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King Diamond - Deadly Lullabyes

=Staff's pick

Mansion In Darkness*
Family Ghost*
Black Horsemen
Spare This Life
Mansion In Sorrow
Sorry Dear
Eye Of The Witch
Sleepless Nights
Puppet Master
Blood To Walk*
So Sad
Living Dead
Welcome Home
Invisible Guests*
No Presents For Christmas

Genre Heavy Metal
King Diamond
Tracks 20
Andy LaRocque
Runningtime 82 Min.
Mike Wead
Label Massacre Records
Hal Patino
Release 21 Sept. 2004
Matt Thompson
Country Denmark/USA
Similar artists Mercyful Fate

I am writing this review without previously having heard especially much of King Diamond. I have heard the classic Abigail and the latest The Puppet Master and a few bits and pieces here and there over the years from his other works, and I have also see him live on one occasion. I have liked what I have heard even though I have not been going over the top from the sound and the vocals. But after this album I am starting to become somewhat of a fan.

The concept of live albums has over the past 10 years lost most of its charm. Mainly due to the fact that they are so polished and perfect, with overdubs and vocal enhancements in absurdum. The explosion on the dvd market has of course also contributed to this since there we get the same musical package but also the visual aspect and in a lot of cases a lot of extra material such as behind the scenes and interviews. In this time of age it would be inconceivably naive to think that live albums aren't in some way digitally enhanced, Everyone is doing it to some extent so I am not going to go any further into that but instead settle with establishing that this album has a great, to not say impeccable, sound. Clear, heavy and rich sound landscape but still with the genuine live feeling intact. This album was by the way recorded 2003 during the US leg of the Puppet Master tour.

Take away the audience and this could very well pass for a studio album any day of the week, but it still has a good live acoustic to it which saves it from being sterile and stiff in its approach. There is a very nice atmosphere and the roar from the crowd is constantly present and they interact good in every refrain and other passages.

Having become a King Diamond appreciator only the past years, I have just realised what a treasure chest of songs this man sits on. Hit after hit is being lined up here and the tempo and intensity is really good. As mentioned, the overall production is great and add to that the fact that Mr. Diamond's vocals are better than on any studio album (more powerful and slightly lower pitched) and you can see where my high grades come from.

There are a few pace and mood killers (Spirits, Sleepless Nights, So Sad) but the lion share of this is a showcase in high energy, good tempo and variation in character of the songs which helps keeping the interest on top through out the album. This is an album that definitely has its place in the cd rack at every fan of classic and well played heavy metal.

See also review of: The Puppet Master






8,5 chalices of 10 - Tommy

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