Support tonight comes from New wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) band Angel Witch. With a curtain blocking off most of the stage, Angel Witch were confined to a small area at the front of the stage. Although they have just one original member left in the band (Kevin Heybourne), the set tonight was based around the band’s debut album. It’s a great set and they go down well with the large crowd, with the finale, “Angel Witch” going down particularly well.
After a short break it was time for the main act – King Diamond. King Diamond doesn’t just play a gig, he put’s on a show, and tonight the Forum sees one of the most elaborate sets I’ve seen on stage (almost as elaborate than Avantasia’s) at a gig here. With it’s upturned crucifixes, staircases, gargoyles and more it makes an impressive sight, but it’s not just an elaborate backdrop – the stairs and balcony are used and it’s just part of the show.
Tonight’s show has been billed as King Diamond playing his classic “Abigail” album in full. The show starts with granny in the wheelchair and later sees theatrics such as a coffin being brought out, Abigail coming out and far more – it’s part of what makes a King Diamond show so special – the theatrical element that ties in with the music. Although the show was advertised as being “Abigail” in it’s entirety, the show is far more than that – the Abigail album actually makes up the second half of the show, but before that we’ve got half a dozen other King Diamond songs to enjoy including two Mercyful fate songs (“Melissa” and “Come to the sabbath”).
The venue is absolutely packed tonight – the busiest I’ve seen the forum for a long time, and t’s ridiculously hot in there, but as you look around all you can see is people engrossed in the show rather than worrying about their discomfort. By the time King Diamond starts the Abigail album the fans are already worked up to a frenzy and it’s clear he can do no wrong tonight.
His high pitched vocals cut through you as the guitars and bass pummel your brain into submission – it’s powerful stuff and it’s really clear just why this album has stood the test of time, quality really does show. King Diamond himself prowls the stage with his bone crucifix microphone and is an intense and powerful figure.
What can I say – a classic album performed in spectacular fashion by a superb performer – what more could you ask for. It’s a very happy bunch of metalheads who stagger out of the venue at the end of the night into the cool night air.
Eye of the Witch
Melissa (Mercyful Fate cover)
Come to the Sabbath (Mercyful Fate cover)
Funeral (on tape)
A Mansion in Darkness
The Family Ghost
The 7th Day of July 1777