King Diamond

House of God

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    4
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This pretentious, epic, almost sappy concept record follows lyrical suit with King Diamond's previous offerings, however, House of God lacks the musical commitment of the artist's best recordings, Them and Abigal. Rare in his ability to manage a successful solo career with a long-time band partnership, King Diamond was very busy releasing numerous albums, both on his own and with Mercyful Fate in the '90s. Quantity might have taken precedence of quality as the prolific vocalist and songwriter ended up offering several sub par discs during this period. Long time guitarist and co-songwriter Andy La Rocque joins Diamond, drummer John Herbert, guitarist Glen Drover, and bassist Dave Harbour on House of God. Each member delivers fine performances, but the opportunities to stretch out are rare as Diamond pastes his obtuse prose (more like an album-length short story than poetry or song lyrics) all over mediocre riffs and flat arrangements. Creative ambition and a dark quirkiness are decidedly core elements to Diamond's appeal, but these qualities often require catalysts to be transforming. A certain amount of intellect and humor are needed to support what can be otherwise bland music. Sadly, there is little in the way of interesting writing or fiery musical performances to enhance House of God, a lesser King Diamond release.

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