King Diamond (band)

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King Diamond
W2594 Hellfest2016 KingDiamond 8970 crop.jpg
King Diamond live at Hellfest 2016
Background information
Origin Copenhagen, Denmark
Genres Heavy metal
Years active1985–present
Labels Roadrunner, Metal Blade
Members King Diamond
Andy LaRocque
Mike Wead
Matt Thompson
Pontus Egberg
Past members Hal Patino
Michael Denner
Timi Hansen
Mikkey Dee
Mike Moon
Pete Blakk
Snowy Shaw
Sharlee D'Angelo
Darrin Anthony
Herb Simonsen
Chris Estes
John Luke Hebert
Glen Drover
Paul David Harbour

King Diamond are a Danish heavy metal band formed in 1985 by vocalist King Diamond, guitarists Andy LaRocque and Michael Denner, bassist Timi Hansen and drummer Mikkey Dee. Diamond, Denner and Hansen had recently departed the group Mercyful Fate, and decided to form a new band under the King Diamond moniker, as it was already known from the Mercyful Fate days. [1] [2] In 1986, King Diamond released their debut album Fatal Portrait . Since then the band have released a total of twelve studio albums (most of them concept albums), two live albums, two extended plays, five compilations and five singles.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

King Diamond Danish heavy metal musician

Kim Bendix Petersen, better known by his stage name King Diamond, is a Danish musician. As a vocalist, he is known for his extensive vocal range, in particular his usage of falsetto. He is the lead vocalist for both Mercyful Fate and the eponymous King Diamond.

Andy LaRocque Swedish guitarist

Andy LaRocque is a Swedish guitarist, songwriter, and producer, best known as a member of the heavy metal band King Diamond since 1985.


Since the band's inception, there have been over fifteen musicians in and out of King Diamond, with the only two mainstays being vocalist King Diamond and guitarist Andy LaRocque. [3] In 1987 the band released their second studio release Abigail (their first concept album). Throughout the 1980s, King Diamond released a total of four studio albums. In the early 1990s, the band was put on hold when King Diamond reunited with his former outfit Mercyful Fate. [3] [4] After reforming King Diamond in 1994, Diamond would balance recording and touring with both Mercyful Fate and his eponymous band throughout the 90's. Since the early 2000s, King Diamond have kept recording and touring and, since 2014, the band has been composed of vocalist King Diamond, guitarist Andy LaRocque, guitarist Mike Wead, drummer Matt Thompson, and bassist Pontus Egberg. [3]

<i>Abigail</i> (album) 1987 studio album by King Diamond

Abigail is the second King Diamond album and their first concept album. It was released in 1987 on Roadrunner Records. There were several re-releases, first in 1997 with 4 bonus tracks, and then a 25th Anniversary edition in 2005 with a bonus DVD. This album has sold over 175,000 copies in North America alone. Abigail is the last album to feature guitarist Michael Denner and bassist Timi Hansen.

Mike Wead Swedish musician

Mike Wead, is a Swedish guitarist who lives in Stockholm. Wead contributed to heavy metal bands such as Hexenhaus, Memento Mori, Abstrakt Algebra, The Haunted, Edge of Sanity, Candlemass, The Project Hate. Currently Wead is the guitarist of Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, and bibleblack. As a guitarist in King Diamond, Wead shares lead guitar duties with Andy LaRocque. Wead also works as a producer and sound engineer.


Formation to Abigail (1985–1987)

The band was formed in 1985 by vocalist King Diamond, guitarist Michael Denner and bassist Timi Hansen. [1] [2] The three had recently departed from the group Mercyful Fate, which fell apart due to musical differences between King Diamond and guitarist Hank Shermann. [1] [2] [4] According to Diamond, when he, Denner and Hansen decided to form a new band, they chose the name "King Diamond" to "get better deals", and because the name was already known from Mercyful Fate. [1] [2] To round-out the line-up of the King Diamond band, the group chose drummer Mikkey Dee and guitarist Andy LaRocque. [3]

Michael Denner is a Danish heavy-metal guitarist. He is part of the heavy metal duo Denner/Shermann with Hank Shermann.

