Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

king diamond

CD review THEM "Sweet Hollow"

Veröffentlicht am 26. September 2016 von Markus W. in Them, King Diamond, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Horror Metal, News, CD Review

(8/10) If you think that it's a coincidence that the this band's name is the one King Diamond has chose years and years ago for one of his masterpieces, than I can tell you that you're wrong. "Sweet Hallow", the name of Them's debut, is the best King Diamond album the King never did, at least for soem tracks.

But lets' start from the beginning. Them was started in 2008 by singer Troy Norr who some of you might know from Coldsteel. In the beginning Them wasn't more than a King Diamond tribute band for many years, including Mike Wead and Hal Patino. In 2014 Troy started to make things more tangible by working on a storyline, a band and an album. The guy found some well-known allies for Them. Mike LePond from Symphony X is on bass, Kevin Talley (Suffocation) is playing drums on the album, Markus Ulrich (Lanfear) and Markus Johansson are responsible for the six string guitar while Richie Seibel from Lanfear is on keyboards.

These guys recorded nine songs plus an intro that are in big parts inspired by King Diamond. The vocals, the guitar lines, the entire sound - all reminds more than once of the mighty Dane with the falsetto vocals.

A cold breeze and some more creepy samples mark the beginning of the album. It's an intro called "Rebirth" that leads to the first real song named "Forever Burns". The furious guitars include some of the typical Kind Diamond harmonies and as soon as Norr joins you have to check the cover twice. Fortunately the album has more to offer than just being a kind of tribute disc.

A tune that's a bit diefferent is called "Ghost of the Graveyard". This number has some more individuality since the vocals are more moderate and the track itself is kept slower and melodic. Still the vibe stays present and acts as a kind of link that keeps all the tracks together.

"The Quiet Room" acts as a kind of piano-based intermezzo before "Dead of Night", with its more than six minutes, takes over. The track is melodic and slower than some of the other stuff on the album. The fact that Norr goes without high pitches makes the track to a riff-based hardrocker that stands out from the rest.

"FestEvil" is a bit breathless before "The Crimson Corpse" brings back the good old "Them"-days that are merged with a true power metal riffing that reimnds of Iced Earth. It's an interesting track that shows the potential of Them. Or in case your looking for some Nevermore references you can listen to the closer "The Harrowing Path to Hollow".

What to say as a sum up. For me, Them is neither a copycat nor a tribute. It is inspired by the King but it has enough own identity which makes it to an exciting longplayer that cherishs heavy metal and power metal, all embedded in a gloomy storyline. "Sweet Hallow" is entertaining and is done very well. 

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Rebirth
  2. Forever Burns
  3. Down The Road To Misery
  4. Ghost In The Graveyard
  5. The Quiet Room
  6. Dead Of Night
  7. FestEvil
  8. The Crimson Corpse
  9. Blood From Blood
  10. The Harrowing Path To Hollow

 

Label: Empire Records

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: September 30st, 2016

CD review THEM "Sweet Hollow"
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CD review DENNER/SHERMANN "Masters of Evil"

Veröffentlicht am 5. Juli 2016 von Markus W. in DennerShermann, King Diamond, Merciful Fate, News, CD Review, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Prog Metal

(8/10) A few months ago Metal Blade Records announced an EP that immediately asked for my attention. Danish master of twin guitars Michael Denner and Hank Shermann started to work together on an EP. This was great news and the fact that the line-up was completed by Snowy Shaw on drums, Marc Grabowski on the four-string and Cage's Sean Peck made this project even more thrilling.

"Satan's Tomb" was the name of this EP that includes four brand new tracks of the five-piece band; each of them a metal highlight. This happened in October last year and the guys didn't really take a too long break. Actually they continued working on new material which is the core of the debut album "Masters of Evil".

This studio release features eight songs that are, compared to the 12", more complex. The double-header "Angels Blood" and "Son of Satan" reflect this very well. What was easier to digest on the EP got more layered and more demanding, for the band and the listener. This not a downer, not at all. This is metal on a high level that is far more then musical fast food. "Masters of Evil" takes time.

It took me 4-5 listening sessions before I could enjoy the full potential of "Maters of Evil". It's not only the layered music in itself, it's also Peck's vocals with these high pitch screems that need some time to grow. There are very little moments when I had to think about King Diamond. Peck has an own way of singing that reminds more of Judas Priest. In the end I must say that he fits perfect to this kind of music and I appreciate his vocals on this album more than with the Cage stuff. 

