Welcome Home

Today marks the 29th anniversary, somewhere in the world, of King Diamond’s third opus “Them” hitting record stores, the first of two conceptual releases about “King’s” mentally ill grandmother. 

“Them” in this case are the voices that a young King hears around the house, and “they” are controlling King and Missy’s mother. It all ends up in death, mayhem and incarceration, then concluded (in a fashion) with the following release Conspiracy. 

Besides the mini post I’d featured a few weeks ago for the 31 songs in 31 days project I can’t comprehend that it’s taken me so long to post a second King Diamond track properly. December 2015 was my last foray in to the psyche of Kim Bendix Petersen, which really shocked me and that was only posted because it was a Christmas influenced piece of music. 

The Great Dane most definitely has a marmite sound. You either love his vocal delivery or hate it. I know a few people who like it for the musicianship, then their  interest dissipates as soon as Mr Petersen let’s rip. I enjoy that kind of vocal delivery and range  and I like the intricate tales that he weaves with his lyrics. It’d be interesting to view if any Hollywood moguls got involved in a reimagining if the two albums.  Failing that I’d like to see a “Them” tour. Over the last few years the band have been playing the seminal Abigail album in full and a concert DVD is in the pipeline, I’d really like to see that trend carried on with the following pair it albums. 

I got a bit confused with what track I was posting when I started tapping away as I initially looked for the Sleepless Nights promotional video, then I realised that was on the following album. My hopes were briefly dashed then I came across a video for Welcome Home, which I had never seen until this afternoon.  You’re never too old to learn something new! 


Nothing Else Matters (S&M)

September 2nd 2000 – a date ingrained on my mind forever and a day, even though an exact time might be a bit hazy seventeen years later. 

A round about this time on (possibly) a bright Saturday afternoon I was a bit of a nervous gibbering wreck waiting to say I do to my better half Angela. I can’t actually remember all the details from the remaining ten hours of that day, some gaps need to be confirmed by my wife, others we have both got different recollections of. If only we had the video memories that we were promised by a member of the extended family. 

Seventeen years on my wife and I are heading home after attending a wedding in Essex. Sitting opposite is my best man from the day and his wife who both put in a lot of work into feeding the handful of guests on the day and generally being our voices of reason. Some people are unfortunately no longer with us, but we have fond memories of most of them. 

The biggest blur of the day was the evening do. I remember some of the music our DJ played that night and I recall heading off to a hotel before the witching hour. Actually meeting and greeting people who were there is a faded memory. All these years on though I can still recall some of the slight disdain from my father in law who seemed disappointed he couldn’t by me an beer on the night as I didn’t drink back then. I think he’d be less disappointed now. 

We had the usual fare of wedding style music played through out the evening but we made sure we had some things a bit more rock orientated interspersed during the night. Extreme’s More Than Words and Angela (obviously) by Mötley Crüe got an airing. A mutual favourite of ours, The Power Of Love by Frankie Goes To Hollywood might have also crowbarred me onto the dance floor for the second time that evening. 

Since then though Dire Straits’ Money For Nothing has brought me out into a cold sweat every time I’ve heard it played on the radio. It’s just the PTSD style flash backs I get of dancing with my mother in law (insert copious mother in jaw jokes here!)

The first dance that we had as a married couple, and possibly had together as a couple, was the power ballad Nothing Else Matters by Metallica from their eponymous 1991 album. Coincidentally enough it was also played at last night celebrations at the behest of the metal head groom, and it was one of the very few times that I have done my impression of someone trying to dance badly in a public setting. Maybe we’ll do it again in another 204 months, unless there is something occurring for our china anniversary (even though I’d much prefer a ticket to Beijing or Shanghai instead.)

So here’s me raising an imaginary glass of train Cava to the love of my life. Besides all the good things that we’ve done together she has had to put up with so many bad moods, tantrums and general issues of  not thinking things through over these last “couple of years” and here’s to many more.  


All my love,





x x x x

Heavy Metal Month Listening Challenge 27/31

Day 27 – A band that has had multiple singers. 

Nightwish – Wish I Had An Angel 

Possibly due to the longevity of artists within the metal scene, many bands have had several different vocalists for one reason or another. 

These Finn’s are now on their third front woman and they are one of the few bands where I’ve been able to see the band fronted by every different vocalist. 

We Are The Others 

Later today I should be making the relatively short trip north into Lancashire for Sancfest, a one day festival organised by Burnley’s Sanctuary Rock Bar and headlined by Acid Reign.  

Last night though I spent the evening at home, just me and Ozymandias, whilst my wife had a night of drunken debauchery (probably) at her friends house. With no interruptions and prying eyes I made the most of the empty house and finally got around to watching the harrowing BBC drama Murdered for Being Different. It was such a hard watch, even though you know the ultimate outcome of the films subject. As someone who has been deemed as different for more than three decades now I’m kind of relieved I’ve not discovered the metal subculture as a teenager in recent years and had to put up with so much more venomous hatred than there seemed to be in the 80’s. 

