“The Spider’s Lullabye” (deluxe edition) by King Diamond

Artist: King Diamond
Title: “The Spider’s Lullabye” (deluxe edition)
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 11/27/2015
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 3.5/5

The 2014 return to full touring activity by the great King Diamond has found not only scores of his appearances breaking venue records in attendance but also a growing number of new fans to his musical body of work. In 1995 he offered up his first album on Metal Blade Records with “The Spider’s Lullabye” and this would not be a full concept album as he was known for doing in the past. The recording was remastered and re-released back in 2009 and was discussed on this website along with its companion re-issues. 2015 finds this recording being re-issued anew with a few bonus demo tracks and since my thoughts on the main body of work remain the same I am refreshing reader memory below. I’ll be back to discuss the bonus tracks afterward. Let’s continue.

“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 a while. Musically this is on point as longtime 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”.”

“The second half of the recording covers the actual “Spider’s Lullabye” theme, and this is a simple tale of a man cursed by spiders, or feeling that he is cursed by them, and how his arachnophobia sends him to treatment and eventually to …… oh wait, that would be ruining the surprise now wouldn’t it. You’ll just have to read the accompanying booklet to get the full inside scoop your own for this one. There are a few photos of King and the various members of the band but it’s nothing super to speak of based on the overall number of them. Upon the CD’s completion you will truly be happy to have added it to your existing King Diamond portion of the music library and if you’ve already owned the original, well you can always pass that one on to a young up and coming Metal fan that is in need of some schooling by the master. My favorite track from this part of the album is the sometimes sludgy brooding of “To The Morgue” as this finds King playing with a number of different feels for the maximum effect. Welcome to Metal Blade Records King Diamond. We’re sending that wish out now since we weren’t reviewing CD’s when he first signed on and since this is a re-issue of that first go round why not offer up some compliments as well.”

That brings us onto the Deluxe Edition of the release and its three demo track offerings. I breezed through these tunes and while I felt it was nice to have them didn’t really think that it would merit my hunting for a physical copy of this album on the shelves. Let’s face it, nowadays you are only going to find this stuff online and the new generation of listeners are doing everything in the digital sense. For me these tracks are things that I would only listen to once as I am not the biggest fan of the pre-production demos unless they come from bands like KISS, Maiden, Type O Negative or maybe the late great Dio at this point in my life. I’m quite satisfied with the final outcome on most records and while these are nice to see some of the process that King Diamond and his core creatives go through to build the album ready track it’s all a once go round for me. As with the original remaster of the album this comes packaged in a slim digipak case and the booklet appears to be the very same as with the original issue. This is for the absolute diehard fan that needs every version of something more than one looking for an upgrade. If you don’t own it at all for some reason, then please proceed to the checkout line.

Track Listing:
1. From The Other Side
2. Killer
3. The Poltergeist
4. Dreams
5. Moonlight
6. Six Feet Under
7. The Spider’s Lullabye
8. Eastmann’s Cure
9. Room 17
10. To The Morgue
11. From The Other Side (demo)
12. The Spider’s Lullabye (demo)
13. Dreams (demo)

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

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