No doubt, the guitars sound more than once like in the good old Merciful Fate times. This ain't a big surprise and actually it's quite refreshing to hear these two iconic guitarists together on "Masters of Evil".
A song that belongs to the more straightforward ones is "Pentagram and the Cross". It's still a demanding one but easier accessible for the listener. What follows is the heart of this album - the title track. Starting with a melodic lead guitar the number belongs to the faster ones, a track that is pure Danish dynamite. Modern power metal can't sound much better. 
"The Baroness" marks the epical end of a joyful debut, done by guys that know how real metal must sound like. Thumbs up and hopefully just a beginning and not the end of this five-piece band.

This whole package gets rounded off by the artwork, done by Swedish artist Thomas Holm. It reminds of Merciful Fate's "Don't breaking the Oath". A 'must have' album.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Angels Blood
  2. Son of Satan
  3. The Wolf Feeds the Night
  4. Pentagram and the Cross
  5. Masters of Evil
  6. Servants of Dragon
  7. Escape from Hell
  8. The Baroness

 

Label: Metal Blades

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: June 24th, 2016

CD review DENNER/SHERMANN "Masters of Evil"
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Metal Blade re-issues KING DIAMOND's "The Spider's Lullabye"

Veröffentlicht am 13. November 2015 von Markus W. in King Diamond, Merciful Fate, News, Heavy Metal, Power Metal

On the 27th of November Metal Blade will re-issue King Diamond's "The Spider's Lullabye" on CD and vinyl.
The CD will be released as a double-Digi-CD featuring a bonus-CD that includes the rare and previously unreleased demos for the album. The LP comes as a double gatefold vinyl including all the bonus tracks as well!


Tracklist:
CD1:

01. From the Other Side
02. Killer
03. The Poltergeist
04. Dreams
05. Moonlight
06. Six Feet Under
07. The Spider's Lullabye
08. Eastmann's Cure
09. Room 17
10. To the Morgue

CD2:
1. Moonlight (Demo)
2. From The Other Side (Demo)
3. The Spider's Lullabye (Demo)
4. Dreams (Demo)


On the same date, the 27th of November, Metal Blade will also re-issue "House Of God" as a double gatefold vinyl!

Metal Blade re-issues KING DIAMOND's "The Spider's Lullabye"
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CD review DENNER/SHERMANN "Satan's Tomb"

Veröffentlicht am 6. Oktober 2015 von Markus W. in Denner-Shermann, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, US Metal, News, CD Review, Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, Sabaton, Cage

(8/10) It doubtless creates quite some attention when Mercyful Fate guitar legends Michael Denner and Hank Shermann team-up again to work on new songs. If than also Snowy Shaw (King Diamond/Therion/Sabaton) joins, things get even more interesting. Those guys came together under the banner of Denner/Shermann, which is completed by bass player Marc Grabowski and Sean Peck (Cage) on vocals. Just checking the names feels already like a metal firework.

The first output of this five-piece is an EP called "Satan's Tomb". Of course it's a given that you will find some Mercyful Fate crosslinks on this new record. Already the cover brought back the old "Melissa" and "Don't Break the Oath" days and since Thomas Holm signed responsible for the artwork the parallels aren't a big surprise.

But also the songs show some links to the early days of Mercyful Fate. Of course, the six-stringers have been a crucial part of this band. However, Denner/Shermann is different too. This has also to do with Sean Peck's vocals. Even though his vocal range also covers high pitches he has a more balanced approach in his way of singing. He combines the high screams with mostly rough and raw vocals that fits perfect to the four songs on the EP.

The tracks are all around 5-6 minutes and are a mixture of the mentioned Mercyful Fate (guitars) and pure US Metal (vocals); all build on the heavy punch of the rhythm powerhouse Shaw/Grabowski.

The title track is a tradition metal track that takes up power by Peck's scream after a few seconds. For the rest it's a more complex number which is an excellent start into the album.

"War Witch" instead comes with furious guitar leads before the vocals add the melody to this fast power metal track.

Those two songs are equally good, but the second half is even better. "New Gods" is a six minutes long piece of music that shows the full range of the two iconic guitarists as well as the entire vocal capabilities of Peck. Mighty riffs are a pleasure for each headbanger and the raw vocals in the chorus are the peperoni on the pizza. Power metal can't be done much better.

