Saturday, 26 July 2014

CD Review: Conspiracy, by King Diamond (1989)

The fourth studio album from Denmark's King Diamond, Conspiracy is a sequel of sorts to the long-winded story that started on 1988's "Them". As concept albums go Conspiracy is average, generally constrained by the band's well-defined sound but containing a couple of gems that hint at more talent than the band care to typically unleash.

King Diamond's albums ironically tend to suffer from too much King Diamond, the man's alternating falsetto and basic vocals certainly unique and just as certainly tiresome as he wails away about his latest spooky house fable. Conspiracy's best tracks come at the beginning and the end, and both benefit from more emphasis on the music and less on Diamond.

At almost 9 minutes, opener At The Graves is an impressive epic, the band finding a rich vein of inspiration and riding Andy La Rocque's muscular riffing to new territory where the hooks are more important than Diamond's vocals. Album closer Cremation also stands out, mainly because it's almost an instrumental. La Rocque takes centre stage with a busy satellite frequency riff, exploring what the band is capable of when not dominated by theatrical vocals.

The rest of Conspiracy is functional and exactly what can be expected: polished delivery, clean production, and plenty of vocals suitable for a midnight stage in the basement of the scariest house on the block; but otherwise not much variety or new creativity.


King Diamond - Vocals
Andy La Rocque - Guitars
Pete Blakk - Guitars
Hal Patino - Bass

Drums - Mikkey Dee
Keyboards - Roberto Falcao

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. At The Graves - 9
2. Sleepless Nights - 7
3. Lies - 7
4. A Visit From The Dead - 7
5. The Wedding Dream - 7
6. "Amon" Belongs To "Them" - 7
7. Something Weird - n/a (short instrumental)
8. Victimized - 7
9. Let It Be Done - n/a (short track)
10. Cremation - 8

Average: 7.38

Produced by Roberto Falcao, King Diamond, and Andy La Rocque.
Engineered by Roberto Falcao. Mixed by Chris Tsangarides, Roberto Falcao and King Diamond.

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