Have you ever tried reviewing something you do not know how to criticise? It is an absolute pain in the neck and I feel this way about King Diamond’s classic, Abigail.
Seriously now, how do you criticise an album that you personally consider perfect? I have absolutely no idea and that is why I am struggling to think of something. If you don’t know, Abigail is the 1987 follow up album to King Diamond’s début album, Fatal Portrait. I don’t think I have ever met anyone who has so much as looked down at this hauntingly beautiful piece of music.
So the story of Abigial is about a couple (Miriam and Jonathan) who move into a fairly haunted mansion. Jonathan receives a warning about the haunting ghost of a dead featus “Abigail” on the premises. The warning states that Abigail will become born again (not a Christain) through the body of Miriam. Jonathan sets out to kill his wife after finding out about a story where a husband kills his unfaithful wife and so on. You really should read the whole synopsis at the wiki page HERE. You don’t realise the magnitude of this kind of song writing when it is buried under such fantastic music. On first glance you might think it is a bit hammer horror, but when you really sit and think about it, the story of Abigail is incredibly dark and fairly unique. It would make a good movie if you ask me.
Anyway, onto the music itself. Abigail has to be some of the finest work between Andy LaRocque and Michael Denner. The riffs are a plenty and their twin guitar soloing is stuff that would rival the fellows in Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Naturally Timi Hansen and Mikkey Dee hold the back line with some serious technical precision. There is not a bad song on the album but when you look at songs like Omens, Abigail or Arrival as stand a lone tracks, they really are very nicely composed. Each song does not over do the guitars, they do not last too long or too short. They know their strengths and played them out perfectly on Abigail.
Even by today’s standards this album sounds fantastic. The production is heavy but has a slight hint of ’80s gloss which makes it stand out. The crystal clear instruments make them sound timeless and King Diamond’s vocals, who can have such a wide range of vocal tones and pull them off with such precision. Again, at first glance it will seem a little silly. But you read those lyrics, read the synopsis and focus on the album. You will see that this album is not just another ’80s metal album. But a brilliant work of art that really deserves a lot of credit. A LOT more than it has been given in the past 28 years.
It makes you wonder that if King Diamond had such phenomenal musicians in his band and wrote albums this strong, then why were they not a huge international success? I mean in terms of song writing a lone this album surpasses anything that Iron Maiden were producing at the time and they could very easily push them to their maximum potential as musicians.
Where to buy :
Track Listing :
- A Mansion In Darkness
- The Family Ghost
- The 7th Day of July 1777
- The Possession
- Black Horsemen