KING DIAMOND — "Them" — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of

3.64 | 39 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1988

Filed under Heavy Metal


1. Out From the Asylum (1:44)
2. Welcome Home (4:36)
3. The Invisible Guests (5:04)
4. Tea (5:15)
5. Mother's Getting Weaker (4:02)
6. Bye, Bye, Missy (5:08)
7. A Broken Spell (4:08)
8. The Accusation Chair (4:21)
9. "Them" (1:56)
10. Twilight Symphony (4:10)
11. Coming Home (1:11)

Total Time: 43:14

CD reissue contains 3 bonus tracks:
12. "Phone Call" (1:39)
13. "The Invisible Guests (Rehearsal)" (5:19)
14. "Bye, Bye Missy (Rehearsal)" (4:51)


- King Diamond / Vocals, Keyboards
- Andy LaRocque / Guitar
- Pete Blakk / Guitar
- Hal Patino / Bass
- Mikkey Dee / Drums

About this release

Release date: September 13, 1988
Label: Roadrunner Records

Thanks to Stooge, UMUR, diamondblack for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Vim Fuego
King Diamond has one of the most remarkable voices in metal. His operatic falsetto wail was the outstanding feature of Mercyful Fate’s supernaturally powerful, distinctive sound. He then forged a successful solo career, along fairly similar lines, a little less technical, a little more theatrical. Diamond had done so much for metal. So why the hell did he inflict this monstrosity upon us?

There’s nothing wrong with the music on this album. Diamond has always assembled outstanding musicians, and the songwriting is impressive. The playing and arrangements are second to none. His voice is top notch. So what makes it a monstrosity?

The first clue is in the first few seconds of the album. “Out From The Asylum” is one of the cheesiest, stupidest introductions to an album ever. It’s just totally fucking silly. And it all just gets worse from there...

So, yeah, apparently Grandma has kangaroos loose in the top paddock, but it’s time to welcome her home from the asylum. What could possibly go wrong?

Grandma has a tea party with people who aren’t really there, but King is told to forget about it. Next, Grandma offers to teach him about Amon over another cup of tea, this time with Ma’s blood in it (hint: Amon isn’t Chris Amon, the motor racer who competed in 96 grand prix, and won the 1966 Le Mans 24-hour race).

There’s the voices of “them” which the album gets it’s name from, his sister Missy tries to stop “them, so “they” chop her to bits with a broken teapot, King stumbles outside, snaps out of the enchantment, kills Grandma, and ends up in an asylum himself. It’s such a dumb fucking story. If you’re going to do a concept album, don’t write a concept which reads like a nine-year-old’s idea of a horror movie. This is just impossible to listen to without rolling eyes, cringing, and wondering how the hell such an iconic metal artist thought this was a good idea, not to mention his band, label, or even management. Artists should have full control over what they create, but at the same time, there’s nothing wrong with someone tapping them on the shoulder and asking “Are you sure this is a good idea?”

The answer is “no it wasn’t.” If you want a good fix of King Diamond, go and listen to “The Eye” or “Abigail”, or “Fatal Portrait”. Save your rolling eyes from the strain of “Them”.
Emboldened by the strong performance of Abigail, King Diamond chose to follow it up with another narrative concept album, this time inserting himself into the story as a character - specifically, as a child whose sinister grandmother turns out to be in constant communication with the invisible spirits who haunt the old family home. It's a fun enough story, though it does seem that - unlike on Abigail - the narrative overpowered the music this time around, with few really standout tunes on offer; only an even more diverse and wide-ranging than usual vocal performance from King raises this album to "above average" status.

Members reviews

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...

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