The King is back with his 12th studio album and the first outing in 4 years, so he definitely took his time for this one. His previous effort “The Puppet Master” had met rather divided reviews, some thinking it was one of his greatest, while others thought it mediocre at best, it is the only album in the past decade I have not heard, so I will refrain from making any direct comparison, but I can say one thing for sure: “Give Me Your Soul…Please” is one of the King’s best.
Of course the album revolves around a concept album again, this time about a little (and pretty dead) girl, who is looking for a pure soul to give to her brother, who was killed by his father and then condemned to hell for allegedly having committed suicide, so in the usual King Diamond style, but this time around he went for a little more direct style, which involves the listener into the story, which is a nice twist to his already great storytelling abilities. And as he told me, he goes over his concepts over and over again to fill any potential logical gaps, so that if someone asked him about any part, he could answer back immediately, so good to hear that this is no quickly slapped together story…
Now to the music. And this is true KING DIAMOND as well, classical Heavy Metal with twists and turns galore, very intricate, yet at the same time accessible and catchy, following the atmosphere of the story, while showing some of the most inspired guitar work on KD albums in quite a while. Even though the band bears his name, the Dane-gone-Texan is not the only focal point of this ensemble, because Andy LaRocque once more shows that he is a true and often overlooked master in the six-string realm, deserving far more praise than he gets and Mike Wead is not far behind either. The riffs and solos this duo is firing off on “Give Me Your Soul…Please” are pure bliss even for people, who do not pay as much attention to the guitar details as they should.
Now on to the often dreaded task of trying to tell you, which songs are the best, as usual with KING DIAMOND, as every song is tied in with the story that technically you should not alter or skip anything, but in this thoroughly very good album there still are a few tracks that manage to stand out. “Never Ending Hill” with good drive and melodies, “Black Of Night” with the maybe best melodies of at least this album, dynamic “The Cellar”, the heavier “Give Me Your Soul” and the super catchy “The Floating Head” should be more than enough to lure you into the grasp of this fantastic album, which should find unanimous acclaim for its sheer class.
A must, if you have been a follower of the King in the past and if you haven’t heard him yet, this is your chance to enter his realm!
(Online August 6, 2007)