We're coming already step by step towards the end. "Seven Skulls" is the closer on this EP and when it comes to me, it's the best track on "Satan's Tomb". It starts slow and heavy; something that brings back Black Sabbath memories. This doesn't last for too long, since the speed increases dramatically and the good old Liege Lord came to my mind when Denner/Shermann gear up.

Denner/Shermann isn't Mercyful Fate - and that's good. This band is a bunch of passionate musicians that wrote and recorded metal songs that will lead to a 'wow-effect' by a broad variety of metal fans - new and old. Hopefully this EP isn't more than just a beginning. A lonplayer would be highly appreciated and to my understanding the plans for a full-length album are already pretty concrete. I'll keep you posted.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Satan's Tomb
  2. War Witch
  3. New God
  4. Seven Skulls

 

Label: Metal Balde

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: October 2nd, 2015

CD review DENNER/SHERMANN "Satan's Tomb"
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KING DIAMOND to film feature length video on the "Abigail In Concert 2015" tour

Veröffentlicht am 24. September 2015 von Markus W. in King Diamond, News, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, US Metal, Exodus, Tour

King Diamond will be recording a feature length live concert video for blu-ray / DVD / digital release while on tour this fall! Director Denise Korycki (Cannibal Corpse, Killswitch Engage) has been enlisted to direct the project, which will include footage from multiple shows throughout the entire "Abigail in concert 2015" tour.

In other news, a brand new King Diamond interview is online.


KING DIAMOND
With special guest EXODUS

29/10 Denver, CO The Fillmore Auditorium
31/10 Salt Lake City, UT The Complex
02/11 San Francisco, CA The Warfield
05/11 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern (SOLD OUT)
06/11 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern
08/11 Tucson, AZ Rialto Theatre
09/11 Las Vegas, NV House of Blues
13/11 San Antonio, TX Housecore Horror Festival at the Aztec Theatre
15/11 New Orleans, LA The Civic Theatre
16/11 Atlanta, GA The Tabernacle
19/11 New York, NY Best Buy Theater
20/11 New York, NY Best Buy Theater (SOLD OUT)
21/11 New York, NY Best Buy Theater (SOLD OUT)
24/11 Boston, MA Orpheum Theater
25/11 Philadelphia, PA The Fillmore
27/11 Chicago, IL Aragon Ballroom
28/11 Detroit, MI The Fillmore
30/11 St Paul, MN Myth Live
02/12 Tulsa, OK Brady Theater - Club Brady
04/12 Houston, TX House of Blues
05/12 Dallas, TX House of Blues

KING DIAMOND to film feature length video on the "Abigail In Concert 2015" tour
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First DENNER/SHERMANN video posted

Veröffentlicht am 25. August 2015 von Markus W. in Denner-Shermann, Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, News, Video

Guitar Legends MICHAEL DENNER and HANK SHERMANN of MERCYFUL FATE have given an offering of supremely, classic heavy metal infused with an overload of their signature, dark magic shredding. According to the legendary guitar duo, getting SNOWY SHAW (King Diamond/Therion/Sabaton) on Drums, MARC GRABOWSKI (Demonica) on Bass Guitar, and SEAN PECK (Cage/Death Dealer) on vocals, onboard to form the band was a critical component to bringing these 4 tracks to life.

Michael Denner added: "Creating these songs with this line up really ignited my metal fire hotter than ever! I'm sure the fans are going to love this thing." "This mix ended up really having an old school feel to it that sounds awesome when blasting at an unhealthy volume", says Shermann.

Here comes the tracklist for "Satan's tomb":
1. Satan's Tomb
2. War Witch
3. New Gods
4. Seven Skulls

First DENNER/SHERMANN video posted
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Re-issues from IMMOLATION, KING DIAMOND and RIOT

Veröffentlicht am 4. Juli 2015 von Markus W. in Riot, Immolation, King Diamond, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Death Metal, News

Metal Blade re-issues on Immolation album and two King Diamond longplayers on vinyl. It will be on July 24th when "here in after" from Immolation is available again as vinyl - limitied to 1000 copies.

King Diamonds "The graveyard" and "Voodoo" will be re-released as well - all versions including a free poster. 

Next to those vinyl re-issues Metal Blade also re-releases Riot longplayers on CD. Release date will be July 10th and the albums will be "Nightbreaker", Riot in Japan - live" and "The brethren of the long house".

