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King Diamond – Give Me Your Soul…Please

Label: Metal Blade
Format: CD
Released: 2007
Reviewed By: Rich Catino


"Give Me Your Soul" is that latest tale (12th studio release) from horror metal master King Diamond, a unique artist with a branch all his own (of course with Mercyful Fate) on the Heavy Metal Family Tree. To describe the latest plot would take up too much space for my actual review but as described in the booklet it involves the house on Never Ending Hill, the little girl in the bloody dress and her dead brother, the dark, a woman’s floating head, and YOU.

 

Once again King takes his time writing a story worthy of a screenplay so it is to your benefit to sit down and read the lyrics. Maybe you will find out who turned that cross upside down on the cover artwork and why?

What I would like to first take notice of is musically "Give Me Your Soul" combines a lot of ideas and composition elements from previous King albums like "House of God" where I hear riffing/rhythm patterns from in 'Is Anybody Here', 'Never Ending Hill' (Andy I love that last solo it brought me back to "Conspiracy") has the graceful flow of say 'A Mansion in the Darkness' from "Abigail", and the galloping 'Black of Night' includes lead/solo sections that recall the excellence of "The Eye". The melody lines interestingly enough brought me back to "The Graveyard". And as always the opening piece ('The Dead') sets the terrifying mood to surmise.

Compared to the previous two albums "The Puppet Master" and "Abigail II", I find these arrangements in direction have more elements to the point toward the overall melody and chorus. A little less progressive then the two said previous albums yet no less creative. 'Mirror Mirror' is strong and includes a Mercyful Fate type tempo change and lead breaks. Long time guitarist/songwriter Andy LaRocque joined by Mike Weed both are just smoking on this record harmonizing, complimenting each other yet standing alone.

The title track features well placed haunting backing vocals, harmonies and changes that bring me back to at times "Them". I think this is what makes this such a strong album for King as it is so well rounded and incorporates music ideas of both old and new. Love that riff from 'The Floating Head', catchy and to the point grabbing the listener instantly also featuring some more tasty guitar soloing. 'Shapes in Black' includes a creepy harpsichord and backing vocals giving the track an old mansion/gothic atmosphere. 'Pictures in Red' is one of those short interludes with just some ambient sounds and King speaking. And for something different 'Move On' is a balladesque (well at its start and end) duet with female vocals and closes the record.

Vocally, nothing has changed with King’s range although the falsetto is toned down a bit and he works more within his middle range. Even so, when the time is right King lets it rip to highlight and accent certain words/lyrics.

The production here is also one of King Diamonds strongest, possibly the best and warmest since "Voodoo" (overall also one of their best albums).

King Diamond continues to be creative with a never ending bloody pool of ideas to tap into and after twenty plus years of making music he continues to flourish within his imagination. Would someone please start turning these stories into movies before I have to do it myself? Well that’s of course with King’s blessing.

 
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