- Artist: King Diamond
- Album: Abigail
- Year: 1987
- Label: Roadrunner
- Genre: Heavy Metal
“And the shadows at the gate, they seemed to be alive.”
If every metal band could make their sophomore efforts as strong as King Diamond’s own wonderfully crafted 1987 sophomore concept album Abigail, I wonder how many would even attempt making a third album. After being at the heart of a revolution in the sound of heavy metal with Mercyful Fate in the early 1980s, King Diamond, the frontman with the most recognisable falsetto shriek in all heavy music, started on what would become a very successful, if far more theatrical and much less po-faced, career as frontman of his own eponymous project. While debut album Fatal Portrait had signs of the brilliance that would follow, Abigail is where King perhaps most successfully merged his campfire-style horror storytelling with the very best in virtuosic heavy metal music. The plot of the album makes for an interesting read while listening, set in the nineteenth century as a young couple move into a house haunted by the ghost of the album’s antagonist, Abigail. But while it all sounds like it might become overly tacky, it’s executed to perfection by the unique vocals of King alongside the rest of the band (with longstanding guitarist Andy LaRocque delivering incendiary licks and leads throughout, and eventual Motörhead drummer Mikkey Dee providing a percussive backdrop to match), with the result being an album that is far greater than the sum of its individual parts.
Note: Tracks 10–13 below are the bonus tracks from the Roadrunner reissue that’s on Spotify, so unless you’re overly curious to hear one track that didn’t make the cut the first time round and three rough demo tracks, I’d just stick to the original nine tracks from the initial release.