Just over a week ago, I shared the news about Metal Blade Records releasing two of King Diamond’s earliest classics. If you missed that announcement just click HERE to be up to date. Earlier, the label announced four more and you can read all about it down below.
The Press Release:
Next month, King Diamond will release CD and LP versions of the classic albums “Conspiracy” (May 1st), “Them” (May 1st), “The Eye” (May 15th), and “In Concert 1987” (May 15th) via Metal Blade Records. The vinyl editions feature spined sleeves with an insert and download card; the CDs contain a mini-LP CD-insert with a small fold-out poster.
King Diamond adds, “These are not remasters. These are the albums as they were originally done in the old days from the original production masters. They retain all the original dynamics that were captured at the time. It’s very exciting to present these to fans as they were originally released.”
Artist: King Diamond Title: “A Dangerous Meeting” Label: Roadrunner Records Release Date: 10/6/1992 Genre: Heavy Metal/Dark Metal Rating: 4.5/5
You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but both Mercyful Fate and King Diamond are two of the most imposing bands that the Heavy Metal world ever had sharing their dark thoughts with. Of course the two are very connected since the King was Fate’s singer before branching out on his own as a solo performer and while the original band’s world was a very Satanic and dark place to wander, the material that King would present expanded into numerous other sinister realms that were just as horrifying. With this in mind the compilation release from 1992 entitled “A Dangerous Meeting” takes some crucial Mercyful Fate tracks and then leaves the rest to the King Diamond releases of the time. We get a small sample of three of the Mercyful Fate tunes including material from their EP and while some time is paid to their seminal “Melissa” album the title tune itself is not here for the listener’s enjoyment and that was a shame. At seven tunes across two and a half powerful full releases this is only a teaser when it comes down to it. Fans are advised to pick up “Melissa” and “Don’t Break The Oath” to properly indulge in all of the bands original malevolent majesty. Continue reading “A Dangerous Meeting” by King Diamond→
Artist: King Diamond Title: “Give Me Your Soul….Please” Label: Metal Blade Records Release Date: 6/26/2007 Genre: Heavy Metal Rating: 3.5/5
It’s been four years since he delivered the truly terrifying “Puppetmaster” and now the Master of Horror Metal is back with sinister purpose Yes King Diamond has returned with “Give Me Your Soul…Please”, an album that once again paints a dismal picture of mankind’s actions against one another and places the tale to energetic Heavy Metal music. The story this time around is that of two children who were brutally murdered by their father and while this sad occurrence is something that we read about far too frequently in today’s world, the King presents an even eerier twist on the horrific event. You see the deceased girl is trying to get her brothers soul into Heaven because he was wrongly sent to Hell. The only way that she can do this is by getting another one to replace his own and her perfect candidate for the not so cozy Underworld apartment is just as you guessed it – King Diamond’s immortal soul. It sounds like quite the tale and while it makes for some interesting reading as far as the lyrics go, I did not find myself as gripped by it as I was finding with “Puppetmaster”. That album sent chills through the spines of many Metal heads and had them squirming in their seats as they listened to every bone-chilling track. Continue reading “Give Me Your Soul….Please” by King Diamond→
Artist: Force Of Evil Title: “Black Empire” – deluxe edition Label: Escapi Music Release Date: 7/18/2006 Genre: Heavy Metal Rating: 4.5/5
Force Of Evil is a kick ass Heavy Metal band formed under the direction of Hank Shermann (master shredder for the one and only Mercyful Fate). Shermann built the group along with the help of long-time musical partner Michael Denner, Bjarne Holm, Hal Patino and vocalist Martin Steen; “Black Empire” would be their second full-length recording. “Black Empire” found a more mature sound than was present on the bands debut effort the self-titled “Force Of Evil”. Their use of Horror themese, based on the bands overall love of the genre, especially Steen made this a killer Metal effort, not often found to be the case on a bands Sophomore effort. Since this album has already been reviewed elsewhere on the site, I would like to dig a little deeper into the release of the Special Deluxe Edition. In addition to the original release that arrived in late 2005, the band offers three extra inclusions to enjoy. There are two live recordings which show you how good the band sounds in this setting and actually this is a little bit of a tease for me. The band also released the live DVD “Evil Comes Alive” and to be honest they should have just delivered this concert as an audio CD bonus with the deluxe edition. A mere two tracks is hardly cause for celebration. There is also a video for the song “Back To Hell”, but since this is an enhanced CD, you have to watch where you play it. Not all DVD’s run this stuff and you are better off watching it in your computer. The booklet in the original release was extensive with both artwork and lyrics to the song, this has not been tampered with and remains the exact same as does the overall cover art. The main difference in the packaging is the cardboard slipcase that the disc case slides into. I expected the liner notes to be a little more up to date, or to include different photos to enjoy of the band on top of what was previously issued. Continue reading “Black Empire” (deluxe edition) by Force Of Evil→
Artist: King Diamond Title: “The Puppet Master” Label: Metal Blade Records Release Date: 10/21/2003 Genre: Heavy Metal Rating: 8/10
It only took me a couple of listens to King Diamond’s “The Puppet Master” to convince me of his being the Stephen King of Heavy Metal music. King is not only fearsome in his appearance but also with the stories he weaves from deep within his dark mind. For years he has given us tales of horror and villainy and with “The Puppet Master” we find him telling perhaps the scariest tale of them all. To sum up the story this time around King sings to us about an insidious Puppeteer who along with his wife uses real people as puppets to entertain audiences and make their money. King is the central character in this “play” that falls prey to the evil couple. One surely needs to read the lyric book along with this piece for it is very well thought out and delivered from beginning to end. Joining the King as his lineup for the recording are Mike Wead (Guitar), Matt Thompson (drums), Hal Patino (bass), and Andy LaRoque (guitar). Livia Zita joins in on background vocals and she adds a wonderful aspect to the music. I feel this is the strongest lineup that he has assembled in many years and this is also the second full recording that this same lineup has worked on. Continue reading “The Puppet Master” by King Diamond→