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Along with Them and Conspiracy, a Must-Have
on June 12, 2000
Abigail is my favorite King Diamond record. To me, there are three essential King Diamond records: Abigail, Them, and Conspiracy. These three records comprise some of the best metal recorded in the late 80s. It's hard to put King Diamond, the band, in a category. This is metal for sure, but may not appeal to die-hard thrash/death/speed metal fans who shy away from melody and harmonies. That's not to say that this goes as far as Helloween or other such melodic-metal bands, but it's more towards that ballpark.
King Diamond, and these three records, work so well because of a perfect combination of great songwriting; inspired and extremely skillful playing; tight, well-rehearsed arrangements; and the chemistry and personality of the players. Mikkey Dee is one of the great unsung metal drummers. Andy LaRoque's hooks and flourishes are always a joy. Earlier and later King Diamond records suffer from the lack of at least one of these qualities, or from the lack of some of the personnel. Mikkey Dee, especially, is sorely missed in the post-Conspiracy era. The songwriting on the later records is lacking the great hooks of the Abigail/Them/Conspiracy triumverate (but, after 1990, songwriting for most metal bands changed in a way I did not like). Also, King's story conceptions on these three records have always seemed to me to be more inspired.
The bottom line is that there are plenty of people who are never going to like Kind Diamond. Either they're simply not into this kind of metal, or they can never get used to King's singing style. For my money, though, these three records are important, inspired, and a must-have.