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Instead, before he could drown (that's how crucified people died; their lungs filled up with fluid), he was rescued by Mary and his disciples, where he transferred to Gaul (modern France) and set up his own kingdom for him to reign over his followers. That is the story crafted by the master of horror King Diamond in his 9th studio album. An interesting concept, to be sure, but how would the story play out?
The good news is that if you love the King's gothic horror concept albums, you'll most likely enjoy the story that goes with "House of God." A man travelling through France is confronted by a wolf, who leads him to a chapel with the words "This Place is Terrible" carved upon the door. The wolf turns into a beautiful woman, and after several days of endless kinky sex, she reveals that she is the guardian of the church, and tries to convince the narrator to take her place . Pretty cheesy, eh? WRONG! This album is pretty damn scary, I'll admit that I was sweating after the first time I listened to the album all the way through; in the darkness with only a couple of candles providing enough light to read the lyrics. Despite an obvious Lovecraftian influence, the story is well written and is easily comprehendable, even the surprise ending. I won't give it away, but let's just say that we find out Jesus wasn't everything that the Bible claimed him to be.
As for the music itself, though, this album disappoints, although not so much at first. After an haunting intro, we are treated to "The Trees Have Eyes." King Diamond shines in the strong, harmonious chorus, and guitarists Andy LaRocque and Glen Drover each provide a cool solo. "Follow the Wolf" starts out with clean guitars and a light melody before the head-bangable riff kicks in; with Andy LaRocque providing another awesome solo. And at this point, the album falls off, with "Just A Shadow" being the only decent song, despite the main riff being a bastardized version of the riff from Aerosmith's "Draw the Line." One big difference between this album and "Voodoo" is that the guitars are slower and nowhere near as heavy. The riffs are stale and the solos are pretty much throwaways and rarely interesting, leaving us an album that consists of third-rate rock songs; they aren't even heavy enough to be considered metal. I'm not really sure what changed in the two years between "Voodoo" and "House of God," but for whatever reason, the almost-thrash of "Voodoo" and the awesome solos of "Them" are gone. The only commendable performance is done by the King himself. He still goes from low growl to high-pitched scream with ease, nearly 20 years after the first Mercyful Fate demos surfaced, but his strong performance isn't enough to save the album.
Sadly it would continue to go down from here, with Abigail II: The Revenge tarnishing the image of one of the greatest metal albums of all time. R.I.P King Diamond: 1985-1998.