King Diamond ‘Fatal Portrait/Abigail’
From page 91 of Classic Rock Magazine November 2003
‘In The Beginning/Melissa’ (Roadrunner) When I worked at Kerrang!, a new Roadrunner album used to arrive on my desk practically every day. Quality didn’t seem to be of particular importance, and at one time the label had as many as 10,000 different thrash metal bands on their books – each one from the grim German industrial town of Bochum. But occasionally Roadrunner would strike gold – as they did with Mercyful Fate and King Diamond, the shrill-voiced, moustachio’d Satanist from Denmark.
It’s vastly entertaining to hear the King screeching agitatedly over jaunty, sub- NWOBHM riffs once again, and even the quagmire production that pervades most of the ‘In The Beginning/Melissa’ (★★★★★) demoniac double-package doesn’t prevent it from being exceedingly appealing.
‘Fatal Portrait/Abigail’ (★★★★★) has stood the test of time well. ‘Abigail’ – the odious tale of a haunted house, and the King’s finest conceptual hour – is a colossal work; all the more impressive as it was probably recorded for the price of a crate of Carlsberg Elephant Beer. I used to think people were nuts for enjoying this stuff, but now it feels quite subversive listening to songs with titles like ‘Into The Coven’ again. And there are bonus tracks. Lovely.