KING DIAMOND — Abigail II: The Revenge (review)

KING DIAMOND — Abigail II: The Revenge album cover Album · 2001 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
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.
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UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
If that´s the boxset with the first five albums, you´ll be off to a great start.
more than 2 years ago
I think I'd start with that Roadrunner boxset of like 5 albums
UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Ups, that was King Diamond :-)
UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
It´s one of his least interesting releases IMO. I´d pick almost any other release by Kind Diamond before this one.
more than 2 years ago
Definitely going on my wish list!

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