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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 Discography

KING DIAMOND albums / top albums

KING DIAMOND Fatal Portrait album cover 3.36 | 44 ratings
Fatal Portrait
Heavy Metal 1986
KING DIAMOND Abigail album cover 4.36 | 68 ratings
Heavy Metal 1987
KING DIAMOND 3.75 | 46 ratings
Heavy Metal 1988
KING DIAMOND Conspiracy album cover 4.10 | 46 ratings
Heavy Metal 1989
KING DIAMOND The Eye album cover 3.80 | 34 ratings
The Eye
Heavy Metal 1990
KING DIAMOND The Spider's Lullabye album cover 3.30 | 30 ratings
The Spider's Lullabye
Heavy Metal 1995
KING DIAMOND The Graveyard album cover 3.27 | 22 ratings
The Graveyard
Heavy Metal 1996
KING DIAMOND Voodoo album cover 3.37 | 21 ratings
Heavy Metal 1998
KING DIAMOND House of God album cover 3.32 | 18 ratings
House of God
Heavy Metal 2000
KING DIAMOND Abigail II: The Revenge album cover 3.12 | 17 ratings
Abigail II: The Revenge
Heavy Metal 2001
KING DIAMOND The Puppet Master album cover 3.49 | 21 ratings
The Puppet Master
Heavy Metal 2003
KING DIAMOND Give Me Your Soul... Please album cover 3.13 | 15 ratings
Give Me Your Soul... Please
Heavy Metal 2007


KING DIAMOND The Dark Sides album cover 3.53 | 10 ratings
The Dark Sides
Heavy Metal 1988

KING DIAMOND live albums

KING DIAMOND In Concert 1987: Abigail album cover 3.10 | 10 ratings
In Concert 1987: Abigail
Heavy Metal 1990
KING DIAMOND Deadly Lullabyes 3.96 | 8 ratings
Deadly Lullabyes "Live"
Heavy Metal 2004

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

KING DIAMOND King Diamond album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
King Diamond
Heavy Metal 1985
KING DIAMOND Welcome Home album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Welcome Home
Heavy Metal 1988

KING DIAMOND re-issues & compilations

KING DIAMOND A Dangerous Meeting album cover 3.38 | 4 ratings
A Dangerous Meeting
Heavy Metal 1992
KING DIAMOND Nightmares in the Nineties album cover 2.83 | 3 ratings
Nightmares in the Nineties
Heavy Metal 2001
KING DIAMOND King Diamond & Black Rose: 20 Years Ago (A Night of Rehearsal) album cover 2.83 | 5 ratings
King Diamond & Black Rose: 20 Years Ago (A Night of Rehearsal)
Heavy Metal 2001
KING DIAMOND The Best Of King Diamond album cover 2.83 | 3 ratings
The Best Of King Diamond
Heavy Metal 2003

KING DIAMOND singles (3)

.. Album Cover
3.81 | 4 ratings
No Presents For Christmas
Heavy Metal 1985
.. Album Cover
4.08 | 2 ratings
Heavy Metal 1986
.. Album Cover
4.14 | 3 ratings
The Family Ghost
Heavy Metal 1987

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


KING DIAMOND The Spider's Lullabye

Album · 1995 · Heavy Metal
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"The Spider's Lullabye" is the 6th full-length studio album by multi-national heavy metal act King Diamond. The album was released through Massacre Records in Europe and through Metal Blade Records in the US in June 1995. It´s the successor to "The Eye" from 1990 and features quite a few lineup changes since the predecessor as guitarist Pete Black has been replaced by Herb Simonsen, bassist Hal Patino has been replaced by Chris Estes, and drummer Snowy Shaw has been replaced by Darrin Anthony, which leaves only lead vocalist King Diamond and guitarist Andy LaRocque from the lineup who recorded "The Eye (1990)".

