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King Diamond - The Puppet Master

=Staff's pick

The Puppet Master *
Blue Eyes *
The Ritual *
No More Me
Blood To Walk
So Sad
Living Dead

Genre Heavy Metal
King Diamond
Tracks 12
Andy LaRocque
Runningtime 56 Min.
Mike Wead
Label Massacre
Hal Patino
Release 29 Oct. 2003
Matt Thompson
Country Denmark
Similar artists Mercyful Fate

An introduction of the corpse-painted dude from Denmark is probably unnecessary, he has been around for quite a while now and if not passed me by never really caught my attention before. I have heard both King Diamond and Mercyful Fate earlier and my judgement has always been that the music is really great or at least good but what is up with their singer. Now I of course knows that there wouldn't be neither M.F. or K.D. without King Diamond himself and he nevertheless has the ability to write songs that has been high in quality and in some cases can be considered classic metal songs among some people.

After the intro Midnight the album kicks off with the title track and the voice from the king is more held back than what could be expected, and that continues throughout the album more often than what I'm used to hear. It is a clear inspiration from the classic eighties metal that gets delivered here and it is hard for me to not draw similarities to old-school Accept and other bands from that era. The Puppet Master is successful in that way that there some good moods created within the music but on the other hand the biggest problem according to me is that the material isn't strong enough. Twelve tracks that are no better than just good and after a while it gets a bit boring, it feels like there is something essential missing, like there is no real depth in the music. The songs simply don't seem to get stuck with me, after listening to the entire album it leaves me untouched, with exception for the guitars and The Ritual, if only more songs could have been like this one.

The Puppet Master is a concept album about a man that unwillingly becomes a puppet within the hands of the puppet master, a good horror story that I think could actually turn out well as a horror movie. Don't know if it is because of that fact that I start to think about the old horror master himself, Alice Cooper while listening, or because King Diamond at those times with an held back voice at best reminds me of Alice's voice?
When he hold back his voice it gets actually quite enjoyable but when he kicks in those vocals that are high on the scale at the same time that it sometimes seem to crack, I get no pleasure whatsoever by listening, the neutered vocals simply gets too much for me after a while.

What gives me the most pleasure with The Puppet Master is the guitar-works, Mike Wead (Memento Mori, Abstrakt Algebra) and Andy LaRocque sure knows how to keep my interest up through out the album with some serious great guitar-playing. Classic eighties guitar playing and riffing that holds some really nice lines in it and harmony-parts that are really great, perhaps nothing extraordinary but great with its simplicity, those elements is what I chose to cling on to from The Puppet Master. Andy LaRocque is also involved in the production, and no wonder considering that he is running a studio called Los Angered in Sweden located outside of Gothenburg and has produced bands like: Evergrey, Falconer, Morifade, Lord Belial, Illwill and Ironware among others.

Finally after giving this album a fair chance my attitude towards King Diamond remains the same, really good music but the vocals is just mostly too much for me.






4 chalices of 10 - Thomas

This is not the strongest album by King Diamond, but still a pretty solid album consisting reliable straight heavy metal by Mr. Diamond, and he is actually singing a bit better than before, meaning not that high pitched all the time. There is overall good and heavy riffing, but the song writing perhaps leaves a bit more to wish for. It never really lifts extremely high, but is still enjoyable because of a few more heavier, moodier songs which works well. //Tommy (7 of 10)

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