KING DIAMOND – The Puppet Master

KING DIAMOND continues to shine brighter than most of the classic heavy metal bands that are still around today. The Puppet Master is yet another strong addition to KING DIAMOND’s body of work. The dynamic duo of King Diamond and Andy La Rocque have proven that a reduced recording budget and other squabbles with their record label did not affect the quality of their art. As promised, the story behind the latest concept album is truly twisted and horrific. It’s the story, told from King’s perspective, of being eternally enslaved as a living cadaver to a deranged puppet master and his wife. During the course of the album, King takes you through all the twists and turns of this dark tale. Musically, the band continues to proudly fly the flag of classic heavy metal. They rely on the power of the almighty riff to carry them. As with every KING DIAMOND record, there is just the right amount of melody whether it be in the guitar riffs, solos, occasional keyboard parts or vocals. King Diamond’s voice continues to be one of the most charismatic and strongest in metal. It’s not all falsettos as the uninitiated may assume. He utilizes his full vocal range to seamlessly fit into the tone of each song. The awesome guitar duo of Andy La Rocque and Mike Wead (also in MERCYFUL FATE) delivers the fretboard mastery that you’ve come to expect from them. It’s especially bad ass when they are trading off guitar solos. These two could easily run circles around most of today’s so-called guitar heroes. The crisp production of the album highlights the band’s tight playing. The guitars have a nice natural and strong tone, both in the rhythm and lead parts. Livia Zita contributes her soothing vocals throughout the album in the role of King’s girlfriend who is tragically separated from him by the puppet master. The strongest point of The Puppet Master is the way in which the album flows so naturally with ease. The band easily gets their point across like the pros they are. It’s always a great feeling to know that these classic metal heroes have not faltered. (Metal Blade Records)

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