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Killer sequel! - 97%

Dethrone_Tyranny, October 27th, 2003

The sequel to “Them” is an overall better effort, catchy as fuck and not as raw mainly due to the keyboards and “tamed” out drums. Yes, the drumming is a bit more tamed here, but the quality of it is a hell of a lot better. Here’s the review…

At The Graves - This song is perfect! Perfection at its best done by the one and only King. Soft, melodic, yet creepy keyboards open up the track as King sings in sorrow for his dead sister, Missy. Then….it turns into a whole different beast as the heaviness kicks in and King begins screaming “Rise! Rise, my friends! RIIIISSSEE!”, then it’s metal mayhem all the way through. If a song like this does not grab you by the throat on the first listen, then I don’t know what will. This is such a godly tune.

Sleepless Nights - As soon as ‘At The Graves’ ends, this track opens up like a kick to the groin! A great combo of classical guitar and speed metal, this is one of King’s best songs, and probably his most popular. Tempos change constantly, but this song never, at any given point lets the listener down. Everything about this song is done amazingly well.

Lies - The catchiness heard here on this one is just unbelievable! Almost as good as ‘Sleepless Nights’, but a bit more straight forward by not changing tempos constantly. The verses though are definitely better though. “He asked me questions, that kind of fool deserves a lie!”…killer stuff.

A Visit From The Dead - Andy does a damn good job at this classical guitar piece that opens up the track. Enchanting and beautiful, but it soon changes into a wickedly heavy song once the crushing guitar riff begins to fade in from the end of the classical piece. The vox is pretty catchy too.

The Wedding Dream - Wedding song keyboards start off this song, and believe it or not, it’s done very well. Guitars and drums are added along with the wedding melody and it creates a good sounding combo, but unfortunately that is the only highlight here. This is strong and solid number, but not very memorable.

‘Amon’ Belongs To “Them” - Mid-paced and melodic, this tune has some well done riffage through out the song that makes it quite a memorable number. The vocal harmonies heard here are awesome too, King delivers an all out melodic assault on this one. I especially love the growling part too where it goes “Amon belongs to…THEEEEEEEEEEEEMMMMM”, and then catchy riffage continues on.

Something Weird - This is a short guitar instrumental mixed with eerie keyboards. A nice bridge tune that leads us into one of the album’s best songs.

Victimized - What a crazy song! King’s vox is pretty wild in this one and so is the guitar work. If I had to choose one song from King Diamond that was extremely underrated, it would without a doubt be this one. I mean, it’s no ‘At The Graves’ or ‘Sleepless Nights’, but those songs aren’t underrated. The way King screeches “Ahhhhh…..Conspiracy!!” is not something that you just pass up on the first listen, and neither are the keyboards toward the end of the song. The way they mix with Andy’s killer guitar licks is just amazing. As I stated about ‘Twilight Symphony’ in my “Them” review, this needs to be PLAYED LIVE!!

Let It Be Done - A short spoken track that leads us into the last song on the album and of course, all voices are done by King once again. There’s some eerie music in the background as the priests are talking about cremating King while he gasps for help in the coffin. A killer tune in its own, unique way.

Cremation - What an album ending! I usually don’t like when albums end with an instrumental, especially concept albums such as this one but here we have a huge exception. The way the riffs are played here gives you mental image of a fire burning, just as King is supposed to be cremated in the story. You’ll have to hear it to know what I am talking about. I think the keyboards help it out a bit too, to give the listener that image. The last lines are wicked cool too…”Whenever the dark is near, I will return from the grave to haunt you…Godforsaken whore!”.

This remastered version of this album also includes the alternate version of ’At The Graves’, which is really no different from the album version except it is missing the keyboard intro. The vox is only slightly louder, I think. It also has the “live show mix” of ‘Cremation’, which is boring when compared to the album version. Only difference is that the “live show mix” is almost entirely keyboards, which makes it less exciting to hear. So overall, this album kills! I recommend it to anyone new to King Diamond or to anyone who likes hard rock/metal in general.