Editors’ Notes Inspired by a trip to Budapest in which he happened upon a huge abandoned puppet theater, band leader King Diamond constructed a story about a lovelorn couple who are kidnapped and transformed into marionette dolls by an evil puppeteer. Like the classic King Diamond albums, The Puppet Master features a diverse arsenal of riffs, rhythms, and melodies, but it also boasts the most in-your-face production of the group's entire career. “The Puppet Master” and “Blood to Walk” seize listeners with a fuming intensity that doesn't yield for the album's duration. While King Diamond’s fiery guitarists had been hit or miss on the band’s latter-day albums, “Magic,” “The Ritual,” and “Christmas” are showcases for Andy LaRocque and Mike Wead, whose entwined leads surge forth from the songs like a molten geyser. As on all King Diamond albums, the bad guy wins in the end, but The Puppet Master is unique for the love story that lies under its tales of torture. In real life, King Diamond had married the singer Livia Zita. Their passion electrified the music and gave it a convincing backstory, especially on the duet “So Sad.”

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