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Abigail II: The Revenge

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(51 Reviews)

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The story continues with the doomed saga of the family La Fey, a cold-blooded tale of revenge from the master storyteller. Metal Blade Records. 2002.King Diamond’s 1987 concept album, Abigail, is generally considered to be King Diamond’s most significant release. Though 15 years have lapsed between its release and its sequel’s appearance, it appears not that much has changed. Abigail II: The Revenge, features the kind of heavy yet catchy melodies, intriguing tempo changes, and grinding riffs that mark much of the band’s catalog, with creepy mood music and Diamond’s notorious shrieks added to the mix to fit the horror theme. The driving ”Miriam” twists from chugging riffs into a sweeping melody. The keyboard-driven ”Broken Glass” boasts nice goth touches, while ”Slippery Stairs” borders on speed metal. At times, gestures toward advancing the plot undermine the music, and Diamond’s demonic-growl-to-falsetto range remains an acquired taste, but musically the band has never sounded stronger. –Gail Flug

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  • I seriously cannot understand the one star reviews (Especially if you’re a “fan”)!! First: there’s about a 15 year gap between Abigial I & II – how could they possibly sound the same?! Second: why would you want them to? That would be repetitve and boring. Maybe the real reason for some of the low (and hostile) reviews of this cd is because it reminds them of a time when they were young. A time they can never return to and ultimately a reminder/realization that they can’t live they way they did as a reckless youth and have become bitter and cynical…but why take it out on poor King?! Saying Abigail II is not as “good” as the first Abigail is like being angry that Iron Maiden hasn’t written another “Run to the Hills” or AC/DC not recording another “Back in Black” album… Abigail II is a present to his fans and as a fan I appreciate the gesture. I realize that not everyone is going to like A2 but I don’t think it should be given a one star – especially by a fan!
    Now that I got that out of my system…
    What makes Abigail II so enjoyable (for me, anyways) is the detail of the story is more intricate than the original. And the music was much more sinister this time, helping to create great visual effects in one’s mind. There are plenty of great themes and melodies throughout the entire cd. A previous reviewer stated the contrary but maybe he wasn’t paying enough attention. The songs do take a few listenings to really grow on you (pretty much like most of his work) but the reward is there for those willing to keep an open mind.
    King really put a lot of thought and effort into this project and I’m very pleased with the results. I recommend this release to any and all King Diamond fans. Definately an album you shouldn’t be without!

    Posted on November 29, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Once again King has come up trumps with a follow up to the twisted tale of Abigail, only this time there are two Abigails to contend with for the price of admission.Who ever said that less is more? The story moves nicely and the songs avoid simply becoming a narration for the plot as has sometimes become the case in other Diamond releases (see Voodoo). The musical style is certainly different in flavour to the first chapter, less neo classical perhaps and more like the magnificant “9″ opus by King’s other band which certainly allows the songs to breath a lot more. The stand out track for me is the lavish “Spirits” and indeed on a side note all the songs co-written with long time guitarist Andy La Roque have a little extra dimension of melody that helps things enormously. Other highlights must be opener “The Storm” with souless siren howls heard in the background depicting the storm in morbid harmonic style. This in turn is followed by the one two kick of “Mansion in Sorrow” with its catchy chorus and “Miriam” which both take us back screaming and kicking to where it all began. When I heard this release was coming along I really didn’t have too much faith in how a sequel could be justified let alone interesting. However the plot is held together in a very clever method (though like me you may have to read the lyrics and supplied family tree a couple of times)and it certainly does not disappoint. The artwork supplied on the cover and booklet is awesome too and both certainly deserve a mention. Another triumphant release from our brother grim the one and only King Diamond!

