Abigail by King Diamond on Apple Music

13 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

One of the most well-planned and beloved concept albums in heavy metal history, King Diamond’s 1987 LP Abigail is in every way a cinematic experience. Composed entirely by King Diamond—the band’s vocalist and namesake—the narrative follows the story of Jonathan and Miriam, an 18th-century couple who inherit a mansion where a count once murdered his pregnant wife. The spirit of the unborn child, Abigail, eventually inhabits Miriam so she can be born again. Powered by the most dynamic playing of King Diamond’s career, each song represents a turn in this twisted but surprisingly gripping story. As lead singer, King adopts a range of voices to inhabit every character, while the masterful band constantly find ways to illustrate the atmosphere and build and release tension. In some concept albums, the story seems like a contrivance to string several unrelated songs together. Abigail is unique in that each song grows originally out of the story, giving the nine-song album an exhilarating and uninterrupted flow. (Four bonus tracks were added in 1997.) Few metal bands have ever been as in control of their sound as King Diamond are on this masterwork.

EDITORS’ NOTES

One of the most well-planned and beloved concept albums in heavy metal history, King Diamond’s 1987 LP Abigail is in every way a cinematic experience. Composed entirely by King Diamond—the band’s vocalist and namesake—the narrative follows the story of Jonathan and Miriam, an 18th-century couple who inherit a mansion where a count once murdered his pregnant wife. The spirit of the unborn child, Abigail, eventually inhabits Miriam so she can be born again. Powered by the most dynamic playing of King Diamond’s career, each song represents a turn in this twisted but surprisingly gripping story. As lead singer, King adopts a range of voices to inhabit every character, while the masterful band constantly find ways to illustrate the atmosphere and build and release tension. In some concept albums, the story seems like a contrivance to string several unrelated songs together. Abigail is unique in that each song grows originally out of the story, giving the nine-song album an exhilarating and uninterrupted flow. (Four bonus tracks were added in 1997.) Few metal bands have ever been as in control of their sound as King Diamond are on this masterwork.

TITLE TIME
1:30
5:26
4:35
4:08
4:50
3:56
3:26
4:50
7:39
4:23
4:35
4:09
3:30

About King Diamond

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, the group mutated into Mercyful Fate, consisting of members Hank Shermann (guitar), Michael Denner (guitar), Timi Hansen (bass), and Kim Ruzz (drums), in addition to Diamond. Diamond, by this time, had developed an interest in the occult, which reflected in the new group's subject matter, as the frontman began wearing makeup (which resembled a cross between his hero Cooper and Kiss' Gene Simmons).

After several demos made their way across Europe (and even reaching America via an underground tape-trading network among metalheads), Mercyful Fate issued a self-titled four-track EP before inking a recording contract with Roadrunner Records. The quintet issued a pair of thrash metal classics, 1983's Melissa and 1984's Don't Break the Oath, as Diamond's satanic lyrics created quite a stir at the time with outsiders. Despite a promising future, Mercyful Fate broke up when a common musical style couldn't be agreed on (Diamond wanted to continue with thrash metal, while a few of the others wanted to explore more mainstream-oriented hard rock).

Undeterred, Diamond launched a solo project, which was almost identical in approach, both musically and visually, as his former band. The group's original lineup included such former Mercyful Fate bandmates as Hansen and Denner, but over time, bandmembers would come and go (the only constant member besides their leader has been guitarist Andy LaRocque). King Diamond's first three solo releases, 1986's Fatal Portrait, 1987's Abigail, and 1988's Them, are widely considered to be Diamond's finest, as the singer continued to issue further releases until the early '90s (1989's Conspiracy, 1990's The Eye). It was also around this time that Diamond found his name embroiled in controversy -- due to a Geraldo Rivera TV special on music with supposed "hidden messages," and when Kiss' Simmons served a lawsuit against the singer, claiming that the makeup design Diamond had been using too closely resembled the one that Simmons used in the '70s and early '80s, which resulted in an out of court settlement and with Diamond being forced to modify his makeup design.

Come the early '90s, Mercyful Fate was constantly being name-checked as a prime influence by just about every new thrash and death metal band, which led to a re-formation of the original group (save for drummer Ruzz), and such further releases as 1993's In the Shadows (which included a remake of their early track, "Return of the Vampire," with Metallica's Lars Ulrich sitting in on drums), 1994's Time, 1996's Into the Unknown, 1998's Dead Again, and 1999's 9. By the middle of the '90s, Diamond began issuing solo albums again (simultaneously with his Fate output), as such titles as 1995's The Spider's Lullabye, 1996's The Graveyard, 1998's Voodoo, 2000's House of God, and 2002's Abigail II: The Revenge were issued. ~ Greg Prato

  • ORIGIN
    Copenhagen, Denmark
  • BORN
    Jun 14, 1956

Top Songs by King Diamond

Top Albums by King Diamond

Top Music Videos by King Diamond

Listeners Also Played