Thursday, 30 September 2010

CD Review: The Spider's Lullabye, by King Diamond (1995)

For those who are interested, The Spider's Lullabye is something of a concept album, or at least parts of it are. There is a story in here somewhere about phobias, spiders, and lots of death. Whatever. Isn't King Diamond's entire creative output, whether under his name or as Mercyful Fate, just a single intellectually limited concept?

When it comes to the music, the one sure thing about King Diamond is the reliability of the sound. This band is the Toyota Corolla of metal -- it delivers exactly what it promises, again, and again, and again. Concept album or not, most of the songs on The Spider's Lullabye sound reasonably good and reasonably the same, and the entire CD can almost function like a continuous track.

There are fragments of good ideas on most of the tracks, but other than opener From The Other Side, the ideas are never developed into memorable complete songs, and eventually the nuggets of inspiration are almost always trampled under the incessant wailing falsetto of Diamond on vocals.

Similarly, guitarists Andy La Rocque and Herb Simonsen shine in patches, but never decisively enough to lift the material to a more notable level.

The band does sound polished, professional and tight, and they never fail to deliver within the boundaries of their work. But they do stick rigidly to those boundaries, instead of shaking them to discover what lies beyond.


King Diamond - Vocals
Andy La Rocque - Guitars
Herb Simonsen - Guitars
Chris Estes - Bass
Darrin Anthony - Drums

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. From The Other Side - 10
2. Killer - 7
3. The Poltergeist - 8
4. Dreams - 7
5. Moonlight - 8
6. Six Feet Under - 7
7. The Spider's Lullabye - 8
8. Eastmann's Cure - 7
9. Room 17 - 7
10. To The Morgue - 7

Average: 7.60

Produced and Mixed by King Diamond and Tim Kimsey.
Engineered by Tom Kimsey. Mastered by Eddy Schreyer.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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