KING DIAMOND Explains Why 'Give Me Your Soul' Is 'Our Strongest Album Ever'

KING DIAMOND frontman/namesake has posted the following message on the CovenWorldwide Forum:

"Hail to all of you. I've been checking up on the postings to get a feel for what all of you think about the brand new album, and I'm really glad to see that all the hard work was not in vain. It's such a great kick in the ass to see that by far the majority here has the same opinion about the album as we in the band have ourselves.
Of course it's never cool to find out that not everyone of our fans enjoy what we feel is our strongest ever, but I guess it's extremely hard to please everybody's taste. So for those of you who have stated disappointment, maybe the next album will give you more of the entertainment style that you're after if you hang around 'till then.

"I know we'll be talking Sunday [in an online chat], but I just saw a couple of posting today that really bothered me because they were quite negative and totally untrue, the kind of posting that start bad rumours:

"One posting stated that Livia and I sing a lot simultaneously on the new album, and that she sings all the high parts because my voice can't do what it used to do.

"ANSWER: First of all there is not one single spot on this new album where Livia and I sing at the same time, whether in harmony or not, unlike what we did on 'The Puppet Master' album.

"For those of you who are interested in who is singing what on the new album, it's quite simple if you have the lyrics. Everything in quotation marks is Livia's voice and Livia's voice only. Everything that is not in quotation marks is me. The amount Livia sings on this album is about the same as on 'The Puppet Master', but it is spaced out very differently as the lyrics will clearly show you. Livia has big blocks in the intro and on 'Moving On'. Apart from that, Livia mostly does two-three lines in the songs she's singing on, and about half the songs I sing completely alone.

"Hope this clarifies who sings what.

"I would like to state once and for all that the strength of my voice has never been better, and my range has never been higher.

"Regarding the strength, let me tell you how my vocals were recorded: Over a three-week period I sang in the studio Monday and Tuesday 6 1/2 hours straight each day, only interrupted by fetching a cup of coffee every hour or so. Wednesday was used to rest the voice, and then Thursday and Friday I sang again for approximately 6 1/2 hours each day straight. First Saturday was used to write the lyrics for the song 'The Girl In The Bloody Dress', which might seem quick, but keep in mind that most of the lyric was already there in all my notes. First Sunday was rest. Second week was identical to the first week with the exception of writing the lyrics to 'Moving On'. Third week, same schedule, but no lyrics to write.

"Regarding the range of my voice: I can reach higher with better control than ever before. It might not be that noticeable since some of the highest falsettos often are merely a part of an eight-voice 3-4 harmony choir part.

"One thing that I kind of knew when Andy [LaRocque, guitar] and I made the decision to go a specific way with the sound during the mixing, was that my voice would sound much more natural and much more detailed than before, thereby not losing all the emotions and special moods that the vocals were done in. In the past we used to follow normal standard procedures which means using lots of compression on everything which is a thing that can be good for some kinds of music, but for music that has so many different moods and sound that must be fitted into the sound picture (drums, bass, two to four rhythm guitars, guitar solos, lead vox and lead double vocals plus eight backing vocals plus Livia's vocals plus the occasional violins, cellos, harpsichord, organ/church organ), as we have, compression can really work against you because it has a tendency to wash things out and thereby losing detail and clarity. We chose to go with way less compression than is standard.

"Some of this shit I'm writing now might not make too much sense unless you are familiar with recording procedures but to try and make a long story short, the difference between the overall sound of everything on this new album, compared to earlier albums, is that everything we recorded can be heard. Nothing got washed away. As you might have noticed, everything Hal [Patino] does on his bass can be heard, unlike most albums that are produced today.

"Regarding the vocals: When it comes to the falsetto vocals, they are not as piercing in sound as they often have been before for the exact reasons I stated earlier with the compression, but even more so because we left my vocals completely alone, meaning that no equalization was used on my vocals this time. They are one hundred percent natural sounding unlike earlier where the standard often was to cut away low sound frequencies to clear up the voice because of all the compression and then add some mid-high frequencies again for the same reason to bring back some of the lost clarity due to the excessive use of compression. This procedure often resulted in losing the emotions that were originally in the recorded vocals, and that the falsettos often became unnaturally high pitched and almost irritating to even my ears.

