Freshly remastered by guitarist/producer Andy LaRoque, King Diamond's 1995 opus The Spider's Lullabye comes at us for another attack. It's interesting to listen to this particular album some fourteen years later as it's quite different from what fans of the King had grown used to him delivering, and it was also the first album to be released on his then new label Metal Blade Records. Some felt this release was the weakest offering that the King had delivered and in one sense I can agree that it is not as strong as your Them or Abigail recordings, but those are very, very hard to top when it comes down to it based on how they impacted the Heavy Metal genre and its use of Horror as a consistent genre for source material. When you play the remastered edition you will quickly realize that The Spider's Lullabye is not a timid release in any shape or form, but it is different in how it begins because it starts up by offering up several small stories as opposed to one centralized theme that runs a full album. Perhaps the hardcore fans expect Mr. Diamond to only release full stories and never experiment with his own musical ideas every once in awhile. Musically this is on point as long time collaborator Andy LaRoque is in place and with subject matter that involves ghosts, serial murderers and being buried alive one can see that the switch to Metal Blade from Roadrunner Records did not find the King dulling his senses or skill at things macabre. My favorites from this part of the recording are "The Poltergeist" and "Six Feet Under".
The second half of the recording covers the actual Spider's Lullabye theme, and this is a simple tale of a man cursed by spiders, or feeling that he is cursed by them, and how his arachnophobia sends him to treatment and eventually to …… oh wait, that would be ruining the surprise now wouldn't it. You'll just have to read the accompanying booklet to get the full inside scoop your own for this one. There are a few photos of King and the various members of the band but its nothing super to speak of based on the overall number of them. Upon the CD's completion you will truly be happy to have added it to your existing King Diamond portion of the music library and if you've already owned the original, well you can always pass that one on to a young up and coming Metal fan that is in need of some schooling by the master. My favorite track from this part of the album is the sometimes sludgy brooding of "To The Morgue" as this finds King playing with a number of different feels for the maximum effect. Welcome to Metal Blade Records King Diamond. We're sending that wish out now since we weren't reviewing CDs when he first signed on and since this is a re-issue of that first go round why not offer up some compliments as well.
The King Diamond remasters come packaged in a slim digipak case and there is additional content to be found on the Metal Blade official site. I think I would have preferred they include this stuff, whatever it may be, on the actual release but this was not the case.
1.From The Other Side
6.Six Feet Under
7.The Spider's Lullabye
10.To The Morgue