Tag Archives: andy laroque

“No Presents For Christmas” (Single) by King Diamond

Artist: King Diamond
Title: “No Presents For Christmas” (Single)
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release Date: 12/25/1985
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

It was about a week ago that I shared my thoughts on the debut single from the upcoming live album by the legendary King Diamond which you can see HERE. Now, in the spirit of Christmas, I’m going to briefly discuss another single by Mr. Bendix and its one that not only came out more than thirty years ago but was also the very first single to introduce his new band to the people. I’m speaking of nothing other than that Heavy Metal holiday ditty “No Presents For Christmas”. If you’re a card-carrying Metalhead with some tenure behind themselves, I’m sure that you’ve heard this track and if not, its surely a bit of an odd treat. Let’s discuss a little bit deeper.
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“Sleepless Nights” (Live At The Fillmore) (Single) by King Diamond

Artist: King Diamond
Title: “Sleepless Nights” (Live At The Fillmore) (Single)
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 12/6/2018
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating:

The mighty King Diamond sure has been keeping busy once he was given the clean bill of health by the doctors and fans worldwide were able to celebrate his return to the live stage in droves after what I think amounted to a nine-year absence from doing so. When he brought the BIG stage to our regional shows, the fans clamored for a live concert release and in early 2019 we are going to get one as The King calls us to indulge in the album and video “Songs For The Dead: Live At The Fillmore In Philadelphia”. Just the other day we got our first taste of the upcoming release with “Sleepless Nights” which originally hailed from the “Conspiracy” album. Here are some quick thoughts about the tune in this presentation.
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King Diamond’s “Abigail” Hits Its Thirtieth (1987-2017)

Light the candles in the study as we open the arcane tomes in celebration of King Diamond’s sophomore album as a solo artist with the seminal work “Abigail”. An album that was released thirty years ago on this very day. It was the King’s second outing as I’ve noted but his first full length concept recording. He touched upon his sinister storytelling with “Fatal Portrait” on a few numbers but with “Abigail” a terrible tale was woven across each and every track. You can read more about the whole premise and the finer details down on the official Wikipedia entry as I always include them here.

At the time of the original release I must admit that I was not listening to much that King Diamond was dishing out. I was a very latecomer to Mercyful Fate and while some of their stuff intrigued me back then, I always felt it was a bit much for me and I leaned more towards the building Power Metal genre. It wouldn’t be until King’s “Them” album that I immersed myself more into his work. As I listened to the release once more for its anniversary, it’s amazing to find that it still holds up really well and still sends chills down your spine as the tale plays out. The whole album was written by King but guitarists Andy LaRoque and Michael Denner tossed their talents into a couple of tracks as well. The band was rounded out by bassist Timi Hansen and drummer Mikkey Dee. Andy and Dee would quickly become a lot of aspiring musicians favorites based on their his skillful playing. The King Diamond band was a quick lock for fans of the Mercyful Fate group based on that bands bassist Hansen and guitarist Denner being in the lineup with the King. Let’s take a look at the original track listing and then toss together our favorites.
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King Diamond’s “The Graveyard” Spends 20 Years In The Cold Damp Earth (1996-2016)

The weather outside is cold, dark, raining and pretty much chills you to the bone when it comes down to it and in all honesty that is the perfect setting on the 20th Anniversary of King Diamond’s concept album “The Graveyard”. This would be the first ever album by the King on the Massacre Records label and since I’ve already reviewed its remastered edition back when that came out in 2009, I will defer you to my thoughts on THIS LINK. Please check that out along with the Official Album Wiki entry at the close of these thoughts. I remembered liking it, but for me the best King Diamond stuff was his earliest efforts and I guess I feel that way since that was the music that found me getting interested in his brand of Macabre Metal in the first place. Take a few moments to review the tracks down below so you can recall your favorites if you had any on the album.

Track Listing:
1. Graveyard
2. Black Hill Sanitarium
3. Waiting
4. Heads On The Wall
5. Whispers
6. I’m Not A Stranger
7. Digging Graves
8. Meet Me At Midnight
9. Sleep Tight Little Baby
10. Daddy
11. Trick Or Treat
12. Up From The Grave
13. I Am
14. Lucy Forever
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King Diamond’s “Fatal Portrait” Still Gazing Intently At Thirty Years (1986-2016)

The colors on this dark oil painting remain vibrant if it should be observed in the light but that is not always the best setting for the works of the great King Diamond. The malevolence of his creations always seem to come to more sinister life if gazed upon in the shadows and with that being said I must announce that it was thirty years ago today that the world first looked upon the “Fatal Portrait” – the first solo album by King Diamond. Though I remembered seeing it on the shelves of a long shuttered record store named “The Little Record Store”, I didn’t purchase it since this was not really the kind of Metal I was following. Truth be told the King spooked me a little back then along with Fate so I stuck to what I felt was safer stuff like Maiden and Priest. Don’t worry about this admission as I caught on not too long after and made sure I was a quick study. I’ve snagged the albums overall plot from its official Wikipedia entry and it states

“Five songs on this album (first four and “Haunted”) form a short story. Narrator sees a face in “every candle that [he] burns”. This face speaks one word to him: “Jonah”. So he finds an old book, speaks a rhyme and frees the spirit from the candle. It’s the spirit of a little girl named Molly, who tells him her story, that happened seven years before. Mrs. Jane kept her 4-year-old daughter Molly in the attic until she (Molly) died. Before, Mrs. Jane painted Molly’s portrait and put it above the fireplace, so that Molly would become immortal; however, Molly made the portrait speak to her mother, so that Jane would know about Molly’s pain. Mrs. Jane then speaks a rhyme and burns the portrait. A free spirit of Molly returns to haunt her until she goes insane.”

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