King Diamond - Abigail
Roadrunner Records
Theatrical Heavy Metal
9 songs (40:16)
Release year: 1987
King Diamond, Roadrunner Records
Reviewed by Crash

We are gathered here tonight to lay to rest, Abigail Lafey…

I am not sure whether I am shocked or ecstatic that I am writing this review. The fact that I have been a loyal reader of Metalreviews for many years and have yet to see this album given it’s just due is insane. On the other hand, perhaps the gods of metal knew that this day would come. That I, Crash would one day be allowed to join the ranks of this staff and be blessed with the honor of reviewing this work, not only to critique and share opinions, but to give something back. After all, who else deserves thanks more than the actual artists who chose to throw away the chains of mainstream popularity and attempt to thrive in the underground, a world that is often inhabitable, where the cash flow dwindles through a dry stream and only creativity and passion can make the impossible happen.

That must be it. No other explanation is possible. With the old heroes of metal growing old with sickness, dying, and leaving countless fans foaming at the mouth wanting nothing more than to see one last show or hear one last song, appreciation for the forefathers has never been more important. There are metal albums that we love, ones that we adore, and yet there are the ones that still require a higher praise.

Please, bear with me, I will soon get off of my knees and get to the actual review.

King Diamond’s Abigail is such an album. With two groundbreaking albums under his belt with his former band Mercyful Fate as well as a not too shabby solo album under his belt, only time could tell when the Great Dane would finally make his masterpiece. In the summer of 1987 he delivered.

The story is known by all heads’o’metal worth their own weight, but for the uninitiated, I shall make it brief: The horror story takes place centuries ago, where a couple inherit an old building that is haunted by their ancestors. The ghost of the mansion tells the husband that his wife is now possessed by the spirit of Abigail, the stillborn bastard child of one of the spirit’s wife’s affairs who may or may not be the spawn of Satan.

The King is expert and near Hitchcock-ian in his delivery and structure, choosing not to show and tell but rather to hint and let your mind make up the horrid imagery. Shadows on the wall, creaky stairs, etc. all invoke feelings of classic nostalgic horror. Yet, the subject matter still subtly transports the listening into a world that heavy metal had not experienced before and has rarely ventured since.

But a concept album cannot thrive on story alone. The flow and magic of the scenes must come alive by the songs itself. Riding on a more streamlined adaptation of the classic Mercyful Fate sound, more focus is drawn on songwriting itself and atmosphere. Nay a moment is out of place where it be Andy LaRoque’s polished guitar solos, which sound as if they are melting off the fret board like chicken off the bone in The Family Ghost or the high pitched shrieks of the King himself which are present throughout. The drums in A Mansion in Darkness, the riffs of the title track, the acoustic intro of Black Horsemen… I must be careful. It is seemingly impossible, but I would hate to disappoint anyone that has not heard the album by hyping it up beyond a state that it could hope to achieve. The album is not God, it will not heal the sick or cure the blind, but it is without a doubt one of my favorite albums of all time or otherwise. Yet, being that this article is about King Diamond, there is something I am forced to bring up or face certain scrutiny: His voice. Some hate it. Some love it.

I love it.

You might not.

Despite this, you owe it to yourself to give the album a listen. Even if you’ve never cared for the King before. After all, the worst that could happen is that you don’t like it. The best that could happen is that you find yourself an album that stays in your playlist for years.


It has been done.

Horns up.

Killing Songs :
All! Start to finish. There is no other way.
Crash quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by King Diamond that we have reviewed:
King Diamond - Conspiracy reviewed by Kyler and quoted 82 / 100
King Diamond - Them reviewed by Crash and quoted CLASSIC
King Diamond - Give Me Your Soul...Please reviewed by Jeff and quoted 82 / 100
King Diamond - Deadly Lullabies - Live reviewed by Jeff and quoted no quote
King Diamond - The Puppet Master reviewed by Jeff and quoted 93 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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