KING DIAMOND — House of God (review)

KING DIAMOND — House of God album cover Album · 2000 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
"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 Since the release of "Voodoo (1998)" there have been a couple of lineup changes as guitarist Herb Simonsen has been replaced by Glen Drover (Eidolon) and bassist Chris Estes has been replaced by David Harbour.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.
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