King Diamond had released a new album each year since 1986, so to suddenly have a 5 year break between "The Eye (1990)" and "The Spider's Lullabye" was very unusual at the time, but quite a few things happened in those 5 years, which explains the long recording break. There had been lineup shuffles in the band before, but this time they were pretty significant. King Diamond also had label issues and they didn´t receive much tour support and therefore toured minimally after the release of "The Eye (1990)". in 1993 King Diamond reunited with his former bandmates in Mercyful Fate and spend time recording and releasing "In the Shadows (1993)" and "Time (1994)", and also subsequently toured in support of the two albums. In addition to those things, King Diamond also relocated from Denmark to Dallas, Texas in the early 90s, so he had his plate full in those years. Home in Sweden LaRocque spend time preparing for the opening of his Los Angered recording studio in 1995, so he was busy too.

Therefore it´s no surprise that "The Spider's Lullabye" seems a little less focused than the last couple of albums. For the first time since the band´s debut album "Fatal Portrait (1986)", not all tracks on "The Spider's Lullabye" form a concept story. Instead the band have opted to have six individual tracks opening the album and four concept story tracks closing the album. The six individual tracks tell shorter stories of supernatual beings, a murderer waiting to be executed, and other evil horror stories, while the concept part of the album tells the story of Harry who suffers from Arachnophobia to a degree where he voluntarily admits himself to Devil lake sanitarium to be treated for his phobia. The "cure" consists of Harry being strapped down, while Dr. Eastman and Nurse Needle (gotta love that name...) make him face his fears by planting various species of spiders on him. When they lock up for the night, they forget a spider in Harry´s room though. The spider lay eggs in Harry´s neck and in the morning Harry complains about a pain in his neck, but to no avail, and Harry is locked up again when night falls. The eggs burst and Harry dies from fright of all the spiders crawling over him and when he is found in the morning he is covered in spider webs and taken to the morgue to be burned.

Stylistically we´re treated to a hard edged yet melodic heavy metal sound with King Diamond´s trademark high pitched vocals in front (he also sings in other registers). Loads of vocal harmonies/choirs, guitar harmonies and leads, sharp heavy metal riffs and a solid playing rhythm section. I wrote solid, and I mean solid and not great, as especially drummer Darrin Anthony is a step down from both Mickey Dee and Snowy Shaw. He has a rather stiff and uninspired drumming style, which doesn´t bring much to the music. The material are generally well written, powerful and catchy, but compared to the previous releases most tracks leave a bit to be desired. The magic and pure brilliance of the 80s releases is lost here, and we get an album which is still high quality heavy metal, but not exactly a masterpiece. One other contributing factor to that is the thin sounding production job. The guitars lack punch and bottom and the drums have a rather hidious tone. I also struggle a bit with King Diamond´s lyrics and occasionally his phrasing on this album. This is definitely not his most inspired moment.

When that is said "The Spider's Lullabye" of course still features a lot of quality material. The title track is a bit of a classic (the use of horror effects and hapsichord work well), and I´d mention "From the Other Side" (although the drumming always seem to put me off), "Eastmann's Cure", and "Room 17" as highligths too. In the other end of the spectrum are tracks like "The Poltergeist" (what´s an off-beat disco rhythm doing during the chorus?) and "To the Morgue". Mediocre and uninspired tracks. So upon conclusion "The Spider's Lullabye" is not exactly the "comeback" one could have hoped for considering the string of absolutely brilliant releases which preceded it. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is still deserved though.


Album · 1990 · Heavy Metal
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"The Eye" is the 5th full-length studio album by multi-national heavy metal act King Diamond. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in October 1990. It´s the successor to "Conspiracy" from 1989 and features one lineup change since the predecessor as drummer Mikkey Dee is replaced by fellow Swede Snowy Shaw.

With the conclusion of the two-album horror story which began on "Them (1988)" and ended on "Conspiracy (1989)", King Diamond opted to change the lyrical approach a little on "The Eye", which is a concept story influenced by real-life events which occured during the French Inquisition, 1450-1670 (the names of the involved parties are the names of real people who lived in those days) mixed with a fantasy story about a cursed necklace called "The Eye".

