Various Artists

King Diamond Tribute

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If you played King Diamond's recordings right after listening to some underground grindcore and death metal bands, you would notice a world of difference. Diamond's Judas Priest-influenced fantasy metal is forceful but melodic-if you're seriously into Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Queensryche or Grim Reaper, you should be into Diamond as well. But grindcore and death metal bands like Cannibal Corpse and the infamous Deicide are anything but melodic. Nonetheless, a lot of death metallers have admired Diamond's satanic image and his interest in the Occult even though they don't sound anything like him. Released in 2000, this collection finds 11 bands paying tribute to Diamond-many are underground death metal, black metal and grindcore bands (both American and European), and some are not as extreme. King Diamond Tribute is full of bands that don't sound anything like him; so when you hear Exhumed interpreting "No Presents for Christmas," Enthrall embracing "The Portrait" or Dark Funeral tackling "The Trial," don't expect these interesting remakes to sound exactly like Diamond's original versions. On "Dressed in White," Destiny's End favors a very Diamond-like approach, and Ancient's version of "Halloween" is also on the melodic side. But most of the time, Diamond's songs get major makeovers. Some of the makeovers work better than others-and while King Diamond Tribute isn't perfect, it is definitely intriguing.

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