Artist: "King Diamond"
Album: "Best Of King Diamond"
Label: Roadrunner Records
Reviewer: 10,000 Volt Ghost
Review: In 2001 Roadrunner Records decided to release a best of King Diamond’s solo work. This is kind of true. The album itself is a compilation of various King Diamond songs but obviously only of the releases on Roadrunner records. If you are a fan of guitar Solos, high pitched singing, haunting lyrics and more guitar solos then you need to get this.
The Best Of is a good reference if you want to check out some of The King’s songs from different earlier albums but it also loses some of its charm listening to them on this. Most of Diamond’s solo records contain a story for each album that each song delves into more. So each song on here is kind of like taking some really good chapters from different books and throwing them into one bigger book. Enjoyable as they still are, it is better to listen to them with the accompanying album itself.
On that note we can start getting into the songs on the album themselves. Be warned though. If you easily get headaches from nails on a chalkboard or tires screeching loudly you might only be able to listen to a few tracks at a time. For the majority of his songs King Diamond uses a Falsetto pitch while singing that can turn some people immediately off from the rest of his work.
The first song Candle starts off with a long keyboard instrumental that is pretty haunting and has some demonic sounding chanting. About a minute into it the keyboard gets a bit more intense then it kicks into the actual song. Candle is also the lead song on the first King Diamond record Fatal Portrait so it’s kind of fitting to start this compilation off the same way. Although like I mentioned before you’ll start getting some pieces of the story of Candle but you’ll have to listen to the rest of Fatal Portrait to see what happens.
The next song is Charon which is about the ferryman of the river Styx. This song is okay. You’ll of course need a coin in your mouth to get to track 3 this century though. Since October 31st is coming up I advise you strongly to do so.
Song 3 is of course "Halloween", which is the reason I chose to do this review. Although this Halloween doesn’t have “Bonfires burning bright” or “Pumpkin faces in the night” you’ll still remember this Halloween for sure. Diamond’s Halloween starts off with:
"Every night to me is Halloween
Like an Ancient Scene
Halloweeeeeeeeeen. You are my Priiiiide.
Halloweeeeeeeeeen. Not just a Dreeeaamm.
The moon is full, another perfect day has began. Like a demon's eye, that devil's eye.
Will we ever die?"
We might die but not before an awesome guitar solo kicks in.
Following up Halloween is King Diamond’s first song release as a solo artist which is No presents for Christmas. It sounds like a metal Christmas song which should be expected but I don’t know why these songs follow each other. Halloween before Christmas I guess.
Arrival, a Mansion in Darkness, The Family Ghost and Abigail all come from K.D’s second release Abigail. This makes sense to group them together as they tell the story of a couple who inherit a mansion, seven horsemen, a stillborn child and an evil about to be reborn. Abigail is the stand out track on here. It starts out with some awesome guitar work that almost sounds Egyptian and completes the Abigail saga on this comp. When I was writing this I was trying to remember what else this group of songs contained and then I remembered. MORE AWESOME GUITAR SOLOS!
Next up is Welcome Home which I’m sure most people are familiar with whether they know it or not. If you’ve seen Clerks 2 then you heard King Diamond a few times during it. The most memorable sequence is when Jeff Anderson and Jason Mewes sing “Welcome Home” in the Mooby’s diner to Trevor Fehrman over the loud speaker. The bass line and drum work stand alone on this song but once again there are more awesome guitar solo’s.
There are still a few gems left on here but definitely check out At The Graves because it has tremendous guitar work and umm…….more sweet guitar solo’s.
You can also check out King Diamond on Guitar Hero: Metallica doing some cool singing animations. Instead of having any King Diamond songs on the game though he’ll sing for a band called Mercyful Fate…….whoever they are. KD also does some voice work for a Brendon Small show that’s on some kind of swim network too.
In closing whether your using this as background music to a haunted house room(which you should) or your driving in a panel van with the windows down in the middle of the night with the volume all the way up(which you should also do) this is a great album. I’d like to give it a higher rating but it only has the releases from the Roadrunner years on it.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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