"The Eye" is not one story, but several stories (told by a narrator) with the cursed necklace being the elememt connecting the different stories into a combined concept story. The album opens with "Eye of the Witch", which tells the listener that if you look into the eye of the cursed necklace you will be taken back in time experiencing all the horrors or the Inquisition. The story than jumps to the trial and torture of accused witch named Jeanne Dibasson (told during the absolutely brilliant "The Trial (Chambre Ardente)") and her death by burning at the stake. Apparently Dibasson or another burned witch/woman had been wearing the necklace called "The Eye", because shortly after the execution two little girls are playing in the ashes and find the necklace. One of them is curious and looks into the eye, which leads to her death (or maybe insanity I´m not sure).

Then another story involving "The Eye" begins on "Into the Convent". It´s the story of the young French girl Madeleine Bavent, who after being rejected by the man she is in love with (which is how I interpret the lyric line: "Her Feelings were not shared") and apparently had sex with (there´s some lines about sin and shame, which leads me to conclude this), enters the Louviers convent to become a nun. Unfortunately for her Father David, who is the Chaplain of the convent repeatedly rapes her, until one day she finds "The Eye", puts on the necklace, and shows it to Father David, who looks into the eye of the necklace and dies.

So you would think the poor girl was now free to live her solitary nun life at the convent, but a new Chaplain (Father Picard) arrives with even worse intentions than the previous one. He drugs the nuns and under false pretence makes them participate in the kidnapping, and ritual torture and murder of childen. The French authorities arrest Father Picard and the nuns, and Picard is executed while the nuns (including Madeleine) are all charged with demonic possession and served to spend the rest of their lives in prison. After having lived a life of suffering Madeleine has gone insane but she is actually relieved, which is expressed very well in the final lyric line on "1642 Imprisonment", which says: "In the year of 1642, Madeline was leaving hell, in 1642 she Found freedom in her prison cell".

"The Curse" which closes the album is another track like "Eye of the Witch" explaining a little more about the necklace and the power the bearer of the necklace possessses, but also the horrors which are shown to the persons who look into the eye of the necklace will experience. So it´s definitely a different approach to writing a concept story than the more linear told horror stories of the previous three King Diamond albums. But it works.

King Diamond (the singer, not the band) is in fine form and his vocals are more varied than ever on "The Eye", singing more mid-range parts, although there are still plenty of high pitched screams and harmonies to enjoy. The instrumental part of the music is skillfully performed too. Sharp and heavy guitar riffs, harmonies, and ultra melodic guitar solos (the album is loaded with one brilliant solo after another), along with a strong playing rhythm section (and some atmosphere enhancing keyboards). The drums on the album have been the focus of a lot of controversy over the years, as many have insisted that Shaw didn´t play a single hit/beat on the album, but that the drums were instead programmed. According to King Diamond that´s not true though, as he claims that the arguably artificial drum sound is Shaw playing on drum pads (electronic drums). Personally I didn´t notice that anything was off about the drumming or the drum sound, back when "The Eye" was released, but reviewing the album in retrospect I understand the various conspiracy theories. I guess it´s one of those cases where you just have to listen for yourself and either trust King Diamond when he says it´s Shaw playing or chose not to.

While the drum sound may turn off some listeners, the sound production on the album is overall powerful, detailed, and well sounding, suiting the material perfectly. The soundscape is a bit more clear and polished than on the preceding releases, but never at the expense of power and heavy metal rawness. So upon conclusion "The Eye" is yet another high quality album release by King Diamond. It´s quite unique sounding and also stands out in the band´s discography and to my ears it´s one of the peaks of the band´s career. A 5 star (100%) rating is fully deserved.


