Music Reviews

King Diamond and Black Rose

20 Years Ago • A Night of Rehearsal

Metal Blade

Little known to anyone outside the King Diamond devout, the Great Dane fronted a little combo back home called Black Rose before launching the mighty Mercyful Fate in the early ’80s. Previously unearthed to the public at large, 20 Years Ago • A Night of Rehearsal is just that, yet despite the tin-canned, garagey production present here, Black Rose actually had some nifty songs, which many bands, past or (especially) present, could only pray for. With the non-pejoratively dated keyboard prowess of Ib Enemark at the forefront, Black Rose were basically a product of the ’70s, hinting at the proto-NWOBHM of demo-days Maiden, more often the AOR of Kansas and Foghat (Deep Purple would’ve been too easy, considering Enemark’s strong stylistic semblance to Jon Lord), a weeded-out waft of prime Uriah Heep or even E.L.O. usually lingering above and around the proceedings. Of most interest to his fans, the Diamond one hadn’t quite fully developed his trademark falsetto or macabre lyrical imagery at this point, but scents of both do pop up infrequently (see “Road Life” and “I Need Blood,” respectively). Still, something of a non-event and, at the very least, a diehards-only curio, A Night of Rehearsal is nonetheless sure to please all the King’s men.

Metal Blade, 2828 Cochran St., PMB 302, Simi Valley, CA 93065-2793, http://www.metalblade.com


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