|Review: King Diamond - Conspiracy|
Label: Roadrunner Records
Year released: 1989
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: June 13, 2018
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Rated 4.5/5 (90%) (10 Votes)
The second in what was intended to be a trilogy of albums, King Diamond's Conspiracy picks up where the album Them left off, continuing the story of the haunted house inhabited by King, his sister Missy, his mother, grandmother and "them", the spooks doing the haunting. King Diamond (the band and the singer) were early proponents of adding gothic and extreme elements to shiny, melodic power metal back in the 80s, spearheaded by King's vocal acrobatics and guitarist Andy LaRoque's smooth and catchy riffs. King growled, screamed and falsetto'd his way through the story, giving every character a unique voice while LaRoque and the rest of the band provided the appropriate mood, ranging from spooky keyboards to straight up speed metal. Musically, the formula on Conspiracy is very similar to Them, opening with a narration that leads to the first track (separate tracks on Them) and sets the stage for the story to come. Both albums then have a speedy ass-kicker in the third slot ("The Invisible Guest" on Them, "Lies" on Conspiracy), creepy acoustic numbers and a grand closer that foretells the next installment in a foreboding manner.
While both albums are wonderfully catchy and downright awesome 80s metal, Conspiracy feels a bit repetitive and even a little derivative of its predecessor. The freshness of the approach is gone, and it really isn't hard to understand why King Diamond abandoned the story line and formula and went for something different on the next album, The Eye. While not the equal of Them, Conspiracy is still a fine slice of King Diamond's weird and wonderful take on heavy metal and should not be missed.
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