Album · 1989 · Heavy Metal
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"Conspiracy" is the 4th full-length studio album by multi-national heavy metal act King Diamond. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in August 1989. It´s the successor to "Them" from 1988 and it´s a sequel to the concept horror story which began on the predecessor. The lineup who recorded "Them (1988)" is intact on "Conspiracy", but drummer Mikkey Dee had actually left the band prior to the recordings, and recorded his parts as a session musician.

"Them (1988)" ended with King being accused of the murder of his sister and him being committed to a lunatic asylum. "Conspiracy" starts with King returning to the house of Amon as an adult, having spend many years at the asylum under the care of Dr. Landau. He encounters the spirits of "Them" and makes a deal with them, that they can once again return to the house of Amon, in return for them helping King connect to his dead sister. Missy speaks to King in dreams and warns him of an evil plot to eliminate him. A plot conceived by his mother and Dr. Landau, who are now lovers and want to get rid of King and take possession of the house of Amon. Dr. Landau drugs King, and he is ultimately burned alive but swears from beyond the grave that he will return to haunt his morther and Dr. Landau. While it is not stated specifically, I´m guessing as one of the spirits of "Them".

Stylistically the material on "Conspiracy" continue the horror themed, melodic and theatrical heavy metal style of the preceding albums. King Diamond´s distinct sounding voice and high pitched singing style is as present as ever, and the many clever choirs and backing vocals are also an important part of the sound. The instrumental part of the sound combines traditional heavy metal riffs and rhythms, with the occasional harder edged thrash metal influenced part, and progressive songwriting ideas (the use of keyboards is more prominent here than on any of the preceding releases). One of the most important assets of the album are the many incredibly well played guitar solos and harmonies. Not only are the solos played with great skill and conviction, but they are obviously "composed" with great care and flair for melodic details. My jaw always drops when listening to the solos on "Conspiracy" and I am send directly into air guitar ecstasy (I was gonna write heaven, but decided against it, as I am after all reviewing a King Diamond album).

The musicianship is on a high level on all posts, although Dee to my ears doesn´t put on his best performance. He of course delivers his parts with great skill and conviction, but the drumming is generally not as creative as on the first couple of releases, when he was still a permanent member of the band. It´s hard to pick highlights from an album like "Conspiracy", because it deserves and needs to be listened to from start to finish. Not only because of the concept story, but also because the tracklist is arranged to be a musical journey, but if I have to pick a couple of standout tracks it would probably be the epic 8:56 minutes long opener "At the Graves", "Sleepless Nights" (which the band shot a video for), and "Victimized". I know it´s considered a "classic" and the band often play it at shows, but personally my blood never boils while listening to the closing instrumental "Cremation", but I´m prepared to let that go down as an example of individual taste rather than label "Cremation" a bad quality track. The short instrumental "Something Weird" is on the other hand quite brilliant.

"Conspiracy" features a powerful, detailed, and sharp sounding production, which suits the music perfectly, and upon conclusion it´s through and through a high quality release. It´s not just all the basics which are in place and which are of high quality (sound production, songwriting, and musicianship), but it´s the uniqueness of "Conspiracy", both within King Diamond´s discography and on the metal scene in general, which propels it to excellence. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is fully deserved.


Album · 1988 · Heavy Metal
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"Them" is the 3th full-length studio album by multi-national heavy metal act King Diamond. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in September 1988. There have been a couple of lineup changes since the release of "Abigail (1987)", as guitarist Michael Denner has been replaced by Pete Blakk and bassist Timi Hansen has been replaced by Hal Patino. "Abigail" was a commercial and artistic success for King Diamond and the band didn´t rest on their laurels, quickly entering the studio after finishing the tour supporting "Abigail". "Them" turned out to be another great commercial and artistic success for the band, selling even more copies than the predecessor.

As it´s also the case with "Abigail (1987)", "Them" is a concept release telling a horror story. This time the story is also centered around a haunted house, but the story is quite different from the story of "Abigail (1987)". The protagonist of the story is King himself as a child, and the story begins with King, his sister Missy, and his mother waiting at their house for their wheelchair bound grandmother to return from a long vacation (which is later revealed to have been a longer stay at a lunatic asylum). The following night King awakes to the sound of voices and finds his Grandmother sharing bloody tea with invicible spirits (called "Them") speaking in strange tongues telling stories from beyond, and he is invited to join them.

