Album Reviews

King Diamond – Dreams of Horror Review

king diamond_cover

Released By: Metal Blade

Release Date: 11th November 2014

Genre: Metal

Links: www.kingdiamondcoven.com/

 

Tracklist:

Disc 1 – Roadrunner:

The Candle
Dressed in White
The Family Ghost
Black Horsemen
Welcome Home
The Invisible Guests
At the Graves
Sleepless Nights
Let It Be Done
Eye of the Witch
Insanity

 

Disc 2 – Metal Blade:

Dreams
The Spider’s Lullabye
Waiting
Heads on the Wall
Voodoo
Black Devil
Help!!!
Spirits
The Puppet Master
Blue Eyes
Never Ending Hill
Shapes of Black

 

King Diamond has always been a love him or hate him kind of guy. Imagine 1983 when Mercyful Fate broke through with the heavy chugging guitars and the smooth twin harmonies of Maiden and Lizzy all topped off with the shrill tones of the King. Let me tell you it was quite a sound to behold and one that had many hooked in. When Fate first went their separate ways there was no way King could top that or could he? His debut solo record “Fatal Portrait” landed with an explosion with even more guitar worship, more over the top showmanship and virtuosity than Mercyful Fate had – which is not to demean them in anyway. This leads to where this retrospective kicks off with “The Candle” from the aforementioned debut. This retrospective follows the career timeline and shows the progression and gives snapshots of the stories behind each album; the wonderful characters he created such as Grandma, Missy and Jonathan La Vey – telling his horror stories through storming heavy metal. Through to the record “The Eye” the productions are superb 80s big and brash; the drums are in your face, the guitars gallop and swap solos at a frightening rate.  There was then a 5 year gap when the King reunited with Mercyful Fate, on his return to his solo career he produced the “Spiders Lullaby” which was a welcome return and represented here by “Dreams” and “Spider’s Lullaby”. Andy La Rocque the King’s constant companion and writing partner has helped retain that unique sound which easily distinguishes King Diamond from Mercyful Fate.

The quality in production dips around the period of “the Graveyard” and “Voodoo”; perhaps pulling double duty was showing its downside. The track “Voodoo” features a solo by Dimebag Darrell which may be of interest to the Pantera  completists. The last three records – “The Puppet Master”, “Abigail II” and “Give me Your Soul” continue with more high quality choice cuts from each record and fully showcases the full talent of King Diamond. He is much more than vocalists; he is an all round musical genius who continues to deliver. Saying that it has been 7 years since his last studio record due to ill health, however in the past couple of years he has made a welcome return to the live arena. This is a remastered double cd crash course in King Diamond which brings together his Roadrunner and Metal Blade recordings and has landed just in time for Christmas. Hail to the King, may he reign supreme for many years to come.

 

Written by David Mccallum

Rating    David    9/10

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