F U L L . R E V I E W S


King Diamond - The Puppetmaster 2003 Metal Blade reviewed by: EC

Track Listing

1. Midnight
2. Puppet Master, The
3. Magic
4. Emerencia
5. Blue Eyes
6. Ritual, The
7. No More Me
8. Blood To Walk
9. Darkness
10. So Sad
11. Christmas
12. Living Dead
Let me just be honest here. I'm not a huge King Diamond fan. Let me rephrase that...I do enjoy King Diamond as a vocalist and an entertainer, but I've always been more of a Mercyful Fate supporter. For me, King Diamond albums have always been hard to follow, with it complex progressive roots and black metal overtones. I like a more simplistic approach with my metal, an approach that Mercyful Fate seems to take more often than their frontman's band.

After skipping "House Of God" and "Abigail II", I finally decided to take a plunge back into Diamond's catalogue with new offering "The Puppetmaster" (the title sounded interesting).

I've owned the record for about a week now, and I haven't stopped playing it. I really enjoy the storyline, finding King's creation morbidly fascinating here. While Diamond is quite the story teller, I've often become lost in the songwriting. Too many theatrics, keyboards, and timing changes also factored in to my decision that King Diamond was too far over the top for my standards. With this new record, the band seems more focused on delivery of the story, with alot of theatrics and atmosphere put to the side for a more steamlined, less orchestrated event. Don't get me wrong, this is a very intricate tale, woven around complex riffs, female vocals, keyboards, alternating character voices, and tons of timing changes. But it isn't as complex or pushed on the listener as much as past albums.

"The Puppetmaster" is a macabre little story that takes place in 18th Century Budapest. King Diamond plays the main character, a man who is desperately in search of his love, Victoria, who was last seen at a puppet theater. During his attempt to find her, he uncovers a twisted, hideous secret under the theater's chamber involving the puppets, demonic rituals, and lots of blood. This is probably one of the more gruesome stories that King has unveiled. The storytelling is brilliant, and I absolutely love the female vocals that are throughout this album. The tragic love story that takes place here is very touching, and I can almost sense a few heartfelt lovey-dovey moments from King.

Every track is simply another chapter of the story, with my favorites being "Puppet Master", "Magic", and the emotional "So Sad".

Metal Blade has put together quite a package for this release. The album comes in a gatefold bible shaped digipak, holding both the album and a bonus DVD safely inside its cardboard walls.

The DVD is pretty interesting, with King Diamond explaining each song by candlelight. The DVD runs 30 minutes and is just an added bonus to what turns out to be one of the best albums to date from King Diamond.

Note-After a listen to this record, I went out and picked up Abigail II. Really good stuff!


--EC 11.11.03
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: KING DIAMOND
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Deadly Lullabyes (Live)King Diamond
2004
Ken Pierce9/30/2004
The PuppetmasterKing Diamond
2003
Eric Compton11/11/2003


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: KING DIAMOND

No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: KING DIAMOND
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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