without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
All these years have passed since this record came out of Denmark and kick started the career of arguably the most iconic singer in the heavy metal world. But aside from all that shit, this album simply kicks ass. Independent of the impact it made on the careers of the band members, this album is undeniably a classic. And nothing about it has changed since then. It is just as fresh and influential as ever. Even the badass cover image has aged without a wrinkle, still evil enough to have that chilling vibe but not so much that it looks like it’s trying too hard. To say the same for the tracks that dwell within....
As with the other Danish masterpiece I found perfect, I'd recommend not wasting any more time not having this album in your collection. Seven blissful, head banging, thought-provoking, shredding, scream-your-head off songs that you will LOVE. I honestly doubted I'd ever find albums I loved and thought were as perfect as Burzum's Hviss Lyset Tar Oss, but now two Danish albums have stolen my heart.
Obviously, for completely different reasons then Hviss. Let me start off with the production (but you really should be on Amazon or something right now). I have the 25th anniversary edition luckily enough, and in the in-depth liner notes they mention how they rented the nicest studio they could find, but since it was so pricey, they had to rush and record the whole album in just 11 days! But the sound does not come off as rushed, and you can really hear the quality in the sound. The guitars have enough pop and crunch and reverb all at the right moments. The vocals sound otherworldly, but are perfectly welcome to the bed of swirling riffs and solos. The bass is there for you to enjoy, but will not interrupt the love-making you'll be having with the leads and vocals. He's just there to set the mood. And the drums are not too loud, not too quiet. This album has no production faults in my opinion. Perfect production? Check.
The song arrangements are varying and awesome. The riffs are catchy, memorable, rocking, and groovy, but the guitars are ever a pair, working off of each other’s riffs and solos with plenty of riff changes, making for a very progressive listen. Satan's Fall alone has like 16 different riffs. Just check out riffs on the bridge of Evil, the chorus of Curse of the Pharaohs and At the Sound of the Demon Bell, and the intro of Satan's Fall. You want a simpler list? The riffs that don't amaze. None. We also get some cleaner bits, both quick (Into the Coven) and somber (Melissa). Perfect guitars? Check.
The bass is grooving throughout the album, and though there are no bass solos or anything, I am more than satisfied on the low end. For the majority of the album it will be there following the guitars, but also at times creating an underlying third rhythm, both blistering and groovy. There’s more bass here then on By Inheritance, and that didn’t bother me a bit on that one. Perfect bass? Check.
The drums are excellent as you can imagine. Apparently, Kim Ruzz disappeared from the metal world after the first break up. Why? I have no fucking clue. He is awesome. Solid beats, killer fills, and great power on the skins. The man is a great drummer, but he just must not have had his heart in it anymore. Shame, but his legacy will live on. Perfect drums? Check
Do I really need to describe King Diamond’s vocals and how they are amazingly great, giving this already awesome album a unique edge? Crazy falsettos and growls and operatic shrieks? Yeah, all those things right when you want them. He IS the King. Let me just say, if you don't like his rather excessive vocal style at first, keep giving it tries until you do like it. Once you get used to it, there really is no singer quite like him. His voice is exactly what this album needed to kick into the unique classic it is. Perfect vocals? Check.
His lyrics didn't hurt, either. The story of the girl who joined the witches only to be sacrificed to Satan is very interesting and entertaining. It goes much further than most metal albums in the lyrical department, plus how awesome is it to hear ALL HAIL SATAN screamed in a high-pitched falsetto? Despite how dark and compelling the lyrics are, they maintain an extreme degree of catchinessand trust me, you will be singing along in no time. And just as the end of the song says, this album will always be with us. Perfect lyrics? Check.
Any faults? No? Any bad songs? NO!? Correct. I love every second of this album. And below in the highlights I am going to mention every track just to really drive that home, but I will rank them in order of my favourites. For simple heavy metal bliss, Melissa gets the three digits that I really don't like giving out, but I cannot deny it. Or a five out of five.
Into the Coven
Curse of the Pharaohs
At the Sound of the Demon Bell