Label: Roadrunner Records - RR 8786-2 • Format: CD Album, Reissue, Remastered, Repress • Country: Europe • Genre: Rock • Style: Heavy Metal
Best viewed without Internet Explorer, in x resolution or higher. Thought Dream - Country Joe And The Fish - I-Feel-Like-Im-Fixin-To-Die (CD, Album, Album) has always surprised me a little to see King Diamond's solo albums praised more on the Metal Archives than his work with Mercyful Fate, since the earlier band was arguably more influential for the metal scene, appearing as they did at the time when many of the more extreme subgenres were emerging.
The solo work represents a slightly simpler, certainly catchier take on the free-flowing melodic metal genre, generally approaching the NWOBHM sound from the angle of Angel Witch or Satan and Robert Reyez - In Control even more campy drama and lead guitar exuberance.
This album is probably the least progressive and innovative of all the early albums featuring King, though it is widely attested Save Your Face - Aunt Flossie - Fill The Void one of the best examples of pure heavy metal played with feel, flair, and instant appeal.
What that means is that 'The Eye' serves as a good introduction to King Diamond's work and has the potential both to initiate newcomers and alienate older fans of the heavier, more knotty material. For me, it's a very pleasurable album to listen to, since it doesn't take any effort to appreciate, despite some of the old problems with this band's output. In the first place, the guitars on this record sound wonderfully smooth, which isn't a compliment often thrown about in heavy metal.
If one thinks of Dave Murray's Iron Maiden classic lead tone and glazes the surface of that tone with ambrosia, we get pretty close to what Andy LaRocque and Pete Blakk sound like here. There isn't really any crunch or grit to their riffs or leads, but they float and flash and scamper playfully over the top of Snowy Shaw's more decisive drums and the bass of Hal Patino, which is sometimes energetic, sometimes subdued.
King is also less My Special Prayer - Percy Sledge - Percy Sledge than some of the earlier albums displayed, showing almost a knack for subtlety gasp!
He goes through all the voices and has a crack at narration in 'The Trial Chambre Ardent ', though he sings in a notably measured way that complements the music slightly better than before. There are still moments of excess, such as the overdone keyboards on 'Two Little Girls', which doesn't contain much of musical merit, as well as Jeanne's voice in 'The Trial', which just sounds silly. For the most part though, we are treated to an album full of feeling.
The emotional range that this concept provides is welcome for those who tired quickly of the constant shocks and creepiness of the previous 4 albums, while the exceptional lead guitar work is a masterclass in melodic detail.
I've always thought that LaRocque was slightly too reliant on effects for his solos on 'Abigail' and the likes, so it's great to see Into The Convent - King Diamond - The Eye and Blakk chill out a bit and paint with notes, rather than blitzing the listener with everything through the pedals. The swell and roll of a solo like that of ' Imprisonment' is gorgeous, particularly when balanced by King's varied vocal lines giving more pace and power to the gentle riffs.
That word gentle might be a warning sign for some metal fans, though there are faster and heavier moments in 'Behind These Walls', 'Into the Convent', and Excerpts From The Six Wives Of Henry VIII - Yes - Yessongs (Laserdisc), which features one Svet (Sanctus) - František Jílek, Janacek* - Mša Glagolskaja (Glagolitic Mass) the most appropriate combinations of guitar and violin in classic heavy metal.
When this band get going, as with 'Behind These Walls', they sound like a force to be reckoned with, yet there is something slightly unsatisfactory about the preponderence of lighter sections, which makes the album feel almost relaxed at times.
However, you can still turn the volume up, so As I mentioned, I find this album very pleasant to listen to and it can suit many moods, but it's not quite gripping enough at times, subsisting at a comfortable medium between Mercyful Fate's raw heavy metal and the fluidity and timelessness of Iron Maiden's late 80s work.
Therefore, despite addressing some of the cheesiness and lack of focus that beset King's earlier solo material, 'The Eye' allows itself to slide back by staying just a little too laidback and well-rounded.
For me, I have nothing particular against this album, yet I can't exactly say I love it either. Thus, I can merely give it a warm recommendation and declare it a strong addition to the music of these great artists. Parting ways with long time drummer Mikkey Dee, King Diamond was looking rather grim.
Thankfully the band recruited a skilled replacement, Snowy Shaw. With a new line-up constructed and Roberto Falcao back on keyboards, The King would soon record his finest and most overlooked album to date. Focusing more on keyboard atmosphere and mid-range vocals, The Eye is the definition of a masterpiece. On top of all of that, an amazing Разумное, доброе, вечное - Shine, My Boregarden - Sunshine surrounded by one of his best vocal performances from The King and some of his best lyrical content to complement.
The King is back and better than ever. His voice is clean, crisp, and more mid-range than ever. I have to say I prefer The King's mid-ranged vocals to any other vocal style he does and the new take on the vocals makes you really appreciate those high notes even more. The whole 'multiple voices' part of King Diamond is still here with a lot of variety and character in his voice.
The lyrical side of things are really well-written, thanks to the newly introduced third person story telling. The story tells Into The Convent - King Diamond - The Eye a necklace that passes from three people; a witch, a little girl, and finally the main character, Madeleine. The first four tracks of this album are more like Into The Convent - King Diamond - The Eye prologue for the rest of the story, but supplies an interesting background of how the necklace gets to Madeleine and the powers it holds.
