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King Diamond - 'Dreams Of Horror' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 17, 2015    
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A wonderful collection.

Since the initial dissolution of Mercyful Fate way back in 1985, glass shattering screamer and gravelly voiced ghoul King Diamond has been a massively influential force in the Metal world; the man with the painted face constantly creating intricate horror/concept albums, the like of which are all the rage now. 'Dreams Of Horror' is the first compilation to bring together selections from each of his twelve solo releases and cover the two record labels he's been involved with. Hence things are neatly split into an eleven track "Roadrunner" disc ('Fatal Portrait' (1986) to 'The Eye'(1990)) and twelve track Metal Blade disc ('The Spider's Lullaby' (1995) to 'Give Me Your Soul...Please'(2007)) which makes for a remarkably engaging chronological overview of KD's excellent solo offerings.

While '...Portrait' was billed as the first solo KD album, the very fact that fellow MF members Michael Denner (guitar) and Timi Hansen (bass) also featured, reaffirmed that it was actually the desire of guitarist Hank Shermann to seek pastures new which caused the band to split; Shermann going on to form the Melodic Rock-tastic Fate. However, even though the line-up was completed by guitarist Andy LaRocque and drummer Mikkey Dee (Motorhead) expectations were that 'Fatal...' would simply be an extension of Diamond's previous outfit. Admittedly the 'Fatal...' pair of 'The Candle' and 'Dressed In White' do bear a resemblance, however it was also immediately clear that Diamond was going to follow his own, more sophisticated Metal destiny. Next up was the album 'Abigail', arguably the strongest of all KD's offerings; the pair of 'The Family Ghost' and 'Black Horseman' still striking a fantastic balance between theatrical horror story and bristling Metallic riffs.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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With Denner and Hansen then departing, Diamond and LaRocque became constants in a revolving door of musicians and yet whether through the 'The Invisible Guest' from 'Them', 'Waiting' from 'The Graveyard', or 'Never Ending Hill' from '...Please', the quality never dips and, in general, the attack stays remarkably unmistakable. Latter contributions such as 'Black Devil' and 'Help!!!', both from 2000's 'House Of God', do hit with a grittier, harder force, yet with LaRocque's superb solos and Diamond's characteristically high pitched wail, there could never be any doubt as to who this was.

One of the key factors behind 'Dreams Of Horror' was the opportunity for both singer and guitarist to improve the sound across all of the tracks included and I have to say they've done a magnificent job, the clarity and power adding a hefty wallop to the remarkable vocals and memory snagging riffs.

Having suffered a heart attack in 2010, it has been too long since the last King Diamond studio offering (seven years), however hopefully a number of recent festival appearances and now this wonderful collection signal an end to that silence. In the meantime revel in this superb album and hail the true King of Horror Metal. Sweet dreams...

Steven Reid

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