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Review: King Diamond - The Puppet Master
King Diamond
The Puppet Master

Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2003
Duration: 55:43
Tracks: 12
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: January 27, 2004
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.44/5 (88.81%) (59 Votes)

"The Puppet Master" features a nice little extra that could hardly be more appropriate than with a King Diamond album: A 30 minutes DVD with King Diamond himself recounting the story. There are no bells and whistles on this, simply King sitting at a table with lighted candles, with some background sounds here and there to add ambiance as King recounts the various parts of the stories (on a song by song basis.) I find this is a great addition to the album and it really helps to get even more into the music afterwards. Listening to King speak is a bit like reading a short story where you can imagine for yourself what the characters and locations look like. It also helps put some songs into perspective, such as "Christmas" whose presence on the album actually makes sense after watching this DVD. :) A re-release of the other albums with such a DVD would be great (hint, hint ;)). I'm not sure whether there is an edition that doesn't include the DVD, so check before buying.

On to the actual album. I'm no expert on King Diamond, so I won't venture into such comments as "this is the best KD since xyz" - others have done this already and most of them have picked a different album to fill the xyz! :) There are albums out there from which there are a couple of songs that get stuck in your head. In this particular case, I found that the whole damn album is stuck in my head and that's very rare. No weak moments, tracks ranging from in-your-face speedy heavy metal down to "semi-ballads" for the saddest parts of the story. King's vocals are your usual "love 'em or hate'em", so don't expect any surprises there. There are also some guest female vocals to act as King's girlfriend in the story. Couple that with great musical arrangements, very catchy melodies that are very well "in sync" with the vocal work and you've got some great storytelling filled with emotion right here. Frankly I can't really find something I actually really dislike on the album, although I took me a few listens to get into a couple of songs. Like all(?) KD albums, this one requires some work on the listener's part.

The album stands out by itself, but combined with the DVD this is a clear winner. Also consider that you now have another King Diamond Christmas song to freak out family and co-workers; Who could ask for anything more? Buy.

More about King Diamond...
Review: Abigail (reviewed by Ulysses)
Review: Conspiracy (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Give Me Your Soul... Please (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Give Me Your Soul... Please (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: House Of God (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Masquerade of Madness (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Songs for the Dead Live (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: Them (reviewed by Adam McAuley)
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