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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Complete Roadrunner Collection 1986 - 1990Complete Roadrunner Collection 1986 - 1990
Box set · Import
Roadrunner UK 2013
Audio CD$13.55
$13.54 (used)
EyeEye
Roadrunner Records 1997
Audio CD$4.85
$4.84 (used)
ThemThem
Remastered · Extra tracks
Roadrunner Records 1997
Audio CD$5.68
$9.93 (used)
AbigailAbigail
Metal Blade 2014
Vinyl$21.16
$94.00 (used)
Fatal PortraitFatal Portrait
Remastered · Extra tracks
Roadrunner UK 1997
Audio CD$12.93
$11.95 (used)
VoodooVoodoo
Metal Blade 1998
Audio CD$7.98
$4.49 (used)
ConspiracyConspiracy
Remastered · Extra tracks
Roadrunner UK 1997
Audio CD$5.70
$7.36 (used)
Dreams Of Horror (Best Of)Dreams Of Horror (Best Of)
Metal Blade 2014
Audio CD$10.83
$9.00 (used)
The Puppet MasterThe Puppet Master
Metal Blade 2003
Audio CD$8.44
$4.77 (used)
Give Me Your Soul...PleaseGive Me Your Soul...Please
Metal Blade 2007
Audio CD$7.96
$3.98 (used)
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KING DIAMOND w/ Brats 18th January 1981 II 45PS Pre Mercyful Fate Black Vinyl KING DIAMOND w/ Brats 18th January 1981 II 45PS Pre Mercyful Fate Black Vinyl USD $9.84 Buy It Now 1h 54m
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KING DIAMOND CONSPIRACY LP PICTURE DISC VINYL *RARE* ROADRUNNER RECORDS 1989 LTD KING DIAMOND CONSPIRACY LP PICTURE DISC VINYL *RARE* ROADRUNNER RECORDS 1989 LTD USD $59.90 Buy It Now 2h 43m
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Lot of 3 rare metal tapes, King Diamond, M.O.D., thrash, death, heavy, cassettes Lot of 3 rare metal tapes, King Diamond, M.O.D., thrash, death, heavy, cassettes USD $14.95 (0 bids)
USD $30.00 Buy It Now
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KING DIAMOND**BEST OF**CD KING DIAMOND**BEST OF**CD USD $9.95 Buy It Now 12h
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EIDOLON Nightmare World CD: MEGADETH, KING DIAMOND, MERCYFUL FATE, DROVER EIDOLON Nightmare World CD: MEGADETH, KING DIAMOND, MERCYFUL FATE, DROVER USD $7.59 Buy It Now 15h
GRAVEYEARD BY KING DIAMOND (CD) GRAVEYEARD BY KING DIAMOND (CD) USD $19.75 Buy It Now 16h
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VG++/EX- 1986 USA KING DIAMOND Fatal Portrait US Mercyful Fate VG++/EX- 1986 USA KING DIAMOND Fatal Portrait US Mercyful Fate USD $41.01 Buy It Now 19h
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Mercyful Fate The Beginning 2nd press King Diamond Bathory Venom Celtic Frost   Mercyful Fate The Beginning 2nd press King Diamond Bathory Venom Celtic Frost USD $20.00 (0 bids)
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King Diamond - Puppet Master [Vinyl New] King Diamond - Puppet Master [Vinyl New] USD $37.98 Buy It Now 1 day
KING DIAMOND - KING DIAMOND - "THEM" - ORG - 1988 ROADRACER - RRD 9550 - THRASH METAL USD $4.25 (4 bids)
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King Diamond Them CD King Diamond Them CD USD $10.00 Buy It Now 1 day
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Mercyful Fate - Melissa LP - Sealed - NEW COPY - King Diamond Mercyful Fate - Melissa LP - Sealed - NEW COPY - King Diamond USD $29.99 Buy It Now 1 day
KING DIAMOND KING DIAMOND "Fatal portrait" ORG cd Roadrunner 2003,made in Japan USD $99.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Mercyful Fate - The Beginning 24k GOLD CD 1997 Roadrunner RARE OOP  King Diamond Mercyful Fate - The Beginning 24k GOLD CD 1997 Roadrunner RARE OOP King Diamond USD $16.95 Buy It Now 1 day
