the drums on both "The Spider's Lullabye (1995)" and "The Graveyard (1996)", is replaced by John Luke Hébert. The rest of the lineup are still the ones who played on the previous two albums. The cover artwork for the album was created by prolific Swedish graphics artist Kristian Wåhlin.

"Voodoo" is a concept album with a story that takes place in 1932. The story is about the Lafayette family (Sarah (who is pregnant), David and grandpa), who moves into an old colonial house on the Mississippi River, just north of Baton Rouge, but they are often woken at night by the sound of drums coming from the voodoo graveyard which is situated next to their house. They involve their servant Salem in their plans to destroy the voodoo graveyard, as they see it as a place of evil, but it turns out Salem is one of those attending the loud voodoo rituals on the graveyard, and he is appalled by their plans. He contacts Doctor Le Croix (a voodoo sorcerer), who begs Salem to help him kill the Lafayette family before they destroy the vooddoo graveyard. So Salem places a snake in David´s room and puts haunted graveyard dust in grandpa´s food, which makes them both very ill, but he can´t convince Sarah to eat the food he has prepared, as she is nauseous because of her pregnancy, so he ends up pouring goofer dust on her, and as a result Sarah is possessed by dead voodoo spirits. Grandpa calls his old friend Father Malone to do an exorcism on Sarah, but he fails badly and is almost killed by the possessed Sarah. The Lafayette family then decides to leave the house. In the last track on the album titled "Aftermath", we´re told that a woman named Sarah Lafayette has given birth to a child and that the child is speaking in the strangest of tongues...backwards.

I have probably missed a detail or two (and a couple of characters) in the above description of the lyrical concept, but in large strokes, that´s the storyline. It´s the third King Diamond story after "Abigail (1987)" and "Them (1988)", which involves a haunted mansion, but the voodoo concept is quite different from anything else King Diamond had created up until then.

The music on the album is no surprise if you are familiar with earlier releases by the band. It´s still heavy metal featuring the occasional thrashy riff with King Diamond´s distinct and high pitched vocals in front. There are several killer tracks on "Voodoo" like ""LOA" House", "One Down Two to Go", "Life After Death", "Cross of Baron Samedi" and of course the title track, which features ritual sounding percussion and an absolutely brilliant guest guitar solo by the late Dimebag Darrel (Pantera). Speaking of guitar solos, the album features one fantastic solo after another, which along with the cleverly arranged vocals and some of the guitar riffs are some of the assets of the album. Sometimes the song structures are a bit too predictable/formulaic, but most of the time the band make sure to put in a section or a bridge to spice things up.

The sound production is one of the more powerful from the later part of King Diamond´s career and it suits the music well. While the display says that the album is 61:57, "Voodoo" features a "waiting ending" (which consists of some chaotic noise), so the album is actually closer to being 52:00 minutes long. I remember always having the feeling that the album was slightly too long for it´s own good, and while I enjoy "Voodoo" a little more today than when it came out, I still think the band should have cut 1 or 2 tracks from the album. I think it would have made more impact that way. When that is said "Voodoo" still deserves a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating and a recommendation from me.

KING DIAMOND Fatal Portrait

Album · 1986 · Traditional heavy metal
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"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.

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Tupan wrote:
more than 2 years ago
There is a real diffenrence between king Diamond solo work and Merciful Fate?

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