    Posted on November 29, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I’ll begin with a brief rundown of where I stand. I share the common opinion that ‘Abigail,’ ‘Them,’ and ‘Conspiracy’ are the best. I think the healthy runnerups were ‘Spiders’ Lullabye’ and ‘The Graveyard.’ For those of you who gave this record low ratings, I’m guessing you were expecting the same magic of ‘Abigail.’ I’ll go so far as to say the 1st ‘Abigail’ was probably one of the closest things Mr. Diamond did to a perfect record. (Where story and music are concerned) We have to remember though that Mr. Diamond DID NOT originally plan to make this record. (Else it would have been made a lot sooner after the first ‘Abigail.’) Rather, he did it because so many of his fans wanted it. So, being that Mr. Diamond did it mostly in response to us, we do owe the record a chance. All of that said, onto the subject at hand. Andy La Rocque and Mike Wead may not get the attention that Jim Hendrix, Steve Vai, or Eddie Van Halen get. In my opinion, this is proof that being popular doesn’t mean you’re better than someone who is more obscure. The return of Hal Patino on bass is most welcome. While one will probably notice a musical difference between this new record and the original ‘Abigail,’ there is still a notable effort to hold on to the fine qualities of the 80s. (A trait sadly given up by Metallica and others.) King’s vocals are top notch as almost always. If his impact of horror was slipping on ‘Voodoo,’ it more than recovered with this album. Without ruining the story, I will say ‘Spare This Life’ is a great opening with King’s famous growls; the music and sound effects on ‘Storm’ are well done; the wording on ‘Mansion In Sorrow’ is captivating; ‘Slippery Stairs’ has some nice riffs; ‘Broken Glass’ could have been written by Edgar Allen Poe; (The keyboards are the perfect touch.) If I say much more, I will probably ruin the story, and I’d rather not do that to you. But it will suffice to say that in the spirit of King Diamond, revenge DOES NOT LEAD to a happy ending. (I think Hollywood still needs to figure this out, but we won’t go there.) I know some people complained about ‘recycled riffs,’ but let’s be fair. No matter how good a writer is, there will come a point in his career where it’s either bring back some old ideas or risk having nothing at all. (Look at how the animated Batman series brought back some ideas from the 60s Adam West series.) All in all, if you are expecting the same magic of the 1st ‘Abigail,’ then you are probably setting yourself up for a disappointment. IF, on the other hand, you are willing to accept that King Diamond made this record in response to our request for it, that King’s vocals are in tip top shape, that Andy La Rocque and Mike Wead may have been in better shape, but are still in great shape, that the great bass work of Hal Patino is back, and that King Diamond NEVER, REPEAT NEVER abandoned his style when Metallica and several others DID, then BY ALL MEANS, pick this record up. King Diamond may not get the applause that Metallica, Jim Hendrix, Britney Spears, Eddie Van Halen, and several others get. BUT, ask yourself: ‘Who consistently made record after record that DID NOT drop in quality?’ ‘Who held onto his style while others looked for quick hits?’ ‘Who stayed true to himself and never sold out?’ If your answer is King Diamond, then get this record.

    Posted on November 28, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Being a King Diamond fan for many years now, I was pleased to pick this one up and absolutely devoured it. With the exception of the excellent “Voodoo” album from a few years ago, I had thought that the King was in a serious drought for ideas. “Abigail II” is excellent. From the songwriting through to the production, the album is great. The band sounds like they haven’t for years. LaRoque’s playing is great and the addition of Mike Wead gives the band a true twin guitar attack that they haven’t had since the days of LaRoque/Denner. Both guitarists have their own style that is easy to distinguish. The music aims to be less complicated, with more focus on riffs and groove, which is a good thing. It leaves more room to listen to the lyrics without having to analyze the music around the story. This also benefits the guitarists, as they introduce many good fills and excellent lead work. We also get a more in depth look at the Abigail story and it is quite weird and spooky in a neat sorta way. Outstanding tracks for me are “A Mansion in Sorrow” and “Miriam”. The band really sounds their tightest on those two and King’s vocals really shine. Overall it is an ambitious effort that re-kindles the story of King’s most famous album and it seems that the band was determined to not disappoint and I believe that they have done so.

    Posted on November 28, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • After listening to King Diamond’s latest epic release, i may have to rethink all my other reviews for past albums in the 90s, as “Abigail II: The Revenge” is the best Diamond album since the original “Abigail”. The original storyline almost seems like a footnote compared to its sequel, as King continues with Abigail going back to the old Mansion, only to discover a horrible secret and inadvertently commit revenge. The lyrics are powerful , sad, sick and really scary, don’t listen to this in the dark! King’s vocals are realised very well here, with creative mixing and editing, it’s unlike anything he has done. And the band, the line-up is the best since the “Them/Conspiracy” era. Mike Weed complimenting Andy LaRocque’s guitar playing is a wonderful surprise, and makes all other guitarist working with King and LaRocque during the 90s sound like they never fit. And Hal Patino does a good job and is also a highlight for nostagliac fans of the 80s. And Matt Thompson does a more than admirable job on the drums, with some also great keyboard and sound effects thrown in to help with that eerie, scary King Diamond’s almost a shame that this band, which indeavours to maintain a certain continuity and high standard of metal, will not get it’s due rewards, as most people feel that King Diamond is an “acquired taste”. King Diamond happens to be one of the most creative, melodic and immaginative bands, brave enough to make albums into complex stories, as to listen to the whole album and not just certain radio played tracks and songs made just for videos. Even death/satanic/devil/thrash metal of the 90s should take a cue from this band, as King has proved beyond a doubt, that this is way you make a superb goth metal album which will only be copied by many so-called wanna-be immitators. I’ll never listen to the “Abigail” the same way I did 15 years ago…

    Posted on November 28, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now