The Eye

King Diamond

The Eye

Where King Diamond’s earlier concept albums were imaginations of historical horror, The Eye is based on factual events from the French Inquisition. The band used names of real people for their tale of an enchanted necklace passed among witches and clergy in 16th-century Paris. As usual, King Diamond’s sympathies rest with the darker forces, and despite the album’s fantastical narrative, there's a deep undertone of social commentary in the way it presents hypocrisies and atrocities of the Catholic Church. Then again, King Diamond fans don’t come for a history lesson—they come for the fiery and hysterical heavy metal of “Eye of the Witch,” “The Trial (Chamre Ardent),” and “Burn,” which might form the best three-song opening salvo of any of the band’s albums. “Behind These Walls” is boosted by a wash of synthesizers, while “1742 Imprisonment” could almost pass for an amped-out outtake from the Broadway version of Les Misérables—but The Eye also boasts some of the band’s heaviest riffs. Punctuated by the impeccable double bass drumming of Snowy Shaw, “Father Picard” and “The Meetings” go directly for the throat.

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