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House of God
Released: 2000, Metal Blade Records
It seems like many either hate or love King Diamond. Well, if you caught my classic review of Abigail a few months back you know that I fall into the later category! With House of God, King has again lived up to the high standards of his previous works. House Of God was produced by King, guitarist Andy La Rocque and Kol Marshall.
This is a concept album, something that King is no stranger to. I've only read the lyrics a couple of times through so far. But in very general terms this is a tale that begins with a traveler who meets up with a pack of wolves who then lead him to the "House of God" where he finds his desires but there is a price to pay, a pact to sign. After the pact is signed comes despair then madness. Finally a secret is revealed...You'll have to read the lyrics to find out what it's all about. King definitely has not lost his touch as a great storyteller. If only something he wrote was made into a movie...can you imagine Them / Conspiracy or Abigail as a movie?
On to the music...if you've like King Diamond's other CD's it's simple, you're going to like this one as well. This is probably not quite as strong as his last CD, 1998's Voodoo, but I've only heard House of God a few times before reviewing it so after a few more months of repeated listens I'll have a better idea of how this fits in with the rest of the KD discography. As usual, all the music was written by King and guitarist Andy La Rocque. These are the only 2 members on House of God who were on Voodoo. I guess the other guys are just hired guns?!?! After the CD's intro "Upon The Cross" (what's a King CD without an evil intro?) is one of the best tracks on the CD - "The Trees Have Eyes" (in reference to the wolves in the forest with their glowing eyes). This song is pure KD. Next up is "Follow The Wolf" with a main riff that is somehow reminiscent of something from Abigail although I can't quite put my finger on the song. The song "Help!!" has one of the more memorable choruses on the CD. Most songs are mid-paced and straight ahead metal. There's not as much fast double kick work like Mikkey Dee brought to the band on the earlier albums like Them. There are plenty of double kicks - check out "The Pact" - but they are not a thousand miles an hour. The only other somewhat critical comment I can make is with the cover art. It's "OK" but on King Diamond standards it's below average. It's not a godly piece of art like on Abigail, Them or Voodoo...too bad.
Musically, this does not cover any new ground, but this is well written and well played melodic metal. For those who steer clear of Diamond because of his beliefs, you're missing out on some great music and some great story telling. I just hope King can continue to put out killer CD's with both Mercyful Fate and his own band with Andy La Rocque for MANY, MANY more years!
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