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King Diamond : The Eye - Cassette Tape Venom Mercyful Fate Angel Witch King Diamond : The Eye - Cassette Tape Venom Mercyful Fate Angel Witch USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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ABIGAIL~Picture Disc~King Diamond LP~RARE ENGLAND IMPORT~Mint Cond. ABIGAIL~Picture Disc~King Diamond LP~RARE ENGLAND IMPORT~Mint Cond. USD $29.99 (0 bids)
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King Diamond  King Diamond "The Dark Sides" 12" / 1988 / Mercyful Fate USD $49.99 (0 bids)
1 day
KING DIAMOND ABIGAIL VINYL LP SEALED  METAL BLADE RECORDS KING DIAMOND ABIGAIL VINYL LP SEALED METAL BLADE RECORDS USD $24.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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King Diamond - Abigail / ORG 1987 Roadrunner CD King Diamond - Abigail / ORG 1987 Roadrunner CD USD $9.00 (1 bids)
1 day
King Diamond - The Dark Sides / ORG Roadunner CD King Diamond - The Dark Sides / ORG Roadunner CD USD $5.00 (1 bids)
1 day
King Diamond - The Eye / ORG Roadrunner CD King Diamond - The Eye / ORG Roadrunner CD USD $5.00 (1 bids)
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KING DIAMOND Dreams of Horror: The Best of King Diamond [Digipak] CD KING DIAMOND Dreams of Horror: The Best of King Diamond [Digipak] CD USD $11.00 Buy It Now 2 days
King Diamond Abigail New in Plastic King Diamond Abigail New in Plastic USD $75.00 Buy It Now 2 days
KING DIAMOND Conspiracy (Compact Disc, CD 1997) ROADRUNNER RR 8787-2 KING DIAMOND Conspiracy (Compact Disc, CD 1997) ROADRUNNER RR 8787-2 USD $12.74 Buy It Now 2 days
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King Diamond Conspiracy CD 1989 Original Roadracer RRD 9461 King Diamond Conspiracy CD 1989 Original Roadracer RRD 9461 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Spider's Lullabye - King Diamond New & Sealed CD-JEWEL CASE Free Shipping Spider's Lullabye - King Diamond New & Sealed CD-JEWEL CASE Free Shipping USD $18.59 Buy It Now 2 days
Deadly Lullabyes: Live by Electric Wizard, King Diamond (Vinyl, Sep-2004, 2... Deadly Lullabyes: Live by Electric Wizard, King Diamond (Vinyl, Sep-2004, 2... USD $28.49 Buy It Now 2 days
Puppet Master [Analog] King Diamond LP Record Puppet Master [Analog] King Diamond LP Record USD $58.67 Buy It Now 2 days
King Diamond Them [Remaster]  (CD, Nov-1997, Roadrunner Records) King Diamond Them [Remaster] (CD, Nov-1997, Roadrunner Records) USD $5.00 (0 bids)
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MERCYFUL FATE - From The Depths Of Hell LP - KING DIAMOND VENOM SLAYER NWOBHM !! MERCYFUL FATE - From The Depths Of Hell LP - KING DIAMOND VENOM SLAYER NWOBHM !! USD $22.28 Buy It Now 2 days
SARCOFAGUS - Go To Hell - 7 SARCOFAGUS - Go To Hell - 7" - MERCYFUL FATE, KING DIAMOND, NWOBHM, RARE !!!! USD $11.79 Buy It Now 2 days
# LIMITED #  KING DIAMOND - Then  --- Patch # LIMITED # KING DIAMOND - Then --- Patch USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2 days
IN SOLITUDE- The World The Flesh The Devil DLP Mercyful Fate King Diamond Watain IN SOLITUDE- The World The Flesh The Devil DLP Mercyful Fate King Diamond Watain USD $6.55 (1 bids)
2 days
King Diamond - The Puppet Master [Limited] (CD / DVD - 2 Discs, Metal Blade) King Diamond - The Puppet Master [Limited] (CD / DVD - 2 Discs, Metal Blade) USD $2.99 (1 bids)
2 days
King Diamond / Mercyful Fate - Happy Halloween Live Factory/Silver CD (OOP) King Diamond / Mercyful Fate - Happy Halloween Live Factory/Silver CD (OOP) USD $4.99 (0 bids)
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King Diamond - Fatal Portrait LP 1st Press Brazil 1989 Mercyful Fate King Diamond - Fatal Portrait LP 1st Press Brazil 1989 Mercyful Fate USD $89.99 Buy It Now 2 days
