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Music / King Diamond

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Kim Bendix Petersen (born 14 June 1956), a.k.a. King Diamond is a Danish Heavy Metal singer who fronts Mercyful Fate, as well as a solo band. He is highly critical of religion, and is an atheist in real life. note  His live performances include wearing black and white face paint with inverted crosses, as well as using a microphone handle consisting of a femur bone and a tibia bone in the shape of an inverted cross. His own vocal style is another distinguishing aspect of his performance, for its range from low to unhumanly high pitch levels, as well as the often over the top deliveries.

Before forming his own bands, he previously played in the Hard Rock band Black Rose, and the Punk Rock band Brats. With Mercyful Fate and his solo band, he became known for producing comprehensive and groundbreaking Heavy Metal Concept Albums (pretty much every release by both bands).

To mainstream audiences, King Diamond is best known through Metallica's "Mercyful Fate" medley (and he would later appear in their own Guitar Hero), and the inclusion of his songs in Clerks II by King Diamond fan Kevin Smith (the admiration is mutual).


Mercyful Fate Albums

  • Melissa (1983)
  • Don't Break the Oath (1984)
  • In the Shadows (1993)
  • Time (1994)
  • Into the Unknown (1996)
  • Dead Again (1998)
  • 9 (1999)

King Diamond Albums

  • Fatal Portrait (1986)
  • Abigail (1987)
  • "Them" (1988)
  • Conspiracy (1989)
  • The Eye (1990)
  • The Spider's Lullabye (1995)
  • The Graveyard (1996)
  • Voodoo (1998)
  • House of God (2000)
  • Abigail II: The Revenge (2002)
  • The Puppet Master (2003)
  • Give Me Your Soul... Please (2007)
  • The Institute (2022)

King Diamond demonstrates the following tropes:

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    King Diamond himself/live performance 
  • Long Runner Lineup: His eponymous band had the same lineup from 2001 through 2014, making them a Type 2.
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: He has a vocal range estimated at over four octaves and makes good use of it.
  • Never Bareheaded: On pictures (and videos) since 1994, he is always seen with some headwear. Usually a top hat, if he wears his make-up.
  • Nice Guy: Yes, despite his (literal and figurative) image, he's actually a pretty friendly and down-to-Earth guy in real life. Metallica themselves acknowledge this in the liner notes for Garage Inc..
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: Famous for his metal American accent.

  • Album Intro Track: * Several of his solo albums have an intro track, i.e. "Funeral" from Abigail (and similarly it's continuation "Spare This Life" from Abigail II: The Revenge), "Out from the Asylum" from "Them", "Upon the Cross" from House of God...
    • Mercyful Fate meanwhile avoid this for the most part. The sole exception is "Lucifer" from Into the Unknown.
  • Album Title Drop: Fatal Portrait in "The Portrait", Conspiracy in "Victimized", The Spider's Lullabye in "Dreams" (though it's not related to the story), Give Me Your Soul... Please in "The Cellar".
  • Another Man's Terror: The titular necklace in The Eye has this effect on its wearer.
  • Antagonist Title: The Puppet Master. Also Abigail and "Them", depending on your view of said characters. And that's just for album titles.
  • Anti-Christmas Song: "No Presents for Christmas".
  • Asshole Victim: Pretty frequent in his work, but the Lafayettes from Voodoo stand out; hell, the entire chain of events in that album's story could have been avoided if they weren't dicks and hadn't tried to destroy a perfectly benign voodoo burial ground just because it made them uncomfortable.
  • Bedlam House:
    • Devil Lake Sanitarium in Spider's Lullabye.
    • Black Hill Sanitarium in Graveyard might be this, or at least the protagonist seem to think so. Of course, he is crazy, but it is implied that it was the asylum that made him that way.
    • Grandma returns from one in "Them" and King spends nine years (according to extra notes) in one between events of "Them" and Conspiracy. It's never explicitly mentioned if they are one and the same, though they most likely are.
  • Book Ends:
    • From Voodoo album, "Aftermath" is "Louisiana Darkness" with Salem's epilogue narration over it.
    • Standard version of "Them" ends with "Coming Home", which uses the same four-tone piano backing as the intro, "Out from the Asylum".
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Somewhat in Give Me Your Soul... Please, namely the final track "Moving On", as the girl (searching for a soul for her brother) decides, that King's soul is not good, says she's "moving on to THIS house", implying the listener's house.
  • Buried Alive: Mercyful Fate have a song with this name. Other than that, the element is used in The Graveyard, where the narrator buries Lucy in one of seven graves and has McKenzie figure out in which one. It's also implied in "Six Feet Under".
  • Burn the Witch!: "Burn" from The Eye.
  • Call-Back: From "LOA House" out of Voodoo album.
    This is no Abigail, this child will survive.
  • Concept Album: Pretty much all his solo albums.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: Used on the cover of Give Me Your Soul... Please to form the title.
  • Curse of the Pharaoh: They have a song named "Curse of the Pharaohs", which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The lyrics are basically a warning that anyone who disturbs the dead pharaohs of Egypt, like stealing from them, will be hit with a deadly curse.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The beings that are revealed to be the true controllers of existence at the end of House of God are akin to this.
  • Epic Rocking: "At the Graves" from Conspiracy (almost 9 minutes) and "Room 17" from Spider's Lullaby (over 8 minutes).
    • The two longest songs by Mercyful Fate are "Satan's Fall" (11 minutes), and "Dead Again" (13 minutes).
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: "A Dangerous Meeting", from Mercyful Fate's "Don't Break The Oath".
  • Eye Scream: In "No More Me", the titular villain removes King's eyes and places them into a puppet.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The Puppet Master takes the cake. The protagonist and his lover are turned into puppets by titular puppet master, separated and not knowing if they will ever see each other again as she is sent to a different theatre.
  • For Want of a Nail: Literally none of Voodoo would have occurred if the Lafayettes hadn't gone barking up the wrong tree and pissed off people whose activities may have been inconvenient for them, but who meant them no harm otherwise.
  • Guess Who I'm Marrying?: King, the protagonist of "Them"/Conspiracy has spent several years under the supervision of doctor Landau and has taken a strong dislike for the man. Much to his horror, his mother decides to marry the doctor.
  • Haunted House: Many. King really loves his haunted buildings.
    • The mansion in Abigail and Abigail II.
    • The house "Amon" in "Them" and Conspiracy.
    • "LOA House" in Voodoo.
    • Protagonist's home in Give Me Your Soul... Please, though it's unclear if it was originally haunted, or only becomes so during the album's story.
    • The eponymous church in House of God is either this or a Haunted Castle.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: "Voodoo" is a Take That! to people who think that Hollywood Voodoo is real voodoo.
  • Instrumentals: "To One Far Away" (unless you count those "oohs" at the beginning), "Room of Golden Air" and "S.H." by Mercyful Fate, "Voices from the Past", "Something Weird", "Cremation" (except for a single line at the end), "Insanity" and "Peace of Mind" by King Diamond.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The sword-n-sorcery / heavy-metal anime Bastard!! (1988) features the vampire King Di-Amon, with very similar makeup and vocalizations.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Abigail II: The Revenge reveals that O'Brian, leader of the black horsemen, is actually a half-brother of the original Abigail. Which is why he demands to spare the second Abigail's life.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Doctor Landau. Mentioned briefly in "Them", and becomes a more important character in Conspiracy.
    • Also Doctor Eastmann from The Spider's Lullabye.
  • No Ending: "Crossroads" by Mercyful Fate ends abruptly.
  • No Name Given: Give Me Your Soul... Please never reveals the names of the dead siblings or their father.
  • Nightmare Dreams: King suffers from them in Conspiracy.
  • Numbered Sequels: Abigail II: The Revenge with an Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo thrown in.
  • Off with His Head!: Grandma was sent to the asylum when she cut off her husband's head prior to the events in "Them".
  • People Puppets: Theme of the Puppet Master album.
  • The Power of Blood: Blood is the prime ingredient in Grandma's tea in "Them".
  • Precision F-Strike: From "Doomed by the Living Dead" by Mercyful Fate, there's "So just say goodbye to all your fucking angels". And "Sleep Tight Little Baby" from Graveyard features the following:
    Let me see your face, you son of a bitch!

