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King Diamond: Live Photos @ Tuska Open Air (6/28/2013)

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This past Summer one of PiercingMetal’s staunchest advocates attended the Tuska Open Air Festival in Helskinki, Finland. King Diamond was among the many acts performing and Samuel offered up his images to the website to entertain their Metal minds. Check them out below and while sharing is caring, these may not be altered or published elsewhere without our direct permission. Enjoy.

king diamond, king diamond concert photos, tuska open air festival

king diamond, king diamond concert photos, tuska open air festival
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“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.
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“Live In Concert 1987: Abigail” by King Diamond

Artist: King Diamond
Title: “Live In Concert 1987”
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release Date: 12/1/1990
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 3/5

While this release was remastered a few years ago, my review words are about the previous and hence now unavailable issue of the album. That being said it’s the only one that I own and since I’ve heard the remastering can say that it was not sonically different enough for me to purchase. The King Diamond album “In Concert 1987: Abigail” was originally released by Roadrunner Records back in the days when they were called Roadracer and it captures a very “raw” sounding King Diamond set during the “Abigail” tour. Let’s face it, back in those days we didn’t find a lot of money really being tossed at groups like this and recordings were generally a few well placed microphones and a recorder on the soundboard. In the end you got what you got and had to run with it. With this recording I will say that despite its shortcomings how it is fantastic to have a full live set of King Diamond from the tour for what was to become one of his seminal albums. “Abigail” was the singer’s second album as a solo performer, but also his very first concept album and one that would set the ball rolling in how his musical presentation would continue. Since this was for the “Abigail” tour, the strongest focus of the material was from this album. As it was early in the King’s career I kind of expected a little bit more from his Mercyful Fate tenure but we only get the one tune in “Come To The Sabbath” which is slid in just after the show begins. We also get a couple of numbers from the singer’s debut album “Fatal Portrait” which was something I expected. For those who love the solos on live albums we find two with Andy LaRoque’s guitar solo and Mikkey Dee’s drum solo. Both of these are solid in terms of their technical delivery but there is just something that bores me about listening to these kinds of solos on albums these days as opposed to seeing them in the actual concert. Since I did not see King Diamond way back then I was able to deal with it.
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“The Graveyard” (remaster) by King Diamond

Artist: King Diamond
Title: “The Graveyard” (remaster)
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 10/13/2009
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

Continuing the remastered editions of the King Diamond catalog that were released under the Metal Blade Records banner comes the 1996 recording of “The Graveyard” and remaining true to form the King weaves a tale that both horrifies and compels the listener as it plays out. I admit that I paid little mind to this release when it first came about and enjoyed the fact that I was listening to it with what I felt were fresh ears with this version. The story told across the span of the album is that of the King character who works for an evil boss that is caught molesting his daughter. The King’s outrage and pointing out of this activity finds him declared mad and locked away in a sanitarium. I guess he should have expected this when accusing the mayor of such an insidious deed. In time the King escapes and is now officially mad and a resident of the local graveyard where he becomes a living spook or ghoul in some respect and kills unsuspecting passers by as he plots the demise of the mayor who locked him away so long ago. The two eventually meet and to know the full story you will just have to listen for yourself. We don’t plan on spoiling the end of the movie for you in these words that’s for sure.
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“The Spider’s Lullabye” (remaster) by King Diamond

Artist: King Diamond
Title: “The Spider’s Lullabye” (remaster)
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 10/13/2009
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 3.5/5

Freshly remastered by guitarist/producer Andy LaRoque, King Diamond’s 1995 opus “The Spider’s Lullabye” comes at us for another attack. It’s interesting to listen to this particular album some fourteen years later as it’s quite different from what fans of the King had grown used to him delivering, and it was also the first album to be released on his then new label Metal Blade Records. Some felt this release was the weakest offering that the King had delivered and in one sense I can agree that it is not as strong as your “Them” or “Abigail” recordings, but those are very, very hard to top when it comes down to it based on how they impacted the Heavy Metal genre and its use of Horror as a consistent genre for source material. When you play the remastered edition you will quickly realize that “The Spider’s Lullabye” is not a timid release in any shape or form, but it is different in how it begins because it starts up by offering up several small stories as opposed to one centralized theme that runs a full album. Perhaps the hardcore fans expect Mr. Diamond to only release full stories and never experiment with his own musical ideas every once in awhile. Musically this is on point as long time collaborator Andy LaRoque is in place and with subject matter that involves ghosts, serial murderers and being buried alive one can see that the switch to Metal Blade from Roadrunner Records did not find the King dulling his senses or skill at things macabre. My favorites from this part of the recording are “The Poltergeist” and “Six Feet Under”.
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