DAMAGED ARTWORK CD KING DIAMOND: Spider's Lullabye DAMAGED ARTWORK CD KING DIAMOND: Spider's Lullabye USD $7.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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King Diamond - Give Me Your Soul Please(CD,2007) King Diamond - Give Me Your Soul Please(CD,2007) USD $10.00 (0 bids)
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KING DIAMOND 'Abigail' MOV Ltd. 180g Colour Vinyl LP NEW & SEALED KING DIAMOND 'Abigail' MOV Ltd. 180g Colour Vinyl LP NEW & SEALED USD $28.55 Buy It Now 2 days
Conspiracy/Them - 2 DISC SET - King Diamond (CD)Mercyful Fate Conspiracy/Them - 2 DISC SET - King Diamond (CD)Mercyful Fate USD $12.00 (0 bids)
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King Diamond 'Abigail II' Limited Ed. LP Picture Disc Die-Cut Rare 500cop SEALED King Diamond 'Abigail II' Limited Ed. LP Picture Disc Die-Cut Rare 500cop SEALED USD $69.99 Buy It Now 3 days
King Diamond - Abigail II: The Revenge / TH Cassette King Diamond - Abigail II: The Revenge / TH Cassette USD $19.99 Buy It Now 3 days
King Diamond - Abigail Ii-Revenge [CD New] King Diamond - Abigail Ii-Revenge [CD New] USD $10.63 Buy It Now 3 days
King Diamond - The Best Of (Cassette) Universal Music Russia SEALED King Diamond - The Best Of (Cassette) Universal Music Russia SEALED USD $36.50 Buy It Now 3 days
King Diamond - Abigail + 4 Bonus Tracks (Cassette) Russia SEALED Mercyful Fate King Diamond - Abigail + 4 Bonus Tracks (Cassette) Russia SEALED Mercyful Fate USD $26.50 Buy It Now 3 days
King Diamond - Abigail II: The Revenge (Cassette) Russia SEALED Mercyful Fate King Diamond - Abigail II: The Revenge (Cassette) Russia SEALED Mercyful Fate USD $21.50 Buy It Now 3 days
Mercyful Fate - Return Of The Vampire (Cassette) Russia SEALED King Diamond Mercyful Fate - Return Of The Vampire (Cassette) Russia SEALED King Diamond USD $24.50 Buy It Now 3 days
KING DIAMOND THE SPIDER’S LULLABYE BRAND NEW SEALED 2 CD SET KING DIAMOND THE SPIDER’S LULLABYE BRAND NEW SEALED 2 CD SET USD $12.66 Buy It Now 3 days
King Diamond : Mercyful Fate,A Dangerous Meeting,Japan CD,Obi King Diamond : Mercyful Fate,A Dangerous Meeting,Japan CD,Obi USD $22.50 (4 bids)
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MERCYFUL FATE MERCYFUL FATE "TIME" CASSETTE 1994 PRIORITY KING DIAMOND USD $7.99 Buy It Now 3 days
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KING DIAMOND Discography

KING DIAMOND albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.30 | 34 ratings
Fatal Portrait
Traditional heavy metal 1986
.. Album Cover 4.26 | 44 ratings
Abigail
Traditional heavy metal 1987
.. Album Cover 3.75 | 31 ratings
"Them"
Traditional heavy metal 1988
.. Album Cover 3.82 | 30 ratings
Conspiracy
Traditional heavy metal 1989
.. Album Cover 3.23 | 22 ratings
The Eye
Traditional heavy metal 1990
.. Album Cover 2.86 | 17 ratings
The Spider's Lullabye
Traditional heavy metal 1995
.. Album Cover 2.96 | 16 ratings
The Graveyard
Traditional heavy metal 1996
.. Album Cover 3.44 | 17 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 | 13 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 2.10 | 2 ratings
No Presents For Christmas
Traditional heavy metal 1985
.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
The Family Ghost
Traditional heavy metal 1987
.. Album Cover 2.63 | 6 ratings
The Dark Sides
Traditional heavy metal 1988

KING DIAMOND live albums

.. Album Cover 2.28 | 8 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

KING DIAMOND boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 2.57 | 2 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 (0)

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:
1 year ago
There is a real diffenrence between king Diamond solo work and Merciful Fate?

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