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The Graveyard

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(30 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • The Graveyard, like many of the other KD releases, takes a few spins to truly appreciate. Like “The Puppet Master”, the music on this release covers a wide range of moods and tempos, from slow, crushing mood pieces to chunky, speedy riffs.

    Both Puppet Master and The Graveyard remind me quite a bit of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”. Not in style, certainly, but in the general feel of the releases as being far more advanced conceptually and creatively than most other music out there. The best horror slowly builds up to a crescendo, and that is what the music does here. So, yes, it may take a few listenings to appreciate the feel of this album. Of course, it helps that the songs kick-A.

    –Black Hill Sanitarium and Waiting are both excellent heavy tracks.
    –Heads on the Wall may be the best thing King ever wrote. Fantastic, simple guitar work, great lyrics, and it invokes great visuals.
    –Daddy, while being a bit heavy handed upon the first listen, eventually taps into some weird place in your mind, where you can imagine the primal need for security being taken away. Pretty emotional stuff.
    –Sleep Tight Little Baby….if the chorus is not running through your head, over and over again, I’d be surprised. This song puts goosebumps on my arms. Not because it is creepy, which it is, but because King’s voice is just so emotional. Also, I just love they way he says “Climb down into your coffin Dear, and sleeeeep tight.”

    I know many proclaim Abigail King’s best work, but for a total listening experience I will put on The Graveyard or The Puppet Master first. Do yourself a favor and give it a try.

    Posted on December 22, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I fall into a rare breed of Diamond fans (not Neil.. King). I didn’t get into KD until the mid-late nineties, so I wasn’t around when he was at his (arguable) peak, plus I also don’t really have any reference point for the early albums since I got into all his albums around the same time. So, even with this in mind, I can pinpoint my fascination with The Graveyard upon various factors:

    1. Story is both realistic and supernatural. The elements that make it “scary” are almost more of the realistic elements, and the supernatural elements are almost benign in comparison which makes for a cool twist (not to mention the “twist” ending).

    2. I think that King’s mental hospital patient (channeled undoubtedly from Alice Cooper’s character on From the Inside), has the characteristics of an “Anti-hero”, something that isn’t too prevalent in the “good vs evil” themes in heavy metal.

    3. The music, though dryly produced, is some of his catchiest material. Black Hill Sanitarium comes out with an almost Panteraesque riff to cover a lot of ground within its minutes. It also has songs like “Sleep Tight Little Baby” which is probably the most anguished sounding King had been since “Melissa”’s title track.

    But the real treat music wise is the “Danny Elfman meets Black Sabbath” spectacle of “Digging Graves”. I’ve never heard a Metal song that sounds more like Elfman’s material for “Nightmare Before Christmas”, even on a Savatage album.

    Solowise, Laroque and Simonsen are a little restrained this time around, but the riffs on the album are ingenious. The music is a bit stripped down from those early albums, but not utterly simplified like on such albums as “House of God”.

    4. Vocal wise, this is probably my favorite performance of King. He is so maniacal, so deranged (in a humorous way which I believe is somewhat intentional) that we believe he is that nuts. Its fun to hear him use his ENTIRE range of voices, from the early Fate groan, to the very Alice Cooper sounding nasal midrange, to the classic falsetto and more.

    Conclusion: This is definitely the most underrated King album of all. I believe it to be a peak in a way, as most of the albums after this I haven’t liked as much. Voodoo pales in comparison in many ways to the melodies contained on this album.

    I think King has come close with The Puppet Master, as that was his best in years, and I haven’t listened to Give Me Your Soul Please enough to warrant a final judgement, but The Graveyard stands alone among King Diamond albums. I believe this to be his best nineties album other than Spider’s Lullabye, and its comparable (production wise) to Fate’s own Into the Unknown (ever notice how they kind of seemed to overlap with their songwriting style and production, each KD and Fate released during the same period?)

    Posted on December 22, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Something else has arisen from the morbid catacombe that is King Diamond’s skull, now crowned with a tophat. In “The Graveyard”, King has reached a new level of insanity, unlike anything he has demonstrated before. The theme of this monsterpiece deals with the kidnap & abuse of little Lucy, a “Mayor MacKenzie”, who is her tormentor, & King as a lunatic {not a far stretch —– indeed, the role seems to come naturally for him}, who escapes from “Black Hill Sanitarium” to rescue her from the despicable MacKenzie, who attempted to place all the blame of her abuse upon him, thus, the framework. Another tragic tale from the King of Macabre Metal. Another shock to the soul to place things in perspective, & force further consideration. The music is as eratic as it is organized. It seems to be a paradox, in that unique King Diamond style. Chaos, yet not without order. There is much keyboard work here, that sets the eerie embiance afloat. Once again, the experience of King Diamond is manifest, & as much as you can expect to encounter, so there is that which is unforseen. “The Graveyard” deals with the issue of abuse upon children, translated through the gothic imagination, utilizing metaphor & psychodrama, staged through a horror-genre setting. In short, Shadowmancy. As usual, King Diamond walks between the worlds of fantasy & reality, that lurker in the shadows, that voice from the darkside. And like Satan, the accuser & tormentor to some, & a brother & comrade to others. And like all true Satanists, is the personafication of Satan. The elegant cover & band photo was supplied by the photographic talent of Chris Estes, who also happens to be the bass guitarist. Quite a nice premiere. Plans to publish the “Them/Conspiracy” tales, “The Spider’s Lullabye”, & now, “The Graveyard” novels in book form, are still in the process.

    Posted on December 22, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • A great injustice is being done to King Diamond’s The Graveyard: Many folks say that this is a bad album, King’s worst even. This probably scares away curious would-be buyers. Well, I’m here to tell you not to get a tarnished preceonceived notion of this cd. Normally I state things as opinion(coz that’s what they are), but this I’ll state as fact coz it is: The Graveyard is the best album King Diamond put out in the 90s. The songs do not “run together”, there are too “songs that stand out”. You trying to tell me that Digging Graves doesn’t stand out?? The music is the best it has been in years(and for some years after as well). The story is a different approach as well. After doing Hammer Film-esque gothic horrors, King tries for an all out psychological suspense type thriller this time. It’s a good approach, coz this is one of the most unique and interesting stories King Diamond has ever given us. King even gives a “Don’t try this at home” kind of message in the liner notes. Well, I should hope not for crying out loud! But whether you try it at home or not, don’t get a jaded opinion of the Graveyard before you hear it-you’ll be cheating yourself if you do. Get it and hear it and you’ll see what I mean. Then you’ll also wish the naysayers well…..In Hell!!

    Posted on December 22, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This was my first non 80’s album of King Diamond and I was amazed just how good it was. It has a real cool story to it and it is by far some of King’s most darkest work ever. Andy La Rocque does another amazing job on guitars. If you listen to when “Black Hill Sanitarium” kicks in you can here the Halloween theme to those Michael Myers horror movies being played. I thought that was very cool. My favorite song on the album is definetly “Heads On The Wall”. Like I said this is definetly King’s most darkest album. I still like his 80’s stuff like “Them” and “Abigail” better than this but for an album released in 1996 I was shocked how awesome it still was. It definetly marks #3 on my top 3 favorite King Diamond albums. It is worth it for any King Diamond fan…. LUCY FOREVER

    Posted on December 21, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now