“Live At The Black Lodge” by Queen Diamond

Artist: Queen Diamond
Title: “Live at the Black Lodge”
Label: Independant
Release Date: 7/1/2008
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: Good

The coverage of Metal tributes in terms of bands or releases that have been doled out are not generally the forte or focus over on PiercingMetal.com because there are just too many of them to address. Let’s face it and be brutally honest here and also line out that more than half of them are dreadful little undertakings with little to offer any fan of the band that they are emulating. That being said, I had some stirring of actual excitement when the DVD for Queen Diamond’s “Live at the Black Lodge” arrived for me to enjoy. Luckily, I have had some experience with the band as I had witnessed a set of their music when Beatallica performed at the Highline Ballroom last September. Before I continue on let me educate the readers and say that Queen Diamond is the all-girl tribute to the music and morbid majesty of Mercyful Fate’s former front man King Diamond. Based on this fact anyone who would be able to witness the band would automatically have some expectations about what would come from them in concert. At this show I found them musically on par with the band they were emulating and lead singer, the Queen herself, was made up in the same sinister face paint that King sported night after night. My reservation about the appearance was the complete lack of props and theatrics, so this DVD video really was piquing my interest. The group is made up of members from the Paul Green School Of Rock, and should you want more information about them we have provided a link for you to do that research later. This piece of internet copy is about the DVD and now let’s dig into it.

The film finds the girls delivering the entire classic album of “Abigail”, which everyone knows to be quite the signature piece from the King’s repertoire. The reputation of the albums songs makes this quite the daunting piece of music to re-deliver since everyone knows it and there are those fans out there who can recite it to you line for line. Fortunately, the ladies go to great extents to do it justice. What appealed to me right away was noticing how dramatic the stage setup had been since areas of it looked like a castle while the front had a small black gate between the band and the audience. Good call ladies, for King Diamond is as much about the atmosphere as it is about the music. They continued to impress me after the cryptic opening with the small coffin onstage as the Queen appears with the doll of Abigail in her hands as she lines out how the evil child must be extinguished. When she begins to sing she manages to get your attention by doing the same vocal style as the King (the regular voice and the high pitched falsetto) but I was truly blown away by the fact that she had made up the same femur bone microphone holder. Now that is paying attention to detail. Kudos Queen. The triple guitar displays by Cox, Thrower and Gleason was on the money. I couldn’t detect any mishaps and the lead work when the time came around for it seemed superb but I really didn’t expect any less from students from the SoR enterprise. The band did seem to have a new bassist this time around but she didn’t get a lot of screen time and this issue sadly seemed to happen to Ms. Cox as well since her gear was on that side of the stage. That was a shame since I have seen her perform at a couple of other shows and she cooks. We did however get to enjoy many screen shots of drummer Kaleen Reading. This girl is GOOD my friends and seems to be able to handle the Mikkey Dee stuff without a problem. I like that she reminds you that drums are not only a male instrument. All of the guitar players display wonderful levels of technique during the show and pretty much stick to the task at hand but of the three of them, Gina Gleason seems to make a little extra time with some Metal faces and singing along as the tunes speed by. Clearly this girl is into the project and wants you all to know about it.

The audience responds in kind to each and every tracks which had to feel good to the girls up on the stage. The space they were set up on was very tight so as result there was not a whole lot of overall movement outside of the Queen stalking back and forth. Tonight they would also be joined by a lone male presence in Foster Longo who did the keyboards. He was not present when I caught them in NYC and I am unsure if he is a fulltime member of the group. The sound on the video is nice and clear as are the visuals which only suffer from the limited angles they were done from. Despite this, it is crystal clear throughout. Given this material is copy written and that licensing is probably expensive for it I am not sure how anyone would be able to get this DVD for their own. Yet, I am sure that copies will be tossed into the crowd at shows for those lucky fans to snare one and enjoy it at home. If you should find that there are shows in your area be sure to check them out as they give you their all and that is excellent in my book. The only downside I found on the film was that they did not offer up a couple of encores from the other King Diamond releases as their closers. That would have made it a perfect affair bar none. Good job ladies nonetheless, we wish you success in the continuation of the endeavor.

Queen Diamond Is: Teddi Tarnoff (vocals), Gina Gleason (guitar), Allie Thrower (guitar), Courtney Cox (guitar), Ashley Smith (bass), Kaleen Reading (drums), and Foster Longo (keyboards).

Track Listing:
1. Funeral
2. Arrival
3. A Mansion In Darkness
4. The Family Ghost
5. The 7th Day of July 1777
6. Omens
7. The Possession
8. Abigail
9. Black Horsemen

Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/QueenDiamondBand

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