King Diamond And Black Rose 20 Years Ago - A Night Of Rehearsal

You know you've got the music scene in the palm of you hand when an eight-track rehearsal recording you made with a band that never went anywhere 20 years ago is in demand. On paper, it's near impossible to take this seriously, but throw the disc in and you'll soon realise that Black Rose was awesome. Okay, maybe awesome is too strong, but they certainly had talent and potential. Their songs were rooted in the Deep Purple school of riff-based, organ-accented rock, with more than a couple fleeting dalliances with some obscure NWOBHM acts. It's hard to tell just how heavy the galloping and chugging guitars are supposed to be on tracks like "Holy Mountain Lights," "The End" and "Crazy Tonight," as this was recorded in the basement of a bar and has probably been sitting in King's closet for 20 years. The band is also surprisingly diverse; exploiting not only hard rock influences but also that penchant that Danish '70s rock bands had for fusing disco and funk sounds. King Diamond was still "Kim," looked just as ridiculous (how long has he had that same makeup and haircut?) and hadn't yet discovered his falsetto pipes, but had already stumbled upon occult-ish topics with "Locked up in the Snow," "Doctor Cranium," "I Need Blood" and "Kill For Fun." Included are liner notes from King, a cover of "Radar Love" and "authentic rehearsal sound." If you're a big King fan, want to know where his roots lie, can't find a copy of the Brats demo or like Deep Purple, Kansas, Diamond Head and even ELO, this will make your year. (Metal Blade)