"There are in fact more and higher falsettos on this album than ever before (especially in the backing vocals), but because of the above, they might not seem as penetrating but actually more pleasing to the ear, I think. I guess it's a matter of taste, but it sure brings out a lot more of the orginal emotions in the voice.
I hope some of this made sense. It's really hard to explain in writing.

"WHY DO I HOLD MATT [drums] BACK? I DON'T!!!!! Again, there are things being posted which is nothing more than guessing without any reality to back it up. Of course none of you know how things work within the band whether we are recording, on tour, or whatever. But I guess this is a good way to inform you.

"Regarding drums: The procedure is that Matt gets the raw demos and usually works on the songs for months before we go into the studio. He usually has at least 4-5 full different versions of drumming for each song. When recording a song, Matt will usually warm up while playing all his different versions which we already at that point start recording. Matt will come into the control room where Andy and I, but mostly me and then Matt will listen through all his different suggestions. About 90% of the drumming that you hear on a song is a mix of all of Matt's different suggestions plus some of my suggestions and occasionally Andy's, and I can assure you that some of the suggestions I have are not simple. There are lots of examples on this album if you really pay attention. Just as a tiny example of what might pass right by you if you don't pay attention is for instance the kick drum pattern in the 'sneaky' parts of 'The Girl In The Bloody Dress'. You try figure that pattern out. I must say that to my amazement, Matt picked it out perfect in less than two minutes. After Matt heard the final mixes, he called me and commented the following, 'I can't believe you let me get away with this!' I replied, 'Get away with what? It's never a question of getting away with anything and you know how much I enjoy when you come up with some of these 'out-there ideas' that I would never have imagined would enhance a certain riff or add to the song as a whole.' Further, in KING DIAMOND we always test any idea no matter how crazy it might seem before we decide if it works for a song or not.

"There's absolutely no holding anybody back, and I can guarantee all of you out there that everybody in the band has the attitude that we all play our different parts for the good of the songs and not with the attitude of musicians with big egos who just want to show off regardless of whether what they do fits a certain song or not. There are and have always been plenty of space for everyone to show what they can do without jeopardizing the flow of a song. It's very much the same procedure when it comes to Hal's bass parts. I'm very pleased that what he does on this album is so easy to hear because he literally blows me away with all the stuff he brought to this album. I do have a little finger in some of the bass parts but for the majority it is Hal and Hal's ideas you hear. Hal's quote: 'These are the best bass lines I've ever put down on a record and you can actually hear them too.' I agree a million percent. A quote from Andy: 'I don't think I have composed solos of this quality since 'The Eye'.' Again, I totally agree. A quote from Mike [Wead]: 'I have never been so inspired to compose solos as I am for this new album.' Mike, you outdid yourself in my opinion. Your solos fucking rock!!! You know how I told you, that you made the hair stand on my arms when I heard your revised solo for 'Shapes of Black'. Your first solo for that song was certainly not bad but it didn't quite bring the right mood to that piece, and one phone call later. King: 'Could you try and do a second version where you construct your solo more around the keyboard theme that goes in the background than the actual front rythm guitars?' You sent back something that was way beyond what I had expected and hit the nail so fucking right on the head.

"The way we all worked together at any stage of the making of this new album is by far the best I have ever experienced. Everybody was on the same page the whole way. I already told you band guys this personally but this is more for all of you here on the website.

"One thing that not many of you probably think about is the fact that Andy at this point in time has completely incorporated my technique of playing guitar into his own technique, and on this album it has been extremely gratifying for me to hear the songs I wrote played a hundred percent the way they were intended.
For Livia I think she did one hell of a job portraying the character of 'The Little Girl In The Bloody Dress'.

"Time to go rest my back but before I fumble my way back into by bedroom with all the shapes of black waiting on my bed I would like to say on behalf of everyone in the band, that we sincerely feel that this is our best performance ever. Some will hopefully agree, others might not agree, but at least give the album more than just one listen in the car cause that way you are going to miss half of what's in there. I personally feel that this album is one that needs a few more than just three listens before you really start to find all the stuff that was put into it.

"It's good nightmare time for me now. Hope to talk to some of you on Sunday."

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