GIG REVIEW: KING DIAMOND & ANGEL WITCH Live at O2 Forum Kentish Town, London
It may be no exaggeration to refer to King Diamond as the Alice Cooper of full-blown heavy metal, simply due to the sheer visual aspect that goes along with the performances of both bands. Having just finished up a run of US dates alongside American thrash legends Exodus, King Diamond came to the UK capital of London to play a one off gig featuring the group’s classic album Abigail in its entirety.
Instead of the aforementioned Exodus, the support act for this special occasion were none other than NWOBHM band Angel Witch, a group cited by many a band (including Metallica) as a key inspiration. As a result, the idea that I’d get to see Angel Witch was very exciting indeed, and the band did not disappoint one bit. Their set was comprised of ten songs, including “Dead Sea Scrolls”, “Wanderers” and “Atlantis” before bringing the proceedings to a close with “Angel of Death” and the group’s eponymous song. The crowd was fairly stand-still until the final song of the set was performed, but overall a great showing of live music.
The headlining event of the night was that of King Diamond, made especially notable because of Abigail being performed from front to back. Before that, however, the band played a selection of songs from other records, namely “Sleepless Nights” and “Eye of the Witch”, as well as a couple of Mercyful Fate covers to please the King Diamond diehards. The second half of the set was simply Abigail and nothing else, which was a real treat getting to see one of extreme metal’s most beloved pieces of work performed all in one go. The sight of the stage set-up as well was also dramatic in nature, as the band implemented a stereotypically “satanic” aesthetic to their production particularly reminiscent of legendary acts such as Slayer, Black Sabbath and Venom, in that pentagrams and inverted crosses were used to full effect to convey the sense of evil which surrounds King Diamond’screative output.
In conclusion, King Diamond’sgig at the Kentish Town Forum was one of those special moments that unfortunately come few and far between when it comes to live rock music. Not many shows feel like an occasion but this one did. Angel Witch as an opening act was also so great to see.