King Diamond-Give me your soul...please
King Diamond returns with his first album in four long years. There are a couple things that you can always seem to count on from a King Diamond album. The vocals will generally have lots of frantic changes, the guitar work of Andy LaRocque will largely be stellar and there will be some odd horror story theme. All of the above apply to the new album, but there is plenty more as well. For the vocals, it seems that King either doesn't or can't do the falsetto he once pulled out fairly often. However, he still delivers a mighty performance and keeps going steady as he always has. Andy LaRocque and Mike Wead are playing on their third album together and seem to be a pretty good team and feed off of each other nicely. There are many times here where they just seem to peel off riff after riff yet they make it sound so effortlessly seamless. The rhythm section of drummer Matt Thompson and bass player Hal Patino handle their duties well and keep the pace alive. Honestly, I have always been fairly indifferent with the lyrics on a King Dimaond album. If it doesn't detract from the music then it really doesn't concern me that much. However, this story does have a young girl, a picture and some type of haunting which means all topics that King has done before although not all on the same album. Considering the amount of albums the artists involved here have done, it's fairly fresh and creative yet still very much in the realm of classic styled metal. So many artists who started in the 1980's now seem to either reach to far or have run have out steam and ideas. It's obvious that this band certainly has not fallen into either of those traps. Still there was something that nagged at me during the first time I listened to it and it took me a few subsequent spins to put my finger on the problem. Finally it came me, the production is different on many of the songs. It's slightly stripped down and many of the songs lack the richness that I am so accustomed to hearing from King Diamond. A few of the tracks have that thick sound present, but several of them seem to have been robbed of some of the luster that many of the previous albums had. Overall I would say this in the top half of King Diamond's albums. King Diamond fans will likely find quite a bit to enjoy on this album.