King Diamond - Abigail II

13 songs
53:10 minutes
***** ****
Metal Blade

The King is back, and this time, he brought Abigail with him. There were already a lot of critical voices, stating the King sold out because the return of Abigail something like a sequel in heavy metal was more a commercial than an artistic move. Well, I say, screw it, because Abigail was the album that introduced me to the phenomenon of King Diamond, and it was also the breakthrough album for him.

So what about Abigail II? Is it any better or at least an equal to its older sister from way back 1987. Yes and no: the initial fascination is gone, because we are all too familiar with the King's trademark of eunuch singing, but then there have been a lot of improvements in terms of production. The new songs are typical King Diamond of course. Melodic power metal with the King's schizophrenic vocals, some spooky parts to give you a cineastic impression, and you start to wonder if there will ever be a director giving the Abigail story a chance on the big screen.

The first times I listened to this new album, I was pleased but not really fascinated. But the more the CD is rotating in my player, the better the album becomes. As if the spirit of Abigail has given the band new strength. The backing band is a very tight one, especially the two guitar players Mike Wead and Andy LaRocque are guaranteeing professionality at its highest.

If you happen to be in a record store, you might want to listen to The Wheelchair to see what I meant with the previous paragraph, or also More Than Pain which shows King Diamond from a more experimenting and playful side.

Sometimes, sequels suck, and I could still kick myself in my arse for having wasted money on the second S.O.D. album, but Abigail II is different. It is a logical successor, and anybody who rejoiced the first part needs to get this CD. 9 points go out to King Diamond, with the impression that his solo output has much more quality than the recent Mercyful Fate CDs.

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