The album Conspiracy is Kim Bendix Petersen’s (better known as King Diamond) fourth full-length solo-album following the 1988 ’Them’. The assembly of the band hasn’t changed a lot from the previous album:
King Diamond - all vocals
Andy La Rocque - guitars
Pete Blakk - guitars
Hal Patino - bass
Mikkey Dee - drums
Roberto Falcao - Keyboards
Again, every King Diamond-album is conseptual, telling a horror story (at least the albums after ’Fatal Portrait’ do) which I think is a big part of the whole experience. Conspiracy is like a sequel to the story in ’Them’. So, to understand the album better, listening to ’Them’ first is recommended.
The main characters of this fictional story are King Diamond
, his dead sister Missy
, his mother
, Dr. Landau
, which are ghost-like creatures or spirits, whatever. At the beginning, King has returned from the insane asylum he was sent during the events in ’Them’...
- Don’t get confused! In the review I use ”KD” for King Diamond (the singer), and ”King” for the main character of the story.
1. At The Graves
Starting with some piano, King’s sad voice comes in singing about his sister Missy, who was killed by ’them’ on the previous album. King misses her very much, and he wishes for her return. The freaky intro ends with the lyrics ”Rise from your grave, little sister...”
Now the song truly explodes into the awesome chorus. Heavy guitars, KD’s high pitched voice...it’s great. Missy, as a spirit, has returned from the grave wtih ’them’. The verses are actually dialogues between King and Missy. King is glad that ’they’ all have returned, and hopes he could hear ’them’ sing again. Missy has to return to the graves, but she promises that she will return. The song itself, being about 8 minutes, kind of jumps into every direction. Fast guitar solos by Andy and Pete change into slower riffing sections and in to the main theme again. The song ends with a fast riff with the keyboards in the background.
2. Sleepless Nights
Starting with fast guitars and pinched harmonics. During the acoustic verses, the story continues. King cannot sleep at night cause he’s thinking about Missy all the time. To see her again, he has the give his house back to ’them’ and not to let any outsiders in the house. The solos by Andy and Pete are pretty much just shredding, though there are also great melodic parts in them. The dialogue-alike lyrics are still present. When King speaks, his voice is helpless and desperate. But when ’they’ tell King about the deal to give ’their’ house back, the music changes into meanly pounding guitar riff and much angrier singing by KD. This is funny because all of the characters voices are done by one man, King Diamond. While he changes his voice from the sound of a little girl into the sound of a mean ghost, it gives the album a schizophrenic-feel, like he’s talking to himself.
But back to the music...
Heavy guitars again during the intro. KD starts to sing about King meeting Dr. Landau, who was his shrink in the asylum. King tries to convince him that he’s not insane anymore, and lies that ’they’ don’t exist. It’s all just an excuse to see his mother again. The song is pretty straightforward, fast riffs, KD’s screaming and some weird keyboards near the end. Nothing special, but it’s still a good song.
4. A Visit From The Dead
A beautiful intro, acoustic solos by Andy and Pete. In a dream, King is playing with Missy in the garden. It’s very peaceful and stays that way about two minutes. Electric guitars enter as King suddenly wakes up. The feeling of the song changes completely, fast lyrics by KD and mean guitars. The chorus is very catchy. Missy is in the room with King, standing in the darkness. She’s warning King that something bad is about to happen. Some people say this is one of the worst songs on the album, but I don’t understand why. At the end, Missy is singing ”I will send you a dream...”, which is of course the next song.
5. The Wedding Dream
Starting with a wedding-jingle, King sings about his mother, that he sees in his dream. His mother is wearing a wedding-dress and walking down the aisle with Dr. Landau beside her. Suddenly the doctor’s gone, and King’s mom is lying on the ground. King has a bloody axe in his hands. He tries to escape the dream, but fails. Putting the story aside, the song is worse than the ones before it. The chorus with the jumping riff just doesn’t fit in to the feel of the song. I don’t hate or like this song, it’s just a part of the story.
6. ”Amon” Belongs To ”Them”
A more typical intro again, heavy riffing and drums. King is finally about to see his mother again, as she and Dr. Landau comes to visit. King can’t let them in, because of the deal he made to ’them’. King tries to explain it, but Landau thinks he’s become crazy. This is another story-based song, it didn’t stick into my mind because it’s not that great musically. At the end, King’s mother sticks a needle at King, making him unconscious.
7. Something Weird
King being out of the game for a while, this is an instrumental by Andy La Rocque. The name of the song fits it well actually. Starting with a distant guitar sound, the song is very weird from start to finish. Acoustic guitar gives it a kind of happy feel in the middle, before it returns to the menacing guitar sound at the end.
King is left lying on the ground, as his mother and the doctor go to a local church to see the reverend Sammael. Landau tells him about King, and converts the preacher to the conspiracy with them. The preacher becomes sure that King is controlled by Satan himself, or some demonic force at least. The only thing that can be done, is to get rid of him.
For the music, it has some ominous guitarwork and soloing. Still nothing special.
9. Let It Be Done
Only keyboards and some weird effects with the vocals here, this song ends the story. The priest puts King in a coffin, while King’s mother and the doctor set it on fire with a torch.
The last song is one of the best songs in the whole album. The starting riff plays throughout, and the song has a very aggressive feel in it. This would be amazing if heard live. There are no solos and it’s pretty much the same from start to finish, but it’s still very cool. The song is almost an instrumental, only with couple of ”happy” lines from King at the end:
”Whenever the dark is near
I will return from the grave
to haunt you...Godforsaken whore”
This was my first review, now it may seem kind of short. I had to decide to review either this or ”Them”, but I took this cause I like this more. The album has some very good moments (which ”Them” has less) but then again couple of little more insignificant tracks (which ”Them” has more). The story of the album is not as interesting as in Abigail, so it’s a shame that there are some tracks that concentrate more on the story than the music itself (The Wedding Dream, Victimized
). Some songs succeed in combining these two things, like At The Graves
, which is the best song on the album. Abigail is King Diamond's best (from the ones I've heard), but Conspiracy doesn't fall behind remarkably
At The Graves
A Visit From The Dead