King Diamond
The Eye


4.0
excellent

Review

by manosg STAFF
August 23rd, 2015 | 37 replies


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Underrated and accessible, The Eye is an essential listen for loyal fans and a fine starting point for those who wish to get acquainted with King Diamond’s horror stories.

In a discography as vast as Kim Bendix Petersen’s (solo and w/Mercyful Fate) and with highs such as Melissa, Don’t Break the Oath and Abigail, there are always hidden diamonds waiting to be discovered. Albums that longtime fans are aware of but unfortunately are overshadowed by previous success. Such is the case of The Eye; King Diamond’s fifth release and the last of his classic era.

Released a year after Conspiracy and the completion of the story that had began on ”Them”, The Eye is once again a concept album but has a different perspective. The protagonist of The Eye – which is narrated by an unknown entity – is not King Diamond but a cursed artifact and an array of characters. However, what makes the story even more interesting is the fact that a large part of it is real; almost every member of the “cast” lived during the years of the French inquisition.

The story begins with the narrator introducing a cursed artifact which he/she names the “eye of the witch” and has apparently affected him/her deeply. “Eye of the Witch” is the first of two tracks on which the narrator shares his thoughts, the other being the last of the album. Moving on, the listener is introduced to a number of horrific events that took place including holy inquisition, burning at the stake, murder, rape by a member of the cloth, insanity, revenge and imprisonment, among others. It’s the necklace’s power that gives its user the ability to go back in time and see these dreadful events, with a cost of course, including death. The plot is dark and twisted (as always with King Diamond) but has a gothic feeling. There are five characters that are true and make the story even more realistic compared to Diamond’s previous efforts; a supposed witch, an investigator of the Christian Burning Court (great title for a court), a nun and two convent chaplains.

Instrumentally, those of you who are accustomed with King Diamond’s most well-known albums, will already have a solid idea of how The Eye sounds; traditional heavy metal with progressive inclinations that doesn’t sacrifice melody for heaviness. The highlight, as on every KD album, is the dynamics created from Diamond’s vocals and LaRocque’s guitar playing. Once again there are memorable riffs and blistering solos with neoclassical inclinations that reveal LaRocque’s two main influences, Michael Schenker and Randy Rhoads. The level of soloing is so high that makes even average songs like “Into the Convent” interesting. The band’s two guitarists do a great job of making the listener feel various emotions such as fear, disgust, or anxiety. It’s not a surprise that the instrumental “Insanity” is one of the standouts of the album even though its mellow nature doesn’t fit the track’s title. There are numerous catchy moments such as the keyboard line on “Eye of the Witch”, the use of harpsichord on “Behind These Walls”, the chorus of “Burn”, or the riff of “The Curse” on which we become familiarized with the narrator’s thoughts and feelings for the second and final time.

On the other hand, a subject of usual misconception is the drumming, which for years was slated to be a result of drum machine due to its weak nature. In fact, drummer Snowy Shaw who replaced Mikkey Dee on The Eye used drum pads instead of normal drums. Lastly, some may feel that the story lacks the focus of previous efforts such as “Abigail” and “Conspiracy” due to the numerous characters that are introduced.

To make a long story short, all the above make The Eye one of the most accessible albums on KD’s discography and a fine starting point for those who are unfamiliar with the band’s work. The instrumentation doesn’t take a backseat to the lyrics, which is always a danger on concept albums, and overall, this is a highly atmospheric release that may be enjoyed by a large portion of traditional metal enthusiasts.



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user ratings (173)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 23rd 2015


10495 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Full album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7AyvsefUnM&list=PLNGalEaNwNgzBMtOkmjNk3xlgU-sC6O_y&index=1



Lyrics/Story: http://www.darklyrics.com/lyrics/kingdiamond/theeye.html

Digging: Ruler - Rise to Power

EvoHavok
August 23rd 2015


7186 Comments


Nice read, manos. I've never delved much into this guy's material, although I have a friend who adores his work.

Digging: Ningen-Isu - Ijigen Kara no Hoko

TheNotrap
August 23rd 2015


8580 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Nice review manosg.



My least favourite from his classic era, but it still rocks.

Titan
August 23rd 2015


17872 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

NOW THE BELL IS RINGING....COMMUNION TIME HAS COME AGAIN



IS FATHER PICARD, REALLY YOUR FRIEND?



I'm very happy to see this bad boy finally have a write up, especially from you manosg. The story here isn't quite on par with some of his others, but damn a lot of these tunes kick ass.



Great write up bro.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 23rd 2015


10495 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys, I appreciate the kind words.



I think you'll enjoy King Diamond's work, Evo. If you ever decide to check any of his albums, you may want to start with Abigail.



Indeed it rocks, Notrap. For some reason, this one clicked instantly for me when I heard it compared to other KD albums such as Them and Conspiracy.



Agreed Titan. Instrumentally, this is up there for sure. Needed a review hard.

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
August 23rd 2015


11538 Comments


"Released a year after Conspiracy and the completion of the story that had began on ”Them”, the band’s last work for Roadrunner Records..."

Just a sentence that reads rather strangely to me, I'd give a second look at that. Also, you should fix that typo in the summary. Besides, great review man.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 23rd 2015


10495 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for that Daniel. I'll take a look at the sentence as well and see what I can do to make it read a bit better.

Titan
August 23rd 2015


17872 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Andy LaRocque is without question one of my top 3 guitarists

TheNotrap
August 23rd 2015


8580 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Yeah Andy is great, also one of my favourites. His work on Abigail is among the best '80s guitar moments.

ksoflas
August 23rd 2015


1153 Comments


King is the second favorite KD ever.


ksoflas
August 23rd 2015


1153 Comments


Kudos for reviewing this Mano.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 23rd 2015


10495 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man. Which is your favorite KD?

ksoflas
August 23rd 2015


1153 Comments


Kevin Durant.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 23rd 2015


10495 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ahaha. Do you see him staying with OKC past this year?



And more importantly, would Durant be a better singer on this album than King Diamond playing SF for OKC?

deslad
August 23rd 2015


596 Comments


Haha, good one!

Great review manos; I have yet to listen to any King Diamond's albums and as you proposed I'll begin with that one.

Digging: Fenton Robinson - Somebody Loan Me A Dime

manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 23rd 2015


10495 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks des. Really interested in seeing whether you'll enjoy this one.

Titan
August 23rd 2015


17872 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Lol, I'd say King would make for an easier transition as a SF over Durant attempting to hit some of these notes

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
August 23rd 2015


11538 Comments


He can't even hit the 3 anymore, smh.

Judio!
August 23rd 2015


8401 Comments


Such a good write up, man! Haven't heard this KD yet but ill be sure to give it a jam soon.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 23rd 2015


10495 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks dude. Hope you enjoy.



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