Sounds like a metallic Metal Blade summertime.

Re-issues from IMMOLATION, KING DIAMOND and RIOT
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CD review KING DIAMOND "Dreams of horror"

Veröffentlicht am 6. November 2014 von Markus W. in King Diamond, Merciful Fate, Heavy Metal, Occult Metal, Dark Metal, CD Review, News

(*/10) To introduce King Diamond is like carrying sand to the beach. The iconic singer from Denmark, who lives in the US since many years, is a constant factor in the scene for decades. He didn't only celebrate big successes during his solo career; he already released records with Merciful Fate that influenced metal very much.

Due to his falsetto you might love or dislike the King, but his impact on metal, and esp. the occult metal scene, is undisputable.

The new 'Best of...' album is looking back in the King Diamond solo years. The double CD package contains the highlights from 'Roadrunner years' and the 'Metal Blade years'. Since I like esp. "Abigail" and "Them" I was happy to see songs like "The family ghost", "Black horseman" and "The invisibal guest" on the tracklist.

But also newer material as "Spirits", "The puppet master" and "Never ending hill" made it on the album.

The only song I miss is "Arrival" from "Abigail", but of course it's about making choices. Not everything can't be put on the album.

"Dreams of horror" is a good retrospective on the works of Kind Diamond. An album that is for collectors and (the few) people who might not have heard about King Diamond so far.

And there is a wish in the end. Hopefully the "Best of.." album is a bridge for a new studio record. But let's see.

 

(*/10)

 

Tracklist:

CD 1:

  1. The candle
  2. Dressed in white
  3. The family ghost
  4. Black horsemen
  5. Welcome home
  6. The invisble guests
  7. At the graves
  8. Sleepless nights
  9. Let it be done
  10. Eye of the witch
  11. Insanity

CD2:

  1. Dreams
  2. The spider's lullabye
  3. Waiting
  4. Heads on the wall
  5. Voodoo
  6. Black devil
  7. Help!!!
  8. Spirits
  9. The puppet master
  10. Blue eyes
  11. Never ending hill
  12. Shapes of black

 

Label: Metal Blade

Genre: Heavy Metal

 

 

 

 

 

CD review KING DIAMOND "Dreams of horror"
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KING DIAMOND announces US tour

Veröffentlicht am 27. Juni 2014 von Markus W. in King Diamond, Merciful Fate, Heavy Metal, News, Tour

The King is back on the road. King Diamond announced a US tour and here are the dates:

KING DIAMOND announces US tour

And don't forget the European dates:

25/07 Stockholm, SE Gröna Lund
28/07 Berlin, DE Huxleys Neue Welt
30/07 Tilburg, NL 013 Poppodium
01/08 Wacken, DE Wacken Open Air
08/08 Oulu, FI Jalometalli

 

 

Source: Metal Blade

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KING DIAMOND plays a Wacken preparation show in Tilburg

Veröffentlicht am 7. März 2014 von Markus W. in King Diamond, Wacken, Tour, News, Heavy Metal

Like the 013 in Tilburg announced on their Facebook side King Diamond will play another show at the venue this summer. The show will take place on July 30 and is one out of three preparation shows for the bands Wacken appearance in 2014. The setlist and the show will be different from the 2013 gig in Tilburg (review see below).

 

On the 013 Facebook page King Diamond states:

"We're all looking very much forward to come back to Tilburg this summer. It will be one of three preparation shows for our Wacken Open Air performance, and it will consist of the full Wacken show, meaning, it's going to be different from last year's Tilburg show, including a different set list and new special effects. All in all, we will actually only be playing 5 shows total in Europe this year. We're in the process of building a new studio in my home, and will be spending most of 2014 getting it up and running and writing new material. I hope to see you at the 013 on July 30th. It will be worth it."

 

Source: Facebook

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Epic doom metal band BELOW release their debut

Veröffentlicht am 2. März 2014 von Markus W. in Below, Doom Metal, News, Black Sabbath, King Diamond

Epic doom metal band Below from Sweden recorded their debut album "Across the dark river". The first song "Portal" is online. See also the interview from summer last year.