    Music/Music referential 
  • Black Metal: King Diamond himself hasn't made black metal (his music is more like Gothic-tinged Speed Metal). However, he is considered an honorary member of the genre since his image and lyrics inspired later black metal bands.
  • Careful with That Axe
  • Cut Short: Demo version of Mercyful Fate's "A Corpse Without Soul", which was included on Return of the Vampire. The band had to constantly restart recording the song, as somebody always screwed up. As they were growing more and more frustrated and on the verge of giving up, they decided to try recording it one more time. This time they were successful, however, when they arrived to control room, the sound engineer told them that the tape ran out and the entire ending was gone.
    King Diamond: "Later that same year this guy had to close down the studio. I wonder why."
  • Demoted to Extra: Mikkey Dee on Conspiracy. He left the band after the tour for Them was over, but King called him back to at least lay down the drum tracks for one more album, as he was not satisfied with his initial replacement Chris Whitemier.
  • Multinational Team: Current line-up - King Diamond (Dane), Andy LaRocque, Mike Wead and Pontus Egberg (all Swedes), Matt Thompson (American) and Livia Zita (Hungarian).
  • Progressive Metal: While some of Mercyful Fate's tunes have elements of this (non-standard song structures and Epic Rocking), and they were a major influence on a lot of early progressive metal acts, his solo albums fit more into this category, especially his concept albums.
  • Revolving Door Band: His solo band essentially consists of King himself, Andy LaRocque and any other second guitarist, drummer and bassist available, though guitarist Mike Wead and drummer Matt Thompson have now been in the band for 20 years .
  • Speed Metal: Mercyful fate were not quite Thrash Metal, but a definite influence on it, and fit this.
  • Special Guest: Lars Ulrich played drums on "Return of the Vampire 1993".
  • Stage Names: Listing both King Diamond and Mercyful Fate members: King Diamond (Kim Bendix Petersen), Hank Shermann (René Krolmark), Sharlee D'Angelo (Charles Andreason), Snowy Shaw (Tommie Helgesson, though he legally changed the name), Mike Wead (Mikael Vikström), Andy LaRocque (Anders Allhage), Mikkey Dee (Micael Kiriakos Delaoglou), Mike Moon (Mikael Myllynen)...
    • Timi Hansen briefly went under the name Timi Grabber, but quickly reverted to his real name after it turned out people didn't understand, where it came from (he got it from his bass, the Gibson Grabber).
    • According to an interview with Hank Shermann, Kim Ruzz was also just that drummer's stage name, but nobody seems to remember what his real name was. note 
  • Start My Own: Denner and Shermann started an eponymous project with Sean Peck (Cage), Marc Grabowski (ex-Demonica), and Snowy Shaw.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Inverted with "Voices from the Past", where King performs electric guitar instead of both Michael Denner and Andy LaRocque.

    Music Videos 

Alternative Title(s): Mercyful Fate