This retro review returns to the year if 1987 with the solo artist King Diamond and his second album entitled “Abigail”, which marked his first concept record on Roadrunner Records, later leading to re-releases, first in 1997 with 4 bonus tracks, and a 25th Anniversary edition in 2005 with a bonus DVD. Over the years, the record attracted many fans (metal and horror), and consider a masterpiece, thereby surpassing his previous band, Mercyful Fate’s Don’t Break the Oath powerful influence on the metal scene.
While some might argue that Alice Cooper’s Welcome to My Nightmare is the true first horror conceptual album it does contain a grouping of tracks, however Abigail, tells a skillful story of the supernatural and complete with vivid horror elements, never becoming silly or cheesy. After all, both genres of horror and metal started a journey in the late 70s and continued that glorious path forward to the present day. In fact, looking back about how King Diamond created this album, which came from a dream, resembling a horror film feel, a stormy night, and from his visions recalled a horse drawn wagon and a coffin of child.
Many metal fans over 35-years of age know of the story of ‘Abigail’ but always time to inform one of the tales, and the spiritual numerology involved in the album. Miriam Natias and Jonathan La’Fey, a young couple move into an inherited mansion in 1845, upon their arrival a warning beckons them to leave, for if they don’t heed they shall become cursed and “18 will become 9.” Therefore, just like a horror film, they ignored the warnings, upon the first night Jonathan meets with Count de La’Fey, The Family Ghost, who shows a coffin of a child name Abigail, and Miriam carries the spirit. It sounds a little like Poe tale, and awaiting Vincent Price to reincarnate from the shadows, a tinge of The Haunted Palace. The fifth track of “The 7th Day of July 1777” tells the story of Count’s wife and her unfaithfulness, from here, a few tasteful morsels to look forward, a child eating flesh, possessions, crucifixion of a demonic baby and murders.
King’s voice incredible fresh and amazing, a quick mixture of falsettos and shrieks, back to haunting echoes and a few growls layering each track carefully and energy packed for a length of 40-minutes. The solos and rhythm sections might make the modern audiences think of power metal, however note the year, and the careful structure of melodies and intense drumming added with peaceful acoustic moments. The final track “Black Horsemen” gives an epic conclusion to the album, and definitely having a listener repeating entire album and especially the final track.
As you recall, I mentioned the aspect of numerology, herein its ‘9’ for example the character of Miriam her age 18 while Jonathan is 27 and both numbers add up to equal 9, in addition their arrival 1845, the first 2 numbers and last the two both also equal 9. In fact King takes even further with reference of 18 becomes 9 meaning Miriam who’s 18 becomes pregnant in 9-monhts with Abigail’s spirit and lastly, “7th Day of July 1777” = 7 days a week ; 7 month; 7 x 3 times; 1 plus; 7+7+21+1= 36 = 9.
Therefore, even 30-years later listen this album and to inspire the filmmaker in you to turn ‘Abigail’ to masterful haunting tale or the musical artist to create another beautiful conceptual record. As merely a trivial note, Diamond’s character La’Fey a nod to Anton LaVey founder of the Church of Satan and with all the connections to ‘9’ he did an album with Mercyful Fate in 1999 entitled none other than “9”.
1 – Funeral – 1:29
2 – Arrival – 5:26
3 – A Mansion In Darkness – 4:33
4 –The Family Ghost – 4:05
5 –The 7th Day Of July 1777 – 4:51
6 – Omens – 3:56
7 – The Possession – 3:25
8 – Abigail – 4:52
9 – Black Horsemen – 7:39
King Diamond: Vocals
Andy Larocque: Guitar
Michael Denner: Guitar
Timi Hansen: Bass Guitar
Mikkey Dee: Drums
Roberto Falcao: Engineer, Keyboards
Baron’s Rating: 5/5
The above video is from: (King Diamond’s YouTube Page https://www.youtube.com/user/realkingdiamond)
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