Review: King Diamond & Exodus

Scream the name Kim Petersen in a crowd of metalheads and a select few will spin around and flash you their horns in approval, but refer to him by his larger than life stage persona King Diamond or mention his band Mercyful Fate in that same crowd and all will chant his name in unison at the top of their lungs. After over 30 years in the business, that is the kind of respect this living legend deserves and gets wherever he goes and wherever his band plays and even after years of smoking that resulted in several heart attacks and triple bypass surgery, his world renowned falsetto is as razor sharp as ever. In fact, due the clean living since the surgery, his voice might actually be better now than it was when he first started his illustrious career so many years ago. Diamond along with longtime guitarist Andy LaRocque, guitarist Mike Wead, bassist Pontus Egberg and drummer Matt Thompson are currently on the road with openers Electric Citizen in tow, playing the King’s seminal masterpiece Abigail in it’s entirety. Perhaps to prepare them for what Diamond is saying will be his final album. An album he says “Will be done when it’s done.” Indicating he is no hurry to rush what will no doubt be perfection. It wasn’t very long after a strong stoner rock set, with even stronger individual performances by Electric Citizen that the house lights dimmed and the intro music of Uriah Heep’s “The Wizard” bellowed from the speaker system. The blood red curtain that had been hiding the stage drew back as “Out from the Asylum” played and the band took their places. The show was about to begin. On top of a set containing the full Abigail album alongside Diamond standards like “Welcome Home,” “Sleepless Nights,” “Halloween” and “Eye of the Witch” and Mercyful Fate classics such as “Evil” and “Melissa,” the fans were treated to a massive stage production and eye popping lighting show. Diamond pulls out all the stops to give you a concert experience unlike anything you’ve seen before. Part heavy metal concert, part Opera and part Broadway play, the production had actors in costumes and masks playing the various roles of the story, coffins during the “Funeral” and several set and backdrop changes. They even burned a witch at the stake, but you don’t want to know all the surprises before you get to see the show for yourself now do you? That would spoil half the fun and fun is just a small portion of everything you get at a King Diamond show. If you’ve already seen the King and his cohorts live don’t spoil it for the newbies and if you haven’t yet, you absolutely should, as it is almost a heavy metal rite of passage. Eric Hunker   [lg_slideshow folder=\”2015/King Diamond in Pittsburgh/King Diamond/\”]