The bloody tea has a hallucinogenic and an addictive effect and soon King becomes numb to reality and craves the nightly meetings with "Them", despite the fact that the blood in the tea is drained from his sleeping mother. When Missy discovers what is going on and why her mother is ill and tired all the time, she destroys the tea pot but is subsequently killed by the enraged "Them" (she is basically chopped to little bits with an axed wielded by invicible hands and then burned in the kitchen fireplace while King is watching in horror). After Missy is murdered King finally snaps out of this sedated state and lures his grandmother to leave the house. He has picked up the axe from the kitchen and beheads his grandmother. The story ends with King being taken away to a lunatic asylum accused of murdering his little sister and his grandmother.

Stylistically the 11 tracks on the 43:14 minutes long album continue the intricate and theatrical heavy metal style of the two preceding albums. King´s vocals are predominantly high pitched but he also sings more mid-range type vocals. The vocals are often multy-layered to create intriguing harmonies or choirs. The two guitarists produce sophisticated heavy metal riffs with the occasional nod towards more hard edged thrash metal style riffs. It´s the many neo-classical influenced guitar harmonies and skillfully played melodic guitar solos which are the icing on the cake though. Both Pete Blakk and Andy LaRocque are incredibly creative and each guitar solo has been meticulously crafted and is played with great care for detail. The rhythm section of drummer Mikkey Dee and bassist Hal Patino also deserve a lot of praise as they deliver powerful and tight (yet organic) playing, which drives the music forward with great energy. The music also features atmosphere enhancing use of keyboards.

"Them" is structured with an atmospheric horror intro, a short interlude track, and a short outro, so there are only eight "regular" length heavy metal tracks on the album. Great care has been taken with the tracklist to make sure that there is a good flow throughout the album and the short intro/outro/interlude tracks are important to help ensure that flow and the creepy horror atmosphere too. But it´s of course the "regular" tracks which are the most interesting part of the album. Tracks like "Welcome Home", "The Invisible Guests", and "Tea" are among the highlights of the album, but "Them" is a strong release throughout.

There is a slight issue with the rhythm guitar sound sometimes drowning a bit in the mix and there is a dryness to the sound, which isn´t always pleasent to listent to, but overall the sound production is enjoyable enough. It is the only minor issue with the album, but it has to be mentioned as it does affect my rating a slight bit. "Them" is in many ways a high quality release by King Diamond and a worthy follow-up to "Abigail (1987)", but to my ears the sound production does keep it from reaching the same masterpiece heights as the predecessor. Still a 4.5 star (90%) rating is fully deserved.


Album · 1989 · Heavy Metal
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Conspiracy is King Diamond’s 4th album, 3rd concept album and 2nd album in the “THEM” storyline. So far, King Diamond has been one of the most consistent bands around, delivering albums full of great material, all with a similar “evil” Heavy Metal sound with tons of Prog Metal and theatrical sensibilities. This album is no different, but I do consider it slightly stronger than the prequel musically. I’ll also say King Diamond’s vocals sound better than ever here. I’ve never been a fan of his high pitched falsetto, but he’s really got harmonizing down here, layering himself many times over to create some really amazing vocal melodies.

The story manages to stay entirely entertaining and interesting despite being a direct sequel to what seemed like a finished tale on “Them”. The familiar characters return and it’s great fun to see what happens to them after the events of the first chapter. King remains a fantastic storyteller and clearly loves getting into theatrical ham mode as he leads every song with charisma.

Musically it remains top tier Heavy Metal, each song delivering many classic riffs, and the keys and rhythm section all play lead as well, supporting the guitars and vocals but ever changing. The music is always dark and moody, the lead guitars especially sounding closer to Thrash at times. Some of the best of the genre here.

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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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