01) Fatal Portrait (1986)
So yeah, I’m creating some controversy here, but it’s not for controversy’s sake. Fatal Portrait bridges Mercyful Fate to King Diamond flawlessly. While it’s clear there’s no Hank Shermann, Andy LaRocque comes in and takes King in a more nuanced direction. Some might say that LaRocque made King’s compositions a bit more “mass market” – which is true. Of course, in 1986, there’s nothing “mass market” about a guy wearing inverted crosses on his face.
While today’s audiences might not appreciate the significance of cover art – Fatal Portrait stuck out. A blonde, Scandinavian woman looking right at you on the cover – consumed in a fire – with some sort of witch-like head covering. The flip side of the cover – a ghastly looking King Diamond with a goat skull and a cape. You didn’t hear any of these songs on the radio, and there was no video out there. This meant there was some mystery around this release – some intrigue. And if you had the guts to buy it without hearing it, you were so well rewarded.
Key Tracks: The Candle, The Jonah, Halloween
Check out the playlist of our favorite King Diamond songs:
Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus will have a Song For the Dead DVD release party on February 6th. For details, go to this location.