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The Best of King Diamond

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Album Review

It was high time someone took a crack at assembling a collection of King Diamond's greatest hits, and with the arrival of 2003's Best of King Diamond, that day has finally come — almost. Problem is, the Danish heavy metal icon's records were distributed by various different record companies, making the compilation of a definitive and career-spanning set wholly impossible. Furthermore, because Mr. Diamond has excelled at the artistry of the full-fledged concept album, extracting individual songs — however memorable they may be — from their original storyline frameworks will always pose a problem due to what contextual details are inevitably lost in translation. Having said all that, Best of King Diamond provides a tight and economical snapshot from King Diamond's first five (many would say best) albums. 1986's transitory debut, Fatal Portrait is the only non-concept L.P. among those featured here, and songs like "The Candle," "Charon," and "Halloween" still bear traces of his previous work with Mercyful Fate. Up next, the surprisingly humorous oddity that was an early single, "No Presents for Christmas" affords a final curious aside before we arrive at the prime real estate epitomized by the more conceptual albums. This comprises choice material ("A Mansion in Darkness," "the Family Ghost," etc.) scooped out of the landmark haunted house story Abigail, as well as its like-minded, but increasingly uninspired and repetitive-sounding successors. The two-album saga of Them and Conspiracy tenders some fine cuts in the likes of "Welcome Home," "The Invisible Guests," and "Sleepless Nights," while the far less satisfying Eye (tellingly, not followed by another King Diamond record until five years later) coughs up a pair of respectable entries for good measure. Even when and if subsequent efforts are eventually represented in a "greatest-hits" set of their own, this fine release should remain an ideal introduction to the bizarre and idiosyncratic work of King Diamond.


Born: 14 June 1956 in Copenhagen, Denmark

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Widely regarded as the finest vocalist in all of metal (who possesses a multi-octave range), theatrical rocker King Diamond first rose to prominence as a member of Mercyful Fate before launching a solo career on his own. Born Kim Bendix Petersen in Denmark on June 14, 1956, the future King Diamond was originally drawn to theatrically based hard rock due to such trailblazers as Alice Cooper, and soon began fronting local bands in the '70s, including a punk metal outfit called the Brats. Shortly thereafter,...
Full Bio
The Best of King Diamond, King Diamond
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  • $17.99
  • Genres: Metal, Music, Rock
  • Released: 15 September 2003

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