Released date: April 11

 

Epic doom metal band BELOW release their debut
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New all start band with members from EUROPE, KING DIAMOND, MOTORHEAD and WIGWAM

Veröffentlicht am 2. Dezember 2013 von Markus W. in Nordic Beast, Europe, King Diamond, Motorhead, WigWam, News

Nordic Beast placed the following press release on their Facebook side:

"Mikkey Dee (Motörhead), John Norum (Europe), Åge Sten Nilsen (Wigwam), Hal Patino (King Diamond) and Mic Michaeli (Europe) in the same band? To Hardrock fans all over the world it may seem like an unrealistic dream. But have we got new for you. All parties have now confirmed the new collaboration, and the dream team has already made their first ever concert announcement. January 31 2014 NORDIC BEAST will be unleashed at Rockefeller Music Hall in Oslo, Norway.

NORDIC BEAST insists that their newly formed band will not interfere with their main bands activities. But doesn't rule out that NORDIC BEAST will write original material at some point. Until then the band will offer a kick ass live set containing the very best from their individual careers with Motörhead, Europe, Wig Wam, Dokken, John Norum Solo, King Diamond and a lot more."

 

Sounds very cool.

 

NORDIC BEAST are:

MIKKEY DEE (Motörhead) - Drums

JOHN NORUM (Europe) - Guitars

HAL PATINO (King Diamond) - Bass

ÅGE STEN NILSEN (Wig Wam) - Vocals

MIC MICHAELI (Europe) - Keyboards

New all start band with members from EUROPE, KING DIAMOND, MOTORHEAD and WIGWAM
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Live review KING DIAMOND in 013 Tilburg

Veröffentlicht am 7. August 2013 von Markus W. in King Diamond, Heavy Metal, Live Review

Kim Bendix Petersen, better known as King Diamond, played a gig in Tilburg (Holland) on August 6. They played the show in the 013 – a venue where they also played their last show in Holland in 2006. To my surprise the show was not totally sold out. It might be the good weather which kept people away from the 013 or it’s the young generation which can’t handle the king. A view in the audience showed, that the age average was a little bit older (incl. myself) and the guys were grown up with Mercyful Fate and King Diamond.

There was no support band that evening and it was exactly20:30 when the lights went out and the black curtain opened up. And as expected, the stage was more a theater than a concert stage. It looked a little bit like a dungeon with stairs to the left and the right. And of course the fence in front of the stage (must be a nightmare for photographers). The band started with “The candle” into the show. The sound during the first song was not the very best, but from the second song on it was perfect. The whole audience was immediately enthusiastic and they were celebrating King Diamond. Of course most of them had waited 7 years to see them back in Tilburg. The King was in good voice and the band played together very tight. Guitars and drums also got their soloparts. But I don’t know, if a drum solo was really needed. The band has so many great songs, that the solo felt a little bit like a waste of time. Next to great King Diamond songs like “Welcome home” and “Eye of the witch” the band also added two Mercyful Fate songs to the setlist: “Come to the Sabbath” and “Evil”.

After one hour the band left the stage for the first time. They came back for two encores. In the first round they performed the great “The family ghost” and the already mentioned “Evil”. After leaving the stage for a second time they came back with “Black horsemen”. After 85 minutes the show was over and the lights turned on again.

All in all it was a good King Diamond show, which was very entertaining and professional. It was great to see the band in a club atmosphere instead of the big open-air shows, since the experience became more intensive. But where were songs like “Abigail” or The invisible guest”? Why have those songs not found their way on the setlist, but having a drum solo instead? And the length of the show was with 85 minutes not too long – nicely said. Esp. since there was no support band either. I even think, that I read something about a 3 hours show to expect, but maybe I’m wrong here. So there was light and shadow. Maybe this is what to expect from a King Diamond show.

Setlist:

The candle

Welcome home

At the graves

Up from the grave

Voodoo

Sleepless nights

Guitar/Drum solo

Dreams

Come to the Sabbath (Mercyful Fate cover)

Shapes of black

Eye of the witch

Encore:

The family ghost

Evil (Mercyful Fate cover)

Black horsemen

Current line-up:

Kim Diamond (v)

Mike Wead (g)

Andy La Rocque (g)

Hal Patino (b)

Matt Thompson (d)

Photos: Markus Wiedenmann
Photos: Markus Wiedenmann
Photos: Markus Wiedenmann
Photos: Markus Wiedenmann

Photos: Markus Wiedenmann

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Coming soon: KING DIAMOND concert review

Veröffentlicht am 6. August 2013 von Markus W. in King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Heavy Metal

Coming soon: Concert review King Diamond from the 013 in Tilburg, Holland. Stay tuned.

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