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.