|Review: King Diamond - Them|
Label: Roadrunner Records
Year released: 1988
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: January 23, 2011
Reviewed by: Adam McAuley
Rated 4.46/5 (89.12%) (57 Votes)
This is a great traditional metal album that has a conceptual nature. It revolves around King and his grandmother and the haunting of the mysterious powers of "them". The story gives the album an interesting thread to link to, but it’s the music that takes center stage on "Them". There’s plenty of shining guitar work and wonderful vocal harmonies to be found on this album, much like its predecessor Abigail. Choosing a favorite between these two albums is difficult, because both are excellent.
While Abigail is more consistently enthralling, "Them" gets off to an even better start with some of the best tracks appearing towards the beginning of the release. Songs like "The Invisible Guests" and "Tea" are very memorable and set the stage for the album as a whole. The songs have a magical aura about them that is charmingly capped off by the solid musical performances. The vocal work of King Diamond is inspired and varied throughout. He always adds an extra dimension to the tracks. His unique voice is appealing in its high-pitched nature, though I could see some listeners finding it unusual and a low-point on the album. On the whole, there is very little to dislike with this disc. It becomes slightly more imbalanced as it progresses and becomes more ambitious.
However, there are great guitar riffs to be found at nearly every corner and the solos are exciting. Along with Abigail, "Them" is at the peak of the early King Diamond material and one of the gems of all the albums that King Diamond has been involved with. I still prefer Melissa by Mercyful Fate, but this is almost on that level of excellence. There are many moments of greatness on "Them" and you shouldn’t miss out on them.
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