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'The Spider's Lullabye'
(Metal Blade)
Release Date: 4th December 2015

Joe Geesin

joe geesin

king diamond

Now here's a vocalist who can hit the high notes, a banshee who can make a baritone out of Rob Halford.

Real name Kim Bendix Petersen, King Diamond is a Danish vocalist who came to fame as frontman for Mercyful Fate, a Black Metal band part of the first wave, influenced by progressive and hard rock.

His solo career fronting his eponymous band took off when Merciful Fate first split in 1985, and this 1995 album is classic KD, reissued here with several bonus cuts.

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Diamond played with several bands during the 70s, and while with Black Rose he developed his theatrical quasi-satanic stage persona, with make-up and costume to match.

The subsequent Punk Metal band The Brats would lead to Mercyful Fate in 1980 and a number of classic if brutal Metal albums followed, mixing Black and Speed Metal, showcasing Diamond's vocal range. Their debut 'Melissa' is a classic and renowned release of the genre.

His solo career took off in 1985, taking 2 members of Mercyful Fate with him. The band's debut, 'Fatal Portrait' released in 1986, featured guitarists Andy LaRocque and Michael Denner, bassist Timi Hansen (with Denner, formerly of Mercyful Fate) and drummer Mikkey Dee.

The album was well received and sold over 100,000 copies in the USA. Part of the album tells a short story too.

'Abigail, Them and Conspiracy' followed, building on previous successes, and all concept albums following dark and sometimes satanic themes. The sound would latterly be augmented by keyboards, some played by Diamond himself.

With Dee moving on Motörhead bound, 'The Eye' followed, then a compilation and a live album before Mercyful Fate reformed.

With both bands running side-by-side. King Diamond recorded this album, 'A Spider's Lyllabye' in 1994, released in 1995.

Alongside King Diamond (vocals / keyboards) and Andy LaBocque (guitars and keyboards) were guitarist Herb Simonsen, bassist Chris Estes and drummer Darrin Anthony.

Lyrically moving back from the concept to the short story format, the album kicks off with 'From The Other Side'. Machine-gun drums and blistering guitars, the song tells of a struggle with an out of body experience. Diamond shows off his vocal range with polish and power, from mid-range to near ultrasonic. There's some serious shred too.

'Killer', about a serial killer given the electric chair, is a chunky number with equally piercing vocals. The slower moments help the storytelling too.

In keeping with the dark feel and themes, 'The Poltergeist' kicks off quite atmospheric before building, the growls adding a conversation type feel to the story. The riffs and rhythms are as blistering as ever and the keyboards add to the gothic dimension.

'Dreams', a nightmare track, also mixes chunky rhythms with shred, changes of pace, and an album's worth of guitar solo in the one track. From 'Children Of The Damned' (Moonlight) to references to previous albums' concepts ('6 Feet Under'), the themes continue.

The title track itself kicks off a short story about arachnophobia and the sufferings of the protagonist, following his attempted cure in a psychiatric hospital and subsequent death.

Lyrically as enjoyable as frightening, the vocals and guitars follow suit well. King Diamond has influenced much Metal and Black Metal since.

The remastering is good, the sound is fantastic, but totally understandable that, although it is quite accessible within its genre, the shred and banshee vocals may be too much for many. That said, I was surprised how much I enjoyed this album.

The bonus tracks (demos) add nicely to the package.

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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