King Diamond
Abigail


5.0
classic

Review

by Justin Taslak USER (30 Reviews)
August 30th, 2008 | 118 replies


Release Date: 1987 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Abigail! Nothing I can do but give in, Abigail!"

King DiamondAbigail

At the time of recording, King Diamond was:

Kim Bendix Petersen (King Diamond) – Vocals
Andy LaRocque – Guitar
Michael Denner – Guitar
Timi Hansen - Bass
Mikkey Dee – Drums
Roberto Falcao – Keyboard

The concept album is usually a remarkable piece of art, as a band has to be confident in their musical capabilities to the point where they can create a focal point or common theme within an album. Some recent notables include The Mars Volta’s Deloused in the Comatorium, the story of Cerpin Taxt (Julio Venegas)’s drug and coma-induced visions, and Protest the Hero’s Kezia, the brief following of a young woman and her inevitable execution, told through the views of three different characters. Flashback nearly two decades to 1987, the year Abigail was released. Fronted by the infamous voice of one of black metal’s original pioneers, King Diamond, the album secured his place as one of metal’s most inventive and interesting characters. Diamond, upon forming his solo project, lost some of his old satanic infatuation and replaced it with tales of theatrical suspense and horror. While not thought provoking or entirely original in any way, they have some lasting entertainment value that is thankfully backed by surprisingly well done instrumental work. Abigail is and will forever remain the magnum opus of King Diamond’s career, as it accomplishes everything it sets out to be to perfection.

The plot behind Abigail is based around the ever so popular theme of “couple inherits/buys new house, mysterious person(s) tell couple not to occupy house due to its haunted state, and couple does not listen and stubbornly settles down in house”. That aside, it’s a cohesive concept, which is praiseworthy to say the least. Here, Miriam Natias and Jonathan La’Fey are said couple, and upon moving into the mansion, they are promptly visited by Jonathan’s deceased ancestor, Count La’Fey. He urges Jonathan to hastily murder his wife, for the evil spirit of Abigail La’Fey will soon take the form of a fetus inside his wife. Abigail, who was originally born and died on July 7th, 1777, is not meant to live, and the birth must be prevented at all costs. Rather than spill the entire story, I’ll end this portion by saying it sets up for a continuous cycle, which is observed through the later King Diamond release, Abigail II: The Revenge. The story is satisfying, and again lightens the load for future releases by the King in already having a story to continue.

If your unfamiliar with King Diamond’s voice, well, It’s a must hear. Not always the most enjoyable, it resembles the high-pitched whines of a pre-pubescent child, although he will often drop lower with raspier snarls, the latter being quite good as a matter of fact. It is the standout on this album as well as any other of his albums, but one shouldn’t reject the album solely on this, as I did so juvenilely back when I first heard this.

The instrumentals are excellent all around. The semi-inventive drumming is all one could ask for, and while the bass is relatively unheard from, the two guitarists more than compensate. Andy LaRocque in particular, who is still shamefully underrated and unheard of. There are numerous memorable riffs, as well as guitar solos that while aren’t always obscenely complex at least are consistently enjoyable and impeccably fitting. They have that expected 80’s feel, but even hater players who dislike the evident cheese often associated with the decade can’t deny that these are enjoyable. The highlight solo is, in my opinion, the dual guitars of The Family Ghost, but there are so many unforgettable ones here it is an arduous task to pick between them.

With that comes the one possible complaint with Abigail apart from the vocals; There are a very large quantity of solos here. Instead of dismissing them as excessive, dig deeper into the song structure for a moment. The purpose of this album is to tell a story, and that story is being told whenever vocals are present. The guitar solos function as very quick interludes between verses, rather than the guitars going for some boring little chug chug or what not. It’s all flawlessly executed, so one is either asphyxiated by the guitar work, or carefully paying attention to the plot. Credit the band for constantly trying to keep the listener intrigued by using the plethora of solos to their advantage, and refrain from making any invalid Dragonforce comparisons out of the blue.

Abigail (and King Diamond in general) is not for everyone. You’ll either love it for its creativity and instrumental work, or you’ll hate it for your inability to take the band and the man seriously. No matter which side of the scale one floats down, Abigail is a classic for what it is, and is a must listen for any fan of metal to educate and enlighten oneself at the very least. It is one of the best metal albums of the 80’s and is easily one of the greatest concept albums of all time.

Top Three Tracks:
Black Horsemen
The 7th Day of July 1777
A Mansion in the Darkness

Score: 5/5

Note: This is a review of the 9-track original recording.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
bustyagunz
August 30th 2008


911 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

thanks word for making this look longer.
and Shrine should not be on this track list.

MassiveAttack
August 30th 2008


2688 Comments


not much of a metal fan myself, but i like how you see both sides of the perspective gj

bustyagunz
August 30th 2008


911 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

thanks mass

SHOOTME
August 30th 2008


2393 Comments


were you inspired by Eliminiator's old review of this?

bustyagunz
August 30th 2008


911 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

nah i wasnt, i just thought i needed to do this album some proper justice, although i really dont think i did too great, ever since i wrote that V.I.C review my brain's been in a funk and I haven't been able to analyze music.

SHOOTME
August 30th 2008


2393 Comments


same thing is happening to me right now after my Soup review. My brain is turning into soup, lol.

bustyagunz
August 30th 2008


911 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

my chain too silly
my rims big willie
dn dudn udndndu dund udn

Edit: I also love King Diamond so I thought this would help me snap out of it, it unfortunately did not help. =(This Message Edited On 08.30.08

Wizard
August 30th 2008


19556 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Andy LaRocque in particular, who is still shamefully underrated and unheard of.

I couldn't agree more. His work with Death was awesome as well.

Very well done review. Thanks for redoing this album seeing as the other old review of this is shat! Album is awesome.

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

bustyagunz
August 31st 2008


911 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

thanks wiz, i still need to check out his work with Death, man is a beast.

SHOOTME
August 31st 2008


2393 Comments


sup wiz

Erratic
August 31st 2008


1120 Comments


I should probably check this out.

bustyagunz
August 31st 2008


911 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

you should, even if you end up hating it, its something everyone needs to hear

Erratic
August 31st 2008


1120 Comments


Are you going to review Abigail II as well? That one doesn't have a review.

bustyagunz
August 31st 2008


911 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

have only heard bits of it and its nowhere near this, although King Diamond as King Diamond only has one album remotely close to this which would be Them. its got that GRANDMAAAAAAAA song, if youve seen clerks II.

Erratic
August 31st 2008


1120 Comments


lol, yeah.

Wizard
August 31st 2008


19556 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks wiz, i still need to check out his work with Death, man is a beast.


No problem dude. I believe LaRocque only played on Individual Thought Patterns but I could be wrong. That album has enough guitar wizardry on it to impress any King Diamond fan. Plus, Death just blows most melo-death bands out of the water anyways.

sup wiz

Sup boy!!!
This Message Edited On 08.31.08

SHOOTME
August 31st 2008


2393 Comments


lol

TheNotrap
November 1st 2011


8109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

AND THE SHADOWS AT THE GATEEEE
THEY SEEMED TO BE ALIVEEEE
YEAHH THE SHADOWS AT THE GATEEEE
ALIVEEEEEEEEEEEEE

uninvited
November 26th 2011


248 Comments


Best Diamond.

TheNotrap
December 16th 2011


8109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

YOU COULD EASILY FALL
AND BREAK YOUR NECK



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