On August 11th 2007 Sophie Lancaster and her boyfriend were attacked by a blood thirsty mob in a park in Bacup. Robert Maltby eventually recovered, to some extent, from his injuries. Thirteen days later Sophie’s parents took the difficult choice to turn off her life support system as she was never going to regain consciousness. Over the course of time five teenagers were charged and eventually jailed for varying lengths between sixteen years down to four years and four months. It’s pretty horrid to think three of the five are now out and living their lives after being involved with the brutal attack. 

When varying mainstream trends in clothing and music have come and gone in the thirty odd years I’ve been a “metal head” I have pretty much dressed the same way throughout those decades once the restraints and confines of uniforms have been left behind. I’ve had the taunts of greaser, sweaty, headbanger and weirdo verbally thrown at me for a long while, but nothing ever got to a point where violence was directed my way. As recently as May this year I had an egg thrown at me after a gig in Birmingham from a moving car and I can only assume it was because I was dressed differently. 

Across the road from one of the local rock clubs there used to be a nightclub that was frequented mainly by people into the more popular music genres of the time, needless to say now it’s been stood derelict for more years than I can remember, whilst the rock club has thrived and welcomed newer and younger patrons with open arms. 

I’ve stood out on the street in front of the Rigger on several occasions where there’s been a police presence due to drunken rowdiness and it’s all been on the nightclub’s side of the road where their attentions have been focused rather than those nasty rockers! Even with modern day festivals there seems to be more trust within the metal scene. Attendance wise two recent festivals within 40 miles of my house are chalk and cheese. The V Festival was held last weekend with somewhere in the region of 90,000 attendees. Apparently it’s been stated on the radio that it’s the safest festival around with something in the region of 300 arrests and an armed police presence. Less than 20,000 at Bloodstock a few weekends previously but I can’t recall seeing one police officer and I’ve heard of no arrests. Strange that. 

Anyway I digress. It’s been a long time since I was last in Burnley, and I feel I will see some signage as I get closer to my destination pointing me to Bacup as there is less than eight miles between the two ex-milling towns. Tomorrow’s headliners Acid Reign also paid the best tribute that I saw to Sophie on social media a few days ago to mark the tenth “anniversary” of her murder, so tomorrow could get a little emotional at some point.  

“This girl has done more through her death than most of us will ever manage in our lives. Love you Sophie” 

In the aftermath of her death her parents went on to create the S.O.P.H.I.E. foundation (Stamp Out Prejudice Hatred and Intolerance) to try and educate people about the alternative sub cultures, and they are regular attendees at many festivals and events. The second stage at Bloodstock has been named in her honour since 2009. Also offences against the alternative sub culture have since been recorded as hate crimes by many police forces.  

This track by Delain from their 2012 release We Are the Others is included in this post as the Dutch band dedicated the release to Sophie’s memory. 

Heavy Metal Month Listening Challenge 26/31

Day 26 – A crazy guitar solo.

Judas Priest – Painkiller

Another musicians question, which I’m not overly stuck on, but in hindsight I’m sure I could think of something to fit the crazy part a bit better, maybe Trivium or DragonForce? But I like Judas Priest more and I want them in my 30 bands for August. 

Heavy Metal Month Listening Challenge 24/31

Day 24 – A cover tune. 

Prong – Doomsday

Again another hard choice because there are so many fantastic cover versions within the heavy metal genre. I could have picked a cover tune from virtually every one of the 30 bands I’ve featured. 

I’ve got to miss out Metallica paying homage to Misfits, Queen, Bob Seger, Discharge and the Anti-Nowhere League. Anthrax covering Joe Jackson, Thin Lizzzy, AC/DC or Trust. Slayer and Steppenwolf. Laaz Rockit thrashing up the Dead Kennedy’s. Nightwish turning Gary Moore symphonic. Queensryche covering  Dalbello (which for a long time I didn’t realise was a cover). W.A.S.P. paying tribute to Deep Purple or The Who. The list is endless.  

If I haven’t changed my mind in the next few days I’ve gone for Prong so I can sneak local legends Discharge onto this list. And it’s a mighty fine rendition of the song that graced the B side of Discharge’s State Violence State Control 7″ from 1983. It was originally on the release as Dooms’ Day, but over time changed to Doomsday. 

Heavy Metal Month Listening Challenge 23/31

Day 23 – A song about evil magic.

King Diamond – Voodoo

My first two thoughts were Black Magic and The Conjuring by Slayer and Megadeth respectively, then after day one I decided I wanted to spread out the tracks so it was back to the drawing board for all of ten seconds. 

I’m writing some of these on a dull Sunday morning and today – August 20th – would’ve been Dimebag Darrell’s 51st birthday and he plays a solo on this track. How’s that for some voodoo magic?