Whether it’s with Mercyful Fate or with his own solo venture, King Diamond has always commanded ultimate respect in the metal world and as the years gather pace, he becomes even more of a mythical and influential figure to metal fanatics. When it was announced that the King was to release a career spanning live album and visual show, consisting of two concerts, fans were beside themselves in anticipation at owning another piece of King Diamond history both in audio and visual form.
Songs For The Dead Live consists of two shows, the first one being a festival show at the Graspop Metal Meeting and the second, a theatre show at the Filmore in Philadelphia and although the setlists are identical, the two performances are delivered faultlessly each with a personality of its own complete with compelling and theatrical stage sets, each differing due to the locale of the performance. The quality of the performances from both Graspop and Philadelphia demonstrate the sheer power of King Diamond and his band as they tear through King Diamond favourites with a handful of Mercyful Fate classics thrown in there for good measure.
The real treat on both of the shows is the classic Abigail album played in full to the delight of the crowd and both performances really showcase the quality of these songs and why it is regarded as a true classic. Add in other King Diamond tracks like ”Sleepless Nights”, ”Halloween” and the closing ”Insanity” as well as Mercyful Fate’s Melissa, ”Come To The Sabbath” and and you have a setlist made in metal heaven.
King’s vocals are on point throughout and he ably demonstrates that he can still hit those highest of high notes with consummate ease while his band backs him effortlessly with some high energy performances.