"To me, there are three essential King Diamond records: Abigail, Them, and Conspiracy. These three records comprise some of the best metal recorded in the late 80s. It's hard to put King Diamond, the band, in a category. This is metal for sure, but may not appeal to die-hard thrash/death/speed metal fans who shy away from melody and harmonies. That's not to say that this goes as far as Helloween or other such melodic-metal bands, but it's more towards that ballpark.King Diamond, and these three records, work so well because of a perfect combination of great songwriting; inspired and extremely skillful playing; tight, well-rehearsed arrangements; and the chemistry and personality of the players. Mikkey Dee is one of the great unsung metal drummers. Andy LaRoque's hooks and flourishes are always a joy. Earlier and later King Diamond records suffer from the lack of at least one of these qualities, or from the lack of some of the personnel. Mikkey Dee, especially, is sorely missed in the post-Conspiracy era. The songwriting on the later records is lacking the great hooks of the Abigail/Them/Conspiracy triumverate (but, after 1990, songwriting for most metal bands changed in a way I did not like). Also, King's story conceptions on these three records have always seemed to me to be more inspired.The bottom line is that there are plenty of people who are never going to like Kind Diamond. Either they're simply not into this kind of metal, or they can never get used to King's singing style. For my money, though, these three records are important, inspired, and a must-have."
The King Diamond's best release: full prog metal!
I. MUNOZ | Montreal, PQ, Canada | 07/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is for me the best KD release. This album marks a milestone in the KD's career. Here they committed to a more progressive and innovative sound (listen for example the tempo changes in "At The Graves", or the dynamics in "Sleepless nights") and finally succeeded in creating a metal masterpiece! So, they arrived with a second part of "Them" that is musically superior, but still heavy, aggressive, and full of mystery and power. I see this CD like one of the most elaborated rock concept albums of all times, in spite of its cover. The cover, well... this is the only think that I don't like of it - Actually, I didn't purchase it before because of that King Diamond ugly face showing the tongue: what at ridiculous stuff, man! However, this is a five stars album from head to tail. Please forget the cover and listen to the music: The drummer does a superb job, decorating each piece with a burst of beats that go there where they should go. Guitars keep being dark and scary, but the neoclassic touches on LaRocque's phrases give the soloing a breath of fresh air. Songwriting is great, and the bass lines are more than good... I think that I don't even need to mention KD's vocals: you know how this guy uses his voice and how sheer is his style!Energetic and explosive, this is an album that you must not miss if you are serious about metal music. I don't want to say too much more: just go for it, and prepare to listen a mature and high-quality metal band at its best moment. I bet you'll enjoy it!"
ONE OF KING'S ABSOLUTE BEST!!! DO NOT MISS OUT ON THIS ONE!!
Andrew Armstrong | Mechanicsburg PA | 02/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"King Diamond has always put out terrific albums, but this album REALLY stands out among some of his BEST work EVER!!!!The Re-Mastered quality of this album only enhances the already perfect musical Masterpiece!!!This album is actually part #2 of the previous album:"THEM" (which is equally AMAZING musically!!) King, like on ALL his albums uses his incredible vocal range to portray different characters while telling a story of supernatural power,conpiracy,and finally...REVENGE!!!I originally bought this album back in the late 80's when it first came out, and the Re-Mastered sound quality is AMAZING!!! It really adds alot of NEW life to an already perfect album!! Andy La Rocque and Pete Blakk are not only AMAZING!! on the duel guitar work, but this IS probably some of the most Incredible Guitar work I have EVER heard on an album!!!They are absolutely AMAZING!!The song writing is definately some of the BEST King has EVER released!!!( Just take a listen to track:#4 "A Visit From The Grave" and you will see what I mean.This album includes 2 BONUS tracks at the end (which work really well with the rest of the album and were previously un-released). Vocally this is truely one of King's BEST!!(note for note he totaly "Nails It!" everytime!!!The instrumental introductions to some of the songs are beautifully written, and there is plenty of atmosphere on this album to keep you listening for years to come!! This is one of those albums I recommend you listen to with headphones (so you get to hear all of the effects and don't miss out on a second of the story!!) Great Singer,Great band line-up, great songwriting, great album period!!!What more could you ask for? 5 Stars is NOT enough for this album!!!! Please do NOT hesitate to purchase this album ,You will NOT be dissapointed!!(For NEW listeners though, I recommend listening to: "THEM" first so you get the whole story from beginning to end).King Diamond Rules and this is a good example why!!LONG LIVE THE KING!!and LONG LIVE METAL!!(PS:) Don't forget to check out King's Other albums in his catalog for more Amazing stories and excellent quality musicianship!! LONG LIVE THE KING!! and LONG LIVE METAL!!!!"
True Gothic Metal
gheceam | La Jolla, California USA | 11/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To me there is no more gothic minded person than King Diamond. In the tradition of gothic artists: Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelly, Bram Stoker... King Diamond is the modern empitamy of what gothic really means. A song like "At the Graves" would make H.P. Lovecraft shiver. This album is wonderful as all of King Diamond's albums are, because King through his music has become the modern gothic story teller of our time. If you love gothic horror, or even horror in general pick up any King Diamond album, that catches your fancy. And listen, you might even learn something. The man is as intellectual as they come. Gothic Metal with a brain, that is what King Diamond performs."