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King Diamond | Black Rose | 20 Years Ago | Night of Rehearsal | review | metal | Lollipop

King Diamond and Black Rose

20 Years Ago: A Night of Rehearsal (Metal Blade)
by Martin Popoff

Kudos to the King for having the open mind and healthy ego enough to let/put out this casual, raw CD capturing the man's pre-Mercyful Fate band in late 1980, a full couple of years before Fate began making waves with their eerily (crossroads) accomplished black metal sound. Mr. Diamond's voice is already weird and recognizable, if a little out of tune, and his band sounds like three of my own friggin' bands from the '80s (I swear that's me doing those cheeseball drumming licks). Much of the album is pretty cool mid-metal, a nice splashdown between '70s metal (Riot, Rush, Priest) and a newer exciting dark thing, sorta like White Spirit with a band of bandaged hands. But in between, there are laughable shots at Stranglers new wave, opener "Locked Up In The Snow" being the biggest shocker with its carnival keys. 20 Years Ago closes with a cover of "Radar Love," a final surprise on an album of interest and oddity. One last positive note: Add a little whomp on the bass drum and you've almost got a full sound, quite amazing given that it's a 20 year old rehearsal tape from a bunch of don't-know Danes.
(2828 Cochran St. PMB #302 Simi Valley, CA 93065)

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