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Review of "The Puppet Master" by King Diamond

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.


There Is a Story Behind the Album

The Puppet Master is the 2003 solo album by Denmark’s most famous heavy metal vocalist and band of the same name King Diamond also known as Kim Bendix Petersen. He has a tendency to base his albums around a certain concept or story and once again, that is what we are presented with here. The Puppet Master is an album about precisely that. The album tells the story of a puppet master. This puppet master turns a young couple into undead puppets when the couple had gone to watch a puppet show in Budapest in the 1700s. King Diamond has a tendency to really go back in time when telling these concept stories in his solo albums. In this aspect, King Diamond’s band may be unique because many metal bands do not have concept albums. The story starts with a narrator telling the story.

The story begins as the narrator tells the story of midnight as the snow is falling but he is hanging onto a wall because of fear. The singing of the word “midnight” is what finishes off this short song as the show is about to begin.

How Does the Story Behind the Album Begin?

As the first real long enough song begins, there is a description that tells the story as midnight is present in Budapest as people are getting ready to watch a Christmas show. However, the puppet master gets to work and by the end of the show, the performers have been turned into puppets.

Songs Such As Blue Eyes and The Ritual Are What Make the Album Melodic

The orchestration in songs such as "Blue Eyes" is pretty phenomenal. The keyboards are played by Andy La Roque, who also played guitars many years ago helping out the late Chuck Schuldiner. King Diamond’s voice still has that same chant feel to it if that makes any sense. While it is a highly melodic metal album the feeling of it is also of the dark variety, not dark as in extremely sad but dark as in having this sort of ominous feel to it. The guitar play is performed well enough and there is more than a good enough flow to the album musically to keep a listener interested. The best part or song of the album may be the one called “The Ritual.” The section before the first guitar solo is the most memorable part of the song as King Diamond shows that he is indeed one of the best heavy metal singers.

"The Ritual"

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Final Thoughts About "The Puppet Master"

He has the range and talent, however some people including myself may find the lyrics and imagery about evil subjects to be a bit objectionable. It is for this reason that no King Diamond album will receive a 100 points out of 100. Although King Diamond’s albums are not about horror metal specifically, the lyrical themes will be objectionable for some fans and certain audiences. The question that some people may ask is why is there a review for the album? I do have respect for King Diamond’s vocal talents and he has managed to have very talented musicians playing alongside him. The Puppet Master may be the strongest release by King Diamond’s band up to this point in time. Fans of the earlier Mercyful Fate work should find this album an enjoyable listen if they can handle the dark nature of the music and the lyrical themes. As the story concludes, the narrator says that 18 years have passed yet he feels like he is living dead.

Rating for The Puppet Master: 85 points out of 100

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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