Archive for September 11, 2021

Great Metal Albums of 1987: King Diamond- Abigail

Posted in Uncategorized on September 11, 2021 by 80smetalman

King Diamond’s 1987 album, “Abigail,” is my joint favourite concept album of all time. The concept of the album is very easy to follow and the music behind it is just superb. I have to give full marks to guitarists Andy LaRocque and Michael Denner who both do a spectacular job on it. The rhythm section of Timmi Hansen and Mikkey Dee are just as brilliant and of course, the album wouldn’t be what it is if it wasn’t for the vocals of King Diamond. For this post, I will convey how each song tells the story of Abigail.

Track Listing:

“The Funeral”- The album opens with the funeral of Abigail LeFey who was still born on July 7, 1777. The priest conducting the service says that seven silver spikes should be driven through her body and asks, “Who will be the first?”

“Arrival”- the album advance nearly 70 years into the future. It is now 1845 and Jonathan LeFey, along with his bride to be, Miriam Natias, are set to move into the home which Jonathan inherited. On the way there, the coach gets stuck and seven horsemen arrive to warn them not to go to the home. Jonathan’s refusal is accented by King Diamond’s falsetto- “Get out of my way, I don’t believe a word you say.” The guitar solo which opens the song is really cool too.

“A Mansion in the Darkness”- Jonathan and Miriam move into their new mansion. There’s a great guitar solo in the middle of the song.

“A Family Ghost”- on the first night, Jonathan meets the ghost of Count de la Fey, who is a deceased relative. The Count takes Jonathan down to the crypt where the casket of the still born Abigail rests. The Count tells Jonathan that Abigail is going to possess Miriam and he must kill her to prevent that. More great guitar soloing from Andy LaRocque.

“The 7th Day of July 1777”- The story informs us of what exactly happened on the date which this track is titled. On this day, The Count discovers that his wife has been unfaithful to him and is pregnant as a result. Therefore, The Count pushes The Countess down the stairs where she breaks her neck and dies thus causing her baby to be still born. The Countess’s body is cremated and the baby, who is named Abigail, is put into a casket and left. There is some pounding bass and more soloing. King Diamond’s vocals make the account of the murder quite eerie sounding.

“Deadly Omens”- The story returns to 1845 where Jonathan and Miriam get several omens. The church bells ring but no one is inside the church at the time. Plants die and there is a bad stench in the house. The final omen is the discover of a cradle. Both Jonathan and Miriam deny bringing it with them. Keyboards accompany the song which go great with the guitar and yes, there are more guitar solos. In fact, I think Denner and LaRocche do a trade off.

“The Possession” – Miriam discovers she is pregnant and Jonathan realizes that the count was right. He accuses Abigail of possessing Miriam and thinks about getting a priest to do an exorcism. There is some really good rhythm guitar work on this track.

“Abigail”- Abigail through Miriam admits that she has taken possession of her. Miriam momentarily gains control and suggests that Jonathan pushes her down the stairs like the Count did to the Countess. Jonathan pretends to agree to this and when Abigail regains control of Miriam, suggests they go down to the crypt so she can be reborn. This is my favourite track on the album. I love how King Diamond’s high vocals sing, “I am alive, inside your wife. Miriam’s dead, I am Abigail.” There are more guitar solos and a nice little keyboard solo at the end.

“Black Horseman”- When Jonathan is distracted, Miriam pushes him down the stairs. Miriam gives birth but dies in labour, the last thing she sees is the baby’s yellow eyes. The black horsemen arrive at the mansion and see the horrific sight of Abigail eating her previous body. The horsemen take the baby to a hidden chapel, bury her and drive seven silver spikes through her so she can’t be reborn as described in the opening track. I love how the guitars work together on this track and once again, I find myself singing the praises of Michael and Andy but again, you can’t deny the rhythm work of Timmi and Mikkey.

King Diamond

King Diamond- lead vocals

Andy LaRocque- guitar

Michael Denner- guitar

Timmi Hansen- bass

Mikkey Dee- drums

Roberto Falcao- keyboards

Andy LaRocque

Quite a number of critics agree with me that this is one of the greatest heavy metal concept albums of all time. It was my favourite but in 1988, another great concept album came out and I can’t decide which one I like more. King Diamond and his band put out a blinder of an album with “Abigail.”

Next post: Anthrax- Among the Living

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