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Fatal Portrait

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Average Rating
★★★★½
(27 Reviews)

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  • If you are reading this, you probably know that after “Mercyful’s Fate’s” ‘Don’t Break the Oath,’ the group broke up. (Largely due to the praises to hell on the afore mentioned record.) Guitarist Hank Shermann and drummer Kim Ruzz went their own way, and Bassist Tim Hansen and guitarist Mike Denner stayed with the front man King Diamond. Drummer Mick Dee and the highly underrated guitarist Andy LaRoque joined the party, and this was the beginning of the group we now call “King Diamond.” While later efforts by “King Diamond” reflect stronger writing and musical skills, this 1st record hints at the greatness that was to come in later efforts such as “Abigail,” “Them,” and “Conspiracy.” On this 1st record, we are offered a half length story and a few individual songs. After an impressive keyboard opening, we hear the story of a woman who was so obsessed with her daughter Molly that she kept her locked away from anyone else and decided to make her immortal with a portrait. The girl dies, but as most of you know, when King Diamond is involved, death is but a temporary absence. While one can tell this is an early record, the musical and lyrical qualities are prevalent. After the story of the record takes a break, ‘Charon’ keeps the tone. ‘Lurking In the Dark’ starts with some howls and is a decent song. ‘Halloween’ is a good spooky song that keeps the tone and musical pace of the record going. ‘Voice From the Past’ is a good guitar instrumental played by none other than Mr. Diamond himself. ‘Haunted’ goes back to the story of Molly and offers a crowning end to the record. While this group was to improve with age, “Fatal Portrait” remains a good record and prepares us for the horrors awaiting in “Abigail,” “Them,” “Conspiracy,” “The Spider’s Lullabye,” and “The Graveyard.”

    Posted on February 11, 2010