King Diamond Delivers the Horror To Seattle

November 5, 2014
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King Diamond/Jess & The Ancient Ones
Moore Theatre - Seattle, WA 10.28.14
Review/Photos/Video: "Iron" Mike Savoia

King Diamond photos - Jess & The Ancient Ones photos

As I stood in the photo pit looking around at the other 8-10 photographers ready to shoot King Diamond, I couldn't help but think how much time has flown, but still seems like yesterday. As the elder photographer in the pit on this night, I pondered back to August 8, 1986 where I stood in this exact same place in the Moore Theatre photoing King Diamond. Who was his opener back then you ask? None other than a little known upcoming metal band at the time...Megadeth! 28 years ago I was a 19yo Kodak film camera carrying kid with a tr ue metal heart to capture the times of what I still think were the greatest times in rock/metal music. All these years later it still beats stronger than ever. Here's one from the photos from that show.

Before King Diamond went solo his Danish band from Copenhagen, Mercyful Fate (broke up in 1985), ruled the first wave of Black Metal from Europe onto the world. After scaring kids and parents alike worldwide with their evil overtones and album covers, these 3 records all these decades later still hold their own as to some of the greatest in their genre: Mercyful Fate (1982 EP - also known as "Nuns Have No Fun"), Melissa (1983) & Don't Break the Oath (1984). King wasn't done because his first 3 solo albums Fatal Portrait (1986), Abigail (1987), Them (1988) were instant classics to follow the Mercyful Fate legacy with their horror story themes which instantly fitted perfect into his live concert schemes. Main subject on his "Them" album (King's insane grandmother) still lives in his shows to this day.

Probably the greatest falsetto singer in rock/metal history, I was wondering how his voice could possibly be anywhere near as good as it was years ago. Tonight he blew me away! After a 2010 open-heart triple-bypass surgery he quit smoking and that combo has given him his voice, lungs and energy back. 58 freakin years old and he killed it!!!  Watch "Tea" from the show video below...are you kidding me!? He nailed it! He hasn't sounded this good in years! The King is back!!

The production of the show was awesome! Probably the best stage setup I've ever seen in the Moore Theatre for any rock/metal concert. Hailing on is horror meets evil visuals, the stage was draped in various visuals like his logo, lots of black, castle walls and the best one...his cover to the upcoming “Dreams of Horror” the “best of” album. Covering the band’s entire career. King and Andy LaRocque mastered and enhanced 23 songs into what they call the ultimate editions for fans and chosen from both the Roadrunner and Metal Blade catalogs. More info & order here.

With a setlist covering decades of his work (including Mercyful Fate), any fan of King Diamond over the years would have enjoyed this setlist: The Candle / Sleepless Nights / Welcome Home / Never Ending Hill / Let It Be Done / The Puppet Master / At the Graves/ Tea / Digging Graves / A Visit from the Dead / Evil (Mercyful Fate cover) / Come to the Sabbath (Mercyful Fate cover) / Shapes of Black / Eye of the Witch / Encore: Cremation / Encore 2: The Family Ghost / Black Horsemen.

From the video above you'll see and hear how pumped the sold-out crowd was. During the Mercyful Fate tunes "Evil" and "Come to the Sabbath" it was hair raising with the crowd singing aloud. With the rumors of a possible Mercyful Fate reunion in the near future I can't imagine what that show will be like from the response of fans during this shows Mercyful Fate tunes. Some of the greatest metal riffs ever! Listen how incredible these sound!

Check out a recent interview with King Diamond in Rolling Stone here.

Before I end I do have to talk a little on the opening act called Jess & The Ancient Ones. One word...WOW! Haven't enjoyed an opening act like that in a while. Jess & The Ancient Ones are a Finnish psychedelic occult rock band that's headed by the hauntingly awesome vocals of Jess. She is the modern day Grace Slick (Jefferson Airplane) vocally and onstage with her near hypnotic state.

Check out their new video for "Astral Sabbat".

If Jess wasn't enough her band was off the hook!!! The chemistry was just so fresh from a 70s-like rock perspective. Nothing flashy, just pure rock music magic to the ears and a female fronted singer that mesmerized me. How about a 12 minute journey called "Sulfur Giants" to make ya go buy their music on iTunes or order CD/LP online.

If you're a fan of Ghost and their music, you'll die for this amazing stuff that's very similar, but much more monstrous in structure and musical efforts. Thank you Jess & The Ancient Ones for proving to us rock music is not dead! Get back to America soon! Thanks King Diamond for personally picking them for this U.S. tour. They are gonna win over a TON of new fans!

For show photo albums from both bands go here: King Diamond photos - Jess & The Ancient Ones photos