King Diamond – “Dreams Of Horror” 2CD (Metal Blade Records)
Celebrating 30 years in his namesake band, King Diamond has chosen to mark his anniversary with this compilation personally selected by himself across his 12 studio albums, from 1986’s “Fatal Portrait” right up to date with “Give Me Your Soul….Please”. Divided into 2 CDs spanning his respective careers with firstly Roadrunner and more recently Metal Blade, each of the 23 tracks has been remastered by the King and his long time guitarist buddy Andy LaRoque, both confident that these are the ultimate versions of each of these songs and no better version will exist anywhere else! Well, I certainly have to agree especially in the case of the early material like ‘The Candle’, ‘The Family Ghost’ and ‘The Invisible Guests’ which now has an almost live feel to the mix, perhaps unsurprising as another reason for the handpicked tracks is that they are usually part of King’s live set list hence the extra bonus of hearing enhanced studio versions of them. LaRoque has indeed done a masterful job as little can be noticed between the line up changes despite the altering trends over time! Taking inspiration in NWOBHM and later from the cult of Mercyful Fate, King Diamond’s material has withstood the test of time – as has his voice not to mention his health recovering from a triple heart bypass – and this 2 hour ultimate compilation allows you to majestically celebrate in style along with the man himself!