Metal Insider contributor Anthony Maisano is listening to a different metal album that was released on that day every day this year.
After the breakup of Mercyful Fate, this was King Diamond’s second album after he decided to fly solo. This album gets some of the most IMMENSE praise I have ever seen an album get in the metal community. Like most King Diamond albums, this one is a concept album, and if you’re a story/lyrics type person, the story is extremely captivating. The riffs are quite strong too, and I’d expect no less from Andy LaRocque. I might even go as to say they’re stronger than a lot of his stuff with Mercyful Fate. The solos are also very fun. Of course, King’s out of control high shrieks are all across this album, and probably are stronger on this one than ever. The final track “The Black Horsemen” has a really cool, almost uplifting intro, to me that really sets the intro of that track apart.
One thing about King Diamond, is that he’s generally a love him or hate him vocalist because of those glass-shattering high-pitched shrieks. Regardless, I feel that those that don’t immediately love his vocal style take a LONG time if they ever come to like it. I’ve listened to enough King and Mercyful Fate myself that I’m pretty neutral on his vocals. I also must point out that the drums and bass are really doing nothing exciting. They really take a backseat to King and the guitars.
Favorite Tracks: “Arrival,” “The Family Ghost,” “Omens.”
Now, this is a really good album, of course. That really goes without saying. But…a perfect album? An album that gets nothing but universal praise, and will cause people to get dirty looks if it’s criticized at all? I don’t know if I’d go THAT far. I wouldn’t even call this album perfect, even just compared to everything else that was out in ’87. Is the album good? Absolutely. Is the album great? Sure. Is it flawless? I certainly wouldn’t go that far. Pick it up, regardless. There’s a ton of great material, unquestionably.