Timi "Grabber" Hansen is a Danish bass player. He played in the Danish heavy metal band Mercyful Fate from 1981 to 1985 and from 1992 to 1993, and its successor project King Diamond from 1985 to 1987.

Mercyful Fate Danish heavy metal band

Mercyful Fate is a Danish heavy metal band from Copenhagen, formed in 1981 by vocalist King Diamond and guitarist Hank Shermann. Influenced by progressive rock and hard rock, with lyrics dealing with Satan and the occult, Mercyful Fate were part of the first wave of black metal in the early to mid-1980s. Many of the bands from this movement went on to influence later black metal musicians in the 1990s, particularly in Norway. Since the band's inception in 1981, Mercyful Fate have released seven studio albums, two extended plays and four compilations.

In July 1985, the band began recording their debut album at Sound Track Studio in Copenhagen, Denmark. [5] On 25 December, they released their debut single "No Presents for Christmas". [6] Fatal Portrait , the band's first full-length studio album, was released on 17 February 1986, through Roadrunner Records. [5] Produced by Rune Höyer and vocalist King Diamond, the album charted at number 33 on the Swedish album chart, [7] and spawned the single "Halloween", which was released on 6 June 1986. [8]

Copenhagen Capital of Denmark

Copenhagen is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. As of July 2018, the city has a population of 777,218. It forms the core of the wider urban area of Copenhagen and the Copenhagen metropolitan area. Copenhagen is situated on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand; another small portion of the city is located on Amager, and it is separated from Malmö, Sweden, by the strait of Øresund. The Øresund Bridge connects the two cities by rail and road.

Denmark Constitutional monarchy in Europe

Denmark, officially the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Nordic country. Denmark proper, which is the southernmost of the Scandinavian countries, consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand, Funen and the North Jutlandic Island. The islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. The southernmost of the Scandinavian nations, Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and is bordered to the south by Germany. The Kingdom of Denmark also includes two autonomous territories in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark has a total area of 42,924 km2 (16,573 sq mi), land area of 42,394 km2 (16,368 sq mi), and the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2 (853,509 sq mi), and a population of 5.8 million.

No Presents for Christmas single

"No Presents for Christmas" is a single by King Diamond released on December 25, 1985. It was the first music released by King Diamond's new band, after the breakup of Mercyful Fate. It is one of the band's most well-known songs.

In December 1986, King Diamond began recording their second studio album, once again at Sound Track Studio in Copenhagen, Denmark. [9] Prior to the album's release, the group released the single "The Family Ghost" on 1 July 1987, for which they also shot their first music video. [10] [11] On 21 October 1987, King Diamond released the album Abigail , their first concept album based on an original story by vocalist King Diamond. [9] [12] The album went on to chart at number 39 in Sweden, [13] number 68 in the Netherlands, [13] and at number 123 on the Billboard 200. [14] Following Abigail's release, guitarist Michael Denner left the band due to touring strains. [12] He was subsequently replaced by Mike Moon for the album's supporting tour, during which the band recorded the live album In Concert 1987: Abigail (however it wasn't released until 1991). [3] [15]

Concept album album with a theme

A concept album is an album in which its tracks hold a larger purpose or meaning collectively than they do individually. This is typically achieved through a single central narrative or theme, which can be instrumental, compositional, or lyrical. Sometimes the term is applied to albums considered to be of "uniform excellence" rather than an LP with an explicit musical or lyrical motif. There is no consensus among music critics as to the specific criteria for what a "concept album" is.

The Billboard 200 is a record chart ranking the 200 most popular music albums and EPs in the United States. It is published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists. Often, a recording act will be remembered by its "number ones", those of their albums that outperformed all others during at least one week. The chart grew from a weekly top 10 list in 1956 to become a top 200 in May 1967, and acquired its present title in March 1992. Its previous names include the Billboard Top LPs (1961–72), Billboard Top LPs & Tape (1972–84), Billboard Top 200 Albums (1984–85) and Billboard Top Pop Albums.

Mike Moon is the stage name of Mikael Myllynen, born 1968, a guitar player from Sweden. He is more well known for his guitar work while in the King Diamond band.

