“A Dangerous Meeting” by King Diamond

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.

The King Diamond tracks span his first five albums and an EP and while it’s a healthy dose of nightmare inducing Metal based on the musicians albums all being themes and storylines, it’s a little tricky to digest as only a solitary tune or two from each recording. It’s best to view the selections as a sampler plate of the larger menu that is available. We start with his “Fatal Portrait” and complete the journey with “The Eye” as that was the latest Diamond album at the time of this release. Despite my reservation about that I will still admit that this is a solid group of choices that gives a new fan an idea of what to expect should they purchase an album by him. We get the King Diamond staple of “Abigail” and the thundering “Welcome Home”, the latter of which has some of the best Metal drumming I have ever enjoyed courtesy of Mikkey Dee. Fans will also notice how Diamond’s solo metal changed up the original game that he gave us in Fate. Yes the topics are still evil in nature but there was as much supernatural with ghosts, possessions and curses as there was a Satanic influence or theme. I always felt that King Diamond would have made a great Horror writer based on how interesting his tales were. They left you looking over your shoulder on a dark street and sending a chill up your spine with good reason after listening.

The release comes with a great booklet that covers a terrific amount of historical ground and the twenty two page insert gives you no less than 24 photos of the King, Mercyful Fate and the albums that are featured on the compilation. The only downside is that the cover is the only colored part of the booklet. Reading this gives you an amazing look into the bands beginnings and what led to the departure of King Diamond. Perhaps you own one or two releases from the pair and while this is really more a “let me get you into something” release, it is totally worth adding to your collection of Metal releases. I think I would like to see this re-released as an expanded issue with two CD’s and having each CD feature one band.

Track Listing:
1. Doomed By The Living Dead
2. A Corpse Without Soul
3. Evil
4. Curse Of The Pharaohs
5. A Dangerous Meeting
6. Gypsy
7. Come To The Sabbath
8. The Candle
9. Charon
10. Halloween
11. No Presents For Christmas
12. Arrival
13. Abigail
14. Welcome Home
15. Sleepless Nights
16. Eye Of The Witch

Official Website: http://www.kingdiamondcoven.com

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