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★★★★☆
(59 Reviews)

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  • I was kinda surprised in learning that this wasn’t a concept album, as I was under the impression that almost any album was that involved King Diamond. I’m not quite sure of the significance of this album’s title. Perhaps it’s because this is Mercyful Fate’s ninth release (if you dismiss their self-titled EP debut and the 1992 “rarities” release). Or maybe it’s just because it was released in 1999. Context clues don’t make things much clearer when the lyrics to the title track read “I am 9 … you are 9 … we are all 9″. I suppose it’s also possible that it has some satanic significance (as it is well known that King Diamond claims to be a member of the Church of Satan — to which his lyrics testify). In any event, I liked this album a tad more than I did _Them_ from King Diamond — although I thought the La Rocque and Blakk tandem performed slightly better than the guitar work found here from Shermann and Wead (which is saying a lot). I’m not exactly sure what made this a better album. Better production might be part of it, maybe it was slightly tighter, more memorable songs. It also seemed more melodic, and the vocals seemed a bit more consistent here. I actually loved this album more on the first few listens, but repetitious choruses and predictable structures took away a little from this initial attraction. Still, this is something metal fans won’t want to miss out on — I don’t believe there was a single weak track on the album. Favorite songs included “Church of Saint Anne”, “Burn in Hell”, and “Buried Alive”.

    Posted on November 16, 2009