"Them" and Conspiracy (1988–1989)

Following the completion of the Abigail tour, guitarist Mike Moon and bassist Timi Hansen were replaced by Pete Blakk and Hal Patino respectively. [3] On 13 September 1988, King Diamond released the album "Them", which was recorded at M.M.C. Studio in Copenhagen, Denmark. [16] Another concept album, "Them" charted at number 38 on the Swedish album chart, [17] number 65 on the Dutch album chart, [17] and at number 89 on the Billboard 200, [18] making "Them" King Diamond's highest charting album in America to date. Another music video was also shot, this time for the single "Welcome Home". [19] On 1 November, the group released The Dark Sides EP, a collection of previously released material as well as one unreleased track. [20]

Hal Patino is an American bass guitar player, who has been a member of the King Diamond and Force of Evil metal bands. He also played in Blakk Totem, Maltese Falcon, Palladion and Doctor Butcher.

<i>Them</i> (King Diamond album) 1988 studio album by King Diamond

"Them" is the third studio album by King Diamond released in 1988 on Roadrunner Records. Them is the first album to feature guitarist Pete Blakk and bassist Hal Patino.

<i>The Dark Sides</i> 1988 EP by King Diamond

The Dark Sides is a compilation of King Diamond songs, released in 1988 by Roadrunner Records. This album contains five tracks, released on previous albums, but are mostly unrelated in their stories.

Following the completion of the supporting tour for "Them", Mikkey Dee left King Diamond. [3] However, he was rehired to play drums on the band's follow-up album, after which he was replaced by Snowy Shaw. [3] On 21 August 1989, King Diamond released the album Conspiracy , which charted at number 41 on the Swedish album chart, [21] number 64 on the Dutch album chart, [21] and at number 111 on the Billboard 200. [22] [23] A continuation of the storyline from "Them", Conspiracy was the first King Diamond album recorded in the United States being recorded at Rumbo Recording Studios in Canoga Park, California. A music video was also made for the track "Sleepless Nights". [24]

The Eye to House of God (1990–2000)

In June 1990, King Diamond began recording fifth studio album The Eye at Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was released on 30 October 1990. [25] The drums on the album were performed by drummer Snowy Shaw using drum pads. [26] It debuted at number 179 on the Billboard 200. [25] [27] However, the band did not tour in support of the album due to the lack of label support. Following The Eye, Hal Patino and Pete Blakk were replaced by Sharlee D'Angelo and Mike Wead respectively. [3] [28] However this line-up ended-up not recording any material, as vocalist King Diamond reunited with Mercyful Fate in 1993 (King Diamond would balance recording and touring with both Mercyful Fate and his eponymous band throughout the 1990s). [3] [4]

After recording and touring with Mercyful Fate, King Diamond reformed his eponymous band in 1994. [29] With the line-up of King Diamond, Andy La Rocque, as well as guitarist Herb Simonsen, bassist Chris Estes and drummer Darrin Anthony from the Texas band Mindstorm, the band spent September through October 1994, recording their next album. [3] [29] Released on 6 June 1995, The Spider's Lullabye was the band's first album on Metal Blade Records, as well as their first studio release since Fatal Portrait to not be a concept album. [29] The album went on to peak at number 31 on the Finnish album charts. [30] In March 1996, King Diamond began recording their seventh studio album at the Dallas Sound Lab. [31] Released on 1 October 1996, The Graveyard saw King Diamond returning to writing concept albums. [31] The album also charted at number 23 in Finland. [32] After the album's release, drummer Darrin Anthony was forced to leave the band due to a car accident and was subsequently replaced by Chastain drummer John Luke Hebert. [3]

On 24 February 1998, King Diamond released the album Voodoo , which charted at number 27 on the Finnish album chart [33] and at number 55 on the Swedish album chart. [34] After the album's release, guitarist Herb Simonsen was replaced by Glen Drover. [3] [35] When Mercyful Fate was put on hold in 1999, King Diamond began recording the album House of God at the Nomad Recording Studio in Carrollton, Dallas, Texas, with their new bassist Paul David Harbour, who had replaced Chris Estes. [36] Released on 20 June 2000, [36] the album peaked at number 60 in Sweden. [37] After the album's release, guitarist Glen Drover and drummer John Luke Hebert were replaced by Mike Wead and Matt Thompson respectively. [3]

