Finally, after all the painful years of waiting the best of the best has returned with the first sign of recording activity! I personally consider King Diamond to be the finest band ever in the history of mankind and took bad news of King’s health problems very badly but after that slight hiccup the ultimate god of metal has returned to the live front stronger than ever, despite his age and all the odds. King Diamond has been touring the world relentlessly for years now and the great portion of that tour was dedicated to playing 1987’s Abigail in its entirety. This album is in my opinion perhaps the best album ever, among with selected few such as Don’t Break The Oath, Altars of Madness and Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk, so you will not see me complaining about the choice of that material for sure, so now let’s see what do we have here.. Songs For The Dead Live comes in 2DVD + CD edition, and both DVDs feature essentially the same setlist. The first one is recorded in more intimate atmosphere at The Fillmore in Philadelphia, PA in November 2015 while the second is done at Graspop Metal Meeting in 2016. Unfortunately we have not been provided with the DVD section of this release but we can then tell something about the audio portion which comes from Philadelphia. Playing time around 80 minutes, Songs For The Dead Live features 18 tracks and the setlist starts with the best of with tracks such as Welcome Home, Sleepless Nights, Halloween and Mercyful Fate cuts such as Come to the Sabbath and Melissa, until the band kicks in the integral version of Abigail that lasts until the very end of this album. There I would point out the absolute only negative thing about this live album which basically come from personal preferences: I worship absolutely all of King’s back catalog so I would love to see some more deep cut tracks, especially those that come from his post 80s period. But on the other hand I can understand that this can be seen as sort of best of, and the songs played here are what the fans demand the most. After all don’t get me wrong: the material on display here is among the best music ever recorded, period. I would just like to hear some more rarities as a die hard fan. Everything else on display here is of a highest quality that King Diamond has got us used through the decades – everybody in the band sounds absolutely impeccable, while the center of attention is of course set on King himself. I am happy to inform you that his heart attack took absolutely nothing from his insane delivery and as the years go by I am more than certain that he is not human. Such utmost level of quality cannot be explained with mere human words, and some supernatural powers surely helped him to sound this way. The crowd is also audibly happy to be there and the happy fuckers are more than willing to participate in what was happening in front of them. Maybe this review sounded more like a fan’s dribble but everyone who knows me can attest that this is what I think of King Diamond. In impatient waiting of his new studio album we can enjoy in this immense live creation with great pleasure! There is only one King, and it is not Elvis!
- Metal Blade Records CD
- Trifunovic Slobodan