The first King Diamond record I got was VOODOO, and it was alright, but it kind of let me down. The second, A DANGEROUS MEETING, just showed me how much better some of his older stuff is. The I got this one. Instead of the standard, full-album rock opera that you usually get, TSL features four songs that tell the story of Harry and his fear of spiders. The rest have no real relation, and in this respect it is similar to FATAL PORTRAIT (a few linked songs, the rest not). SPIDER is more of a crossover record, viewing his older-style sound (THE EYE on back) with a contemporary metal-scene viewpoint(a scene which he helped create, I might add). The first thing that struck me was the attention to melody he places on his vocals; tracks like “Killer” and “Moonlight” are rife with King’s haunting, eerily tuneful falsetto and occasionally his tough growl. The second was the absolutely killer (no pun intended) guitar work, courtesy of Andy LaRocque and Herb Simonsen (now replaced by Glen Drover)(smoking solos, guys!). My personal favorites are “Killer,” the short but brilliant “From the Other Side,” “The Poltergeist,” and most especially the title track, which actually conjures up images of a spider creeping along in a dark corner. King’s voice will take you a while to get used to (at least, it did for me) but it is definitely worth the price.