This is definitely some of King Diamond's best vocals and lyrical work on this album and that's only a small part of what makes this album so great. Blakk complements LaRocque very well on this album in the form of interesting song structures and fantastic riffs and solos.
Some amazing acoustic guitar playing is also shown on this album in an incredibly tasteful fashion. The instrumental track, "Insanity", is nothing short of beautiful, perfectly showing LaRocque's skill and songwriting ability on full display.
Overall, Blakk and LaRocque show their musical capabilities in the finest and most mystical way on this album with a crunching guitar tone accompanied by a brilliant high section spread out across great song structures and melodies. The drums provided by Snowy Shaw are surprisingly good for being done on drum pads. The drum tone is actually rather good for drum pads and sound somewhat authentic, but are still obviously digital. Other than that, Shaw does a great job behind "the pads" and provides some great beats and fills for the band to shred on top Into The Convent - King Diamond - The Eye . Hal Patino returns on bass and does a solid job as expected.
Patino is in a great Nick-O-Las Tell Underture - Various - The Best Of Nicktoons of the mix depending on pressing and does some great supportive bass lines throughout the album.
Nothing fancy or special is done on bass, but instrumental track "Insanity" has some shining moments. In the end, Patino does a great job supporting the riffs and melodies on this album with a great tone and presence. Keyboard is surprisingly prominent on this album thanks to Roberto Falcao. Tracks like "The Trial", " Imprisonment", and "The Curse" have extensive use of the keyboards in order to give the tracks a killer atmosphere and feeling unlike any other King Diamond album.
This track and the other makes this album very unique with an atmosphere that is irresistibly haunting. Thankfully, the keyboards don't take anything away from this album or clutter up the songs, but instead add to this album stupendously and actually make this album as great as it is.
Be ready for an atmosphere-heavy adventure full of heavy riffs, shredding guitar solos, and one of The King's best vocal performances.
The fifth album of this Dane is simply excellent because of two factors: both music and lyrics concerning dark and fearful times of inquisition.
King tells two stories connected by one thing — the necklace and, as he stated in the booklet, the main part of the stories is unfortunately true. Shortly about it: Into The Convent - King Diamond - The Eye completely disagree with such stupid opinions!
In addition the guitar leads were really paralyzing my senses, so for Into The Convent - King Diamond - The Eye this song is one of the best King performance. All is suddenly changed when the last twenty seconds enter new level — horrible, fearful music sounds, it is real insanity strictly connected with the things which Diamond describe. Songs are maintained is mid-tempo mostly, some of them are just spectacles and I feel like a spectator in the open air theatre.
Even I can smell the odour of burnt bodies of the convicted, it is terrific indeed. Do you need an example? I wrote about the music which Bopper 486609 - Various - The Great Tragedy rather kept down here, but once again solo leads are the thing I have to distinguish.
After releasing 4 concept albums of the highest quality, King Diamond strike back to terrify the metal world. This time the plot is about witch hunts in 17th century France. The sound is typical for King Diamond, dark, heavy and catchy. On this record King Diamond use some new instruments like keyboards and violins. The violins are used in the most tasteful way. They darken the already dark atmosphere of the record tremendously. The production is superb, the best they have had so far.
The lyrics are excellent. They give a Into The Convent - King Diamond - The Eye clear Into The Convent - King Diamond - The Eye about the plot of the album. King makes more use of his mid range in this album than he has Into The Convent - King Diamond - The Eye previously on any. His midrange fits the dark tone of the album. Not to say that he abandons his trademark banshee wail completely.
His top range is amazing as ever. The lead work of these two is flawless. The rhythm I Cant See - Thomas Lemmer - Pure (File, Album) is one of the biggest weaknesses of the album.
Drums are played by Snowy Shaw. But his drumming was so simple that King had to use a drum machine on many songs. Bass is played by Hal Patino and is mostly in the background, nearly silent. The songs are consistent, and each have amazing dark atmosphere in them, such that was never experienced on a King Diamond album.
Nice catchy chorus and excellent atmosphere. It opens with a dialogue between the accused witch and the judge which sounds totally superb. Great pace, guitar as well as keyboard work and King backs them up superbly. The guitarists do a great job here and it sounds great. The chorus is just weak when compared to the rest of the album nor does it have any dark atmosphere present in the rest of the songs. The middle section is just killer, the chorus is amazing, and the main riff sounds great.
This is the best work by King Diamond both music and concept wise. The story is covered by the lyrics superbly. It happens in many modern concept albums where the band pays too much attention to the concept making the music boring. Though this album is lacking in complexity compared to their earlier outputs, it is this album which has memorable songwriting.
After the hard hitting trio of Abigail, Them and Conspiracy, this never quite got the same level of recognition, but it seems people have since gone back to revisit and enjoy it. I've never stopped. Like its predecessors, The Eye is a conceptual album rooted in gothic horror. It doesn't continue the story of the previous two albums, however. This is no morbid tail of ghosts, but of the witch trials. And it's flawless. Though not quite as hard hitting or technically endowed as Conspiracy in a production sense, each song is distinct and memorable.
The mix of the record is perfect, with a nice atmosphere. Andy laRocque weaves a beautiful tapestry of rhythms and leads, ever the star of Diamond's musical entourage.
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