King Diamond is the heavy metal band that King Diamond formed after the split up of his heavy metal band Mercyful Fate, and the departure of Hank Shermann. He was joined by most members of the then defunct Mercyful Fate. The Satanic focus was replaced by a focus on horror stories. Apart from two albums, each of the albums contained a story told throughout the songs; some stories span more than one album. Only Fatal Portrait and The Spider's Lullabye deviate here, in that only half of the songs form a story while the other songs are independent.
The band was first launched with the album Fatal Portrait, which featured the guitar talents of Andy LaRocque, who would become King Diamond's longest running collaborator. In 1987, the King Diamond band released Abigail, which is often considered his best solo work. The album tells the tale of an 18th century house that is inherited by a young couple who soon discover its dark secrets. Abigail was followed by Them and its sequel Conspiracy, which also told of a demon possessed house, this time maintained by a demented old woman who drinks tea made from human blood.
Following the departure of drummer Mikkey Dee (who joined Don Dokken's band and then would later join Mot?rhead), King Diamond released The Eye but did not tour due to lack of label support. Pete Blakk and Hal Patino left the band by choice due to excessive drug and alcohol use and were replaced by Mike Wead and Sharlee D'Angelo. This lineup never recorded and it is unknown if they ever rehearsed as a band. In the liner notes for Mercyful Fate's In the Shadows album, King wrote a special message thanking them for their patience and emphasized his enthusiasm for their upcoming album. After relocating to the United States, King Diamond released The Spider's Lullabye and The Graveyard, however this was with an entirely new lineup with the exception of mainstay Andy LaRocque. The new lineup consisted of Herb Simonsen, Chris Estes, and Darrin Anthony, all of the Texas band Mindstorm. These members were chosen due to their proximity of Diamond's new residence in the United States.
Darrin Anthony was soon replaced due to his inability to continue as the result of a car accident. He was replaced by John Luke Hebert. After the recording of Voodoo, Herb Simonsen left for family reasons. His replacement was Glen Drover of the band Eidolon. After touring with this lineup, Estes left and was replaced by David Harbour.
In 2000, King Diamond recorded a concept album solo entitled House of God concerning religious symbolism and emotional manipulation. King Diamond would again face lineup changes that would be the last to this date. Hebert, who also left for family reasons, was replaced by Matt Thompson. Harbour, who had personality clashes with the band was replaced by former King Diamond bassist Hal Patino who was able to conquer his drug problem. Glen Drover, who also left for family reasons was replaced by one time King Diamond and current Mercyful Fate guitarist Mike Wead. Drover later went on to join Megadeth. This lineup would be the most consistent in King Diamond's history. In 2002, by popular request, Abigail II: The Revenge was released, and though well-received critics and fans alike, alleged loss of profits due to file sharing kept the band from touring.
The issue of touring funds was solved for the 2003 release of The Puppet Master. Since the album was recorded largely at King's home in Texas, more money was left over for a tour. The tour was documented of the 2004 live album Deadly Lullabyes Live.
"The Puppet Master", which tells of human beings being converted into string operated dolls, received critical acclaim. In addition to guitar work by Andy LaRocque, the album features long time collaborator Hal Patino on bass and Mercyful Fate guitarist Mike Wead on additional guitar. Also featured are drummer Matt Thompson and female singer Livia Zita, now King's wife.
In April 2006 King reunited with old friend Mikkey Dee (current Mot?rhead drummer) at a sold-out gig at K?ren in Gothenburg, Sweden. In 2001 King referred to Dee as "one of the best of all time and that's something that has bothered us since he left."
In January 2007 it was announced on the band's official website that the mixing of the new album will start on the 5th of March in Dallas, Texas. The new album entitled "Give Me Your Soul...Please", was released on June 26th in North America by Metal Blade Records and June 29th in Europe by Massacre Records. Following the release in December the band received a Grammy nomination in the "Best Metal Performance" category for the track "Never Ending Hill".
Early 2008 saw the premier of the music video for 'Give Me Your Soul' directed by Bill Schacht for Aestheticom (www.aestheti.com). It won 5 straight plays in a row on 5 episodes of Headbangers Ball, the #1 show for Heavy Metal in the US, for a #1 most played slot over that time period. The video depicts King and band as a ghost in the house with many depictions of scenes from both the song and album, much to the delight of the fans.
King Diamond has written all of the lyrics and the bulk of the music for the band with Andy LaRocque being the next biggest contributor. Since the band formed, Diamond has written 81 songs that have appeared on studio albums while LaRocque has written 37. Diamond has also co-written a number of songs with members. He has written five with LaRocque and Mike Denner respectively, one with Matt Thompson, and one with Chris Estes. LaRocque and Snowy Shaw have also co-written one songs while Estes and Pete Blakk have each written one song on their own.
King Diamond ? vocals, keyboards, harpsichord (1985?present)
Andy La Rocque ? guitar, keyboards (1985?present)
Mike Wead ? guitar (1990?1993, 2000?present)
Hal Patino ? bass (1987?1990, 2000?present)
Matt Thompson ? drums (2000?present)
Livia Zita ? backing vocals (2003?present)
Diamond Dave Linguini ? Electric Trumpet of Death (1985?present)
King Turk of Lordingham ? Blasphemous Washboard and Spoons (1985?present)
Michael Denner ? guitar (1985?1987)
Mike Moon ? tour guitarist (1987)
Pete Blakk ? guitar (1987?1990)
Herb Simonsen ? guitar (1995?1998)
Glen Drover ? guitar (1998?2000)
Timi 'Grabber' Hansen ? bass (1985?1987)
Sharlee D'Angelo ? bass (1990?1993)
Chris Estes ? bass (1995?2000)
David Harbour ? bass (2000)
Mikkey Dee ? drums (1985?1989)
Snowy Shaw ? drums (1989?1993)
Darrin Anthony ? drums (1995?1997)
John Luke H?bert ? drums (1997?2000)
Roberto Falcao ? guest keyboardist (1988?1990)
Elias Holmlid ? tour keyboardist (2001)
All King Diamond lyrics
- & Quot;Loa & Quot;House
- 1642 Imprisonment
- A Broken Spell
- A Corpse Without Soul
- A Dangerous Meeting
- A Mansion In Darkness
- A Secret
- A Visit From The Dead
- Amon Belongs To Them
- At The Graves
- Behind These Walls
- Black Devil
- Black Hill Sanitarium
- Black Horsemen
- Blood To Walk
- Blue Eyes
- Broken Glass
- Bye Bye Missy
- Come Home
- Come To The Sabbath
- Coming Home
- Cross Of Baron Samedi
- Curse Of The Pharaohs
- Devil Eyes
- Digging Graves
- Doomed By The Living Dead
- Dressed In White
- Eastmann�s Cure
- Eye Of The Witch
- Father Bicard
- Father Picard
- Follow The Wolf
- From The Other Side
All lyrics are property of their respective owners and are strictly for non-commercial use only.