Recent years (2001–present)

King Diamond performing in Krakow, 2001 King Diamond.jpg
King Diamond performing in Kraków, 2001

In May 2001, King Diamond began recording their tenth studio album once again at the Nomad Recording Studio. [38] Released on 29 January 2002, Abigail II: The Revenge was a sequel to 1987's Abigail album. [38] It was also the first King Diamond album since 1990's The Eye to feature bassist Hal Patino who rejoined the band during the recording process. [3] [38] King Diamond did not tour in support of Abigail II, as Metal Blade could not provide tour support, due to illegal downloading. [39] Despite this, the album went on to peak at number 24 in Finland [40] and at number 42 in Sweden. [41]

On 21 October 2003, King Diamond released the album The Puppet Master , [42] which charted at number 36 in Sweden. [43] Besides featuring the band, the album also featured additional vocals from Livia Zita, who is also King Diamond's wife. [42] During the supporting tour for The Puppet Master, the band recorded the live album Deadly Lullabyes , which was released 21 September 2004. [44] In April 2006, former bandmate Mikkey Dee (currently with Scorpions, formerly with Motörhead) made a guest appearance at King Diamond's sold-out gig in Gothenburg, Sweden. [45] On 26 June 2007, King Diamond released the album Give Me Your Soul...Please . [46] The album went on to peak at number 25 on the Finnish chart, [47] number 28 on the Swedish chart, [48] and at number 174 on the Billboard 200. [49] The track "Never Ending Hill" also garnered a Grammy nomination for "Best Metal Performance" (the group's first). A music video was also made for the album's title track. [50]

King Diamond (left) and Andy LaRocque (right) performing in Moscow, 2006 King Diamond live 2006 Moscow 02.jpg
King Diamond (left) and Andy LaRocque (right) performing in Moscow, 2006

In late November 2010, King Diamond was rushed to the hospital after having several heart attacks. [51] There it was discovered that three of his arteries had been blocked, which meant he had to undergo triple bypass surgery. [51] Following a successful operation, he returned home to rest. [51] Diamond also stopped smoking entirely, changed his diet and began getting regular exercise, according to his wife. [52] On 27 January 2012, Diamond made a special appearance at the "5th Annual Nomad Recording Studio Throwdown", performing three songs: "The Family Ghost", "Evil" and "Burn". [52] On 9 June 2012, the entire King Diamond band played at the Sweden Rock Festival. [53] They were also joined on stage by Michael Denner, Hank Shermann, Mickey Dee and Volbeat's Michael Poulsen. [53] According to vocalist King Diamond, the band expects to begin writing new material for their next album in the fall of 2012. [54]

On 19 July 2014, the band announced that Hal Patino has been relieved of his duties, for reasons very similar to why he was fired from the band in 1990. [55] He was replaced by Pontus Egberg, formerly of the bands Lion's Share and the Poodles. In October, King Diamond announced a new compilation titled Dreams of Horror which was released in November through Metal Blade Records, covering the band's entire career. [56] In December, Egberg became an official member of the band. [57]

King Diamond took part in the 2015 Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival along with bands such as Slayer (who was chosen as the headliner), Hellyeah, The Devil Wears Prada, Thy Art Is Murder, Jungle Rot, Sister Sin, Sworn In, Shattered Sun, Feed Her to the Sharks, Code Orange and Kissing Candice. The tour ran from 26 June through 2 August. [58] At the 8 July 2015 show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, King Diamond was forced to perform without his signature face paint due to a severe eye infection, in which doctors advised against the use of any makeup. He said that there was no negative feedback from the fans. [59] The band then embarked on a special tour from October to December 2015 with thrash metal band Exodus, where the 1987 album Abigail was performed in its entirety. [60]

In 2018, King Diamond started work on the thirteenth studio album, [61] which would be divided into two parts to connect with its theme. [62] On 25 January 2019, the first ever live video Songs for the Dead Live was released. [63] The first part of the series was later revealed to be titled The Institute. It will be released in 2020 with a North American tour taking place in the fall of 2019. [64]


Current members


Studio albums

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