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The way sequel albums should be done. - 95%

goflotsam, July 10th, 2019

King Diamond is one of the greatest names in metal. King has a distinct voice and his band makes concept albums that have wonderful stories such as the highly acclaimed Abigail. One of the more underrated gems within King Diamond's discography is Conspiracy, which is a sequel to the rock opera "Them". Just like its predecessor, Conspiracy tells its story from King Diamond's perspective. This album's concept focuses on an adult King attempting to reclaim his rightful place as heir to the House of Amon.

It's no conspiracy that Conspiracy has plenty of headbanger worthy moments on it, as "Lies", "'Amon' Belongs to 'Them'", and "Victimized" make this an epic listen. "Lies" has guitar riffs similar to Dio's "Stand Up and Shout", complete with a technical guitar solo to boot. Lyrically, it's about King lying to the doctor, who starts thinking about King's mother. It's pretty messed up but a really fun listen in turn. "'Amon' Belongs to 'Them'" is a short and catchy number that's got some of the fastest guitar work on Conspiracy. It's also notable for being the reason as to why Roadrunner Records forced Deicide's name change from Amon to Deicide as the label didn't want any confusion of any kind. "Victimized" is a longer number on Side B and is notable for sudden changes in King Diamond's vocal registers. The guitar solo on "Victimized" is rather fast for a mid-paced traditional metal song. This is pretty much my favorite song on Conspiracy, mainly because of King's performance on the song.

As with other albums, King Diamond's vocals shine throughout Conspiracy, especially his falsetto parts which are found throughout the album. "Sleepless Nights" contains King's best vocal performance where he takes full advantage of his extensive vocal range. Andy Larocque and Pete Blakk's guitar play is phenomenal, as evidenced in their guitar solos for songs such as "At the Graves" and "A Visit from the Dead" which are complex and are not easy for guitarists to cover. Hal Patino's bass playing is fantastic as his bass riffing plays follow the leader with the guitar riffs. "'Amon' Belongs to 'Them'" is a good example of this, which notably contains Patino's fastest bass riffs. Mikkey Dee's drumming is technical without relying mostly on fast tempos, and his execution works really well on the more suspenseful parts of Conspiracy such as on "The Wedding Dream". Roberto Falcao's keyboard playing is crucial to Conspiracy as the horror themes within the album wouldn't have the shock appeal without it. The instrumental "Something Weird" is a good example of this as Falcao's keyboards create suspense for the last three songs.

Suspense is arguably one of the reasons as to why King Diamond's albums are widely acclaimed. Conspiracy is a fun listen that any metal fan should pick up. It's an underrated gem within the band's discography and a perfect sequel to King Diamond's story that began with "Them". It's not perfect, mainly because I'm used to King Diamond's iconic sophomore album Abigail which overshadows Conspiracy in every way. Nevertheless, if you like King Diamond's music or high quality rock operas, this won't disappoint.