King Diamond is a Danish heavy metal band formed in 1985 by vocalist King Diamond, guitarists Andy LaRocque and Michael Denner, bassist Timi Hansenand 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. In 1985, 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.
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. 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 90's, the band was put on hold when King Diamond reunited with his former outfit Mercyful Fate. 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 2001 the band has been composed of vocalist King Diamond, guitarist Andy LaRocque, guitarist Mike Wead, bassist Hal Patino and drummer Matt Thompson.
- 2 Members
- 3 Discography
- 4 References
- 5 External links
The King Diamond logo used on every album release since 1986.
The band was formed in 1985 by vocalist King Diamond, guitarist Michael Denner and bassist Timi Hansen. The three had recently departed from the group Mercyful Fate, which fell apart due to musical differences between King Diamond and guitarist Hank Shermann. 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. To round-out the line-up of the King Diamond band, the group chose drummer Mikkey Dee and guitarist Andy LaRocque.
In July, 1985, the band began recording their debut album at Sound Track Studio in Copenhagen, Denmark. On December 25, they released their debut single "No Presents for Christmas". Fatal Portrait, the band's first full-length studio album, was released on February 17, 1986, through Roadrunner Records. Produced by Rune Höyer and vocalist King Diamond, the album charted at number 33 on the Swedish album chart, and spawned the single "Halloween", which was released on June 6, 1986.
In December 1986, King Diamond began recording their second studio album, once again at Sound Track Studio in Copenhagen, Denmark. Prior to the album's release, the group released the single "The Family Ghost" on July 1, 1987, for which they also shot their first music video. On October 21, 1987, King Diamond released the album Abigail, their first concept albumbased on an original story by vocalist King Diamond. The album went on to chart at number 39 in Sweden, number 68 in the Netherlands, and at number 123 on the Billboard 200. Following Abigail's release, guitarist Michael Denner left the band due to touring strains. 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 1990).
Following the completion of the Abigail tour, guitarist Mike Moon and bassist Timi Hansen were replaced by Pete Blakk and Hal Patino respectively. On September 13, 1988, King Diamond released the album"Them", which was recorded at M.M.C. Studio in Copenhagen, Denmark. Another concept album, "Them" charted at number 38 on the Swedish album chart, number 65 on the Dutch album chart, and at number 89 on the Billboard 200, 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". On November 1, the group released The Dark Sides EP, a collection of previously released material as well as one unreleased track.
Following the completion of the supporting tour for "Them", Mikkey Dee left King Diamond. However, he was rehired to play drums on the band's follow-up album, after which he was replaced by Snowy Shaw.On August 21, 1989, King Diamond released the album Conspiracy, which charted at number 41 on the Swedish album chart, number 64 on the Dutch album chart, and at number 111 on the Billboard 200. A continuation of the storyline from "Them", Conspiracy was once again recorded at M.M.C. Studio. A music video was also made for the track "Sleepless Nights".
In June 1990, King Diamond began recording fifth studio album at Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark. Despite Snowy Shaw being a member of King Diamond, most of the drums on the album were recorded with a drum machine. Released on October 30, 1990, The Eye debuted at number 179 on Billboard 200. However, the band did not tour in support of the album, due to lack of label support. Following The Eye, Hal Patino and Pete Blakk were replaced by Sharlee D'Angelo and Mike Wead respectively. 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).
After recording and touring with Mercyful Fate, King Diamond reformed his eponymous band in 1994. With the line-up of King Diamond, Andy La Rocque, as well as guitarist Herb Simonsen, bassist Chris Estesand drummer Darrin Anthony, the band spent September through October, 1994, recording their next album. Released on June 6, 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. The album went on to peak at number 31 on the Finnish album charts. In March 1996, King Diamond began recording their seventh studio album at the Dallas Sound Lab. Released on October 1, 1996, The Graveyard saw King Diamond returning to writing concept albums. The album also charted at number 23 in Finland. After the album's release, drummer Darrin Anthony was forced to leave the band due to a car accident and was subsequently replaced by John Luke Hebert.
On February 24, 1998, King Diamond released the album Voodoo, which charted at number 27 on the Finnish album chart and at number 55 on the Swedish album chart. After the album's release, guitarist Herb Simonsen was replaced by Glen Drover. 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. Released on June 20, 2000, the album peaked at number 60 in Sweden. After the album's release, guitarist Glen Drover and drummer John Luke Hebert were replaced by Mike Wead and Matt Thompson respectively.King Diamond performing live in 2006.
In May 2001, King Diamond began recording their tenth studio album once again at the Nomad Recording Studio. Released on January 29, 2002, Abigail II: The Revenge was a sequel to 1987's Abigail album. 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. King Diamond did not tour in support of Abigail II, as Metal Blade could not provide tour support, due to illegal downloading. Despite this, the album went on to peak at number 24 in Finland and at number 42 in Sweden.
On October 21, 2003, King Diamond released the album The Puppet Master, which charted at number 36 in Sweden. Besides featuring the band, the album also featured additional vocals from Livia Zita, who is also King Diamond's wife. During the supporting tour for The Puppet Master, the band recorded the live album Deadly Lullabyes, which was released September 21, 2004. In April 2006, former bandmate Mikkey Dee (currently withMotörhead) made a guest appearance at King Diamond's sold-out gig in Gothenburg, Sweden. On June 26, 2007, King Diamond released the album Give Me Your Soul...Please. The album went on to peak at number 25 on the Finnish chart, number 28 on the Swedish chart, and at number 174 on theBillboard 200. 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.
In late November, 2010, King Diamond was rushed to the hospital after having several heart attacks. There it was discovered that three of his arteries had been blocked, which meant he had to undergo triple bypass surgery. Following a successful operation, he returned home to rest. Diamond also stopped smoking entirely, changed his diet and began getting regular exercise, according to his wife. On January 27, 2012, Diamond made a special appearance at the "5th Annual Nomad Recording Studio Throwdown", performing three songs: "The Family Ghost", "Evil" and "Burn". On June 9, 2012, the entire King Diamond band played at the Sweden Rock Festival. They were also joined on stage by Michael Denner, Hank Shermann, Mickey Dee and Volbeat's Michael Poulsen. According to vocalist King Diamond, the band expects to begin writing new material for their next album in the fall of 2012.
Main article: King Diamond discography;Studio albums