If one is unaware of King Diamond, he used to be a member of Mercyful Fate, but left over creative differences and unable to push the envelope in musical design and style, he ventured off on his own, with incredible success. First with  ‘Fatal Portrait’, before truly developing horror stories and creating musical stories of them, he started to skip over merely Satanic themes, rather making more than just an atmospheric album with spoken words, it contains sweeping guitar solos, traditional metal riffs and impressive lyrics. While it was released in September 1988, on the 13th, by Roadrunner Records it did earn multiple remastering and reissue versions, that feature the additional “Phone Call” bonus track and other live or alternative mixed songs.

The story starts with an atmospheric track, featuring demonic disembodied voices, as if they are looking down from the attic windows, suggesting things about Grandma and tea. Then crashing thunder teasing playing of a piano,, all it working to set an eerie tone, that announced Grandma was away on vacation, but holds sinister secrets, learned of the family, mother, Missy and King. The first actual songs kicks into high-gear with “Welcome Home” – with Mikkey Dee’s drumroll, solid riffs, the singing swings from Diamond’s shrieks to low growls, and everything in between, filled out with Andy LaRocque’s solos. It’s followed by another solid metal track entitle “The Invisible Guests” giving the listeners the opportunity to headbang to the music and listening to the horror tale of mystery, with the track ending in drawn out achiness.  Next is “Tea”, well actually blood, it is here one learns more the story of the lyrics, speak of King’s Grandma telling the house is haunted bearing the name of Amon, herein a little more of the mysterious presence known as Them. The songs “Bye , Bye, Missy” and “The Accusation Chair” both presents Diamonds vocals in perhaps their finest moment, has he elevates them to the enduring heighten levels, all while is band-mates deliver incredible music. LaRocque’s classical guitar offers a diversion from the rest of the album, yet evolves into a creepy finishing for the song “Them”. The final full track is “Twilight Symphony” which involves the police, King and Dr. Landau all which later reprise themselves in the part of the story in the next album called Conspiracy.  Ah, before I forget, the bonus song “Phone Call” is a creepy addition that invites one to return to the house of horrors.

Track List:

Out From The Asylum

Welcome Home

The Invisible Guests


Mother’s Getting Weaker

Bye, Bye Missy

A Broken Spell

The Accusation Chair

‘Them’ (Instrumental)

Twilight Symphony

Coming Home

Phone Call

Band Members

King Diamond – Vocals

Andy LaRocque – Guitars (Lead)

Pete Blakk – Guitars (Lead)

Hal Patino – Bass

Mikkey Dee – Drums


Baron’s Rating: 4.5/5.0

The storyline and conceptual design of the album, makes it one of King Diamond’s finest creations as the tale hints to Edgar Allan Poe and the house on the cover as well as elements of Psycho (1960) and Hitchcock. Overall, one can enjoy an album filled occult messages from a supernatural element and a haunted house. Diamond’s abilities to manipulate his voice works as an advantage on many of his albums including here, with the pantomime of voices, the high pitched vocals and swooping down to near growls, and repeating it often. A few bands try to achieve these conceptual design albums, it’s not very easily, though King deserves credit for the many times he’s hatch these horror tales throughout his career, back by classic and speed metal, though if new to his music I recommend listening to Abigail first. An additional note the songs ‘Welcome Home’ and ‘The Invisible Guests’ both appear in the film Clerks II (2006).

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