Review of the Album "Abigail" by Danish Vocalist King Diamond
"Abigail" is the First Fully Concept Album In the King Diamond Solo Album Era
After some thought as to whether to review another album by famous Danish vocalist King Diamond, the album Abigail released in 1987 is the second chapter in the King Diamond solo journey apart from his then main band Mercyful Fate. Abigail is a fully concept album that has a story to it. It revolves around a girl named Abigail and a young couple who are Mariam Natias and Jonathan La’Fey.
The story shifts between the years 1777 and 1845. The first track on this album called Funeral is a short narration of the story of Abigail La’Fey who was a stillborn child that must be crucified. The album has a symphonic, yet dark feel as well with the lyrics being “evil” in the literal sense but with King Diamond in charge of his solo career what do you expect? You could make the case that Abigail is a heavy metal album that combines fictional historical accounts with lyrics about horror and occultism. Some fans may find this album hard to digest and take in because of the atmosphere and lyrics but I’m used to what King Diamond is about. The first initial song “Funeral” has that same exotic symphonic metal part that Cradle of Filth would have written as part of their songs.
"The Arrival" and "A Mansion in Darkness"
“The Arrival” tells the story of a mansion that was or is haunted enough that no one even dared to venture near it. This is where Miriam and Jonathan are the exception. As they venture towards the mansion seven horsemen approach the couple and let them know that they should not move into the mansion for if they do, “18 will become 9.” Jonathan just laughs and refuses to believe a word that these horsemen say. A Mansion in Darkness tells the story of the mansion as a shadow is said to come alive. As Miriam and Jonathan put out the candles to head into bed for the night, they are not aware of the shadow on the wall which is said to be alive. The album lyrically covers concepts related to horror and occultism but musically, the lead guitar work is pretty good, resembling a touch of Yngwie J. Malmsteen in the process.
"The Family Ghost"
“The Family Ghost” is a melodic song that has that early 1980’s rock kind of influence. This song tells the story of a family member’s ghost making an appearance and letting Miriam and Jonathan know that Abigail’s spirit rests downstairs in the crypt.
"The 7th Day of July 1777"
“The 7th Day of July 1777” starts out with a late 1970’s influenced Judas Priest style riff before the song transitions into the usual kind of song that we have seen from King Diamond. This song tells the story of Count La’Fey who discovers that his wife has been cheating on him. He is so enraged that he pushes her down the stairs as she breaks her neck and dies, even while screaming in pain. A part of the song has a riff that resembles the song called A Dangerous Meeting. That song should be familiar to fans of King Diamond and his former band Mercyful Fate.
Final Thoughts About "Abigail" as of 2024
The song Omens has a beginning riff that Marty Friedman would use in his 1988 solo album called Dragon’s Kiss but this riff is not the same as those, just sounds similar. “The Possession” has lead guitar work that American neoclassical shredding guitar band Cacophony would use in 1988, not long after Abigail came out. Black Horsemen ends this decent heavy metal album as the song has that progressive acoustic feel that bands such as Fates Warning and others incorporated into their musical style. The strongest songs in the album Abigail are Arrival, A Mansion in Darkness, Omens, and Black Horsemen. Already as we get into the first two tracks, we witness the fact that Abigail is a stronger album than Fatal Portrait was. Or is it really stronger than that one in 2024? In one aspect you can say that Abigail is slightly stronger than Fatal Portrait in the sense that the melodies are slightly better.
A Few Interesting Facts About King Diamond’s Abigail
- Japanese video game Company Capcom made a sort of homage to this album in its 1989 video game called Final Fight. The male boss of the 5th stage of that game is named Abigail. This boss also has a face that is similar to that of King Diamond.
- Guitarist Andy Larocque said that this is his favorite King Diamond album because of what he calls the good atmosphere that the band had at the time and this atmosphere is captured in this album.
© 2024 Ara Vahanian