It has been a long road to recovery for one of heavy metal’s most beloved legends. He canceled a tour in 2007 due to back pains, followed up by triple bypass surgery in 2010. Additionally, with a focus on overseas festivals, it looked as if he would never tour the states again. However, after 11 years of not properly touring the U.S., Danish metal legend King Diamond has announced that he is set to tour America for the first time since 2003.
Over the last month, there have been many rumors that there would be a U.S. King Diamond tour after an announcement that the metal legend was on the bill for the Austin, Texas Fun Fun Fun Fest in November. Following this announcement, King Diamond was scheduled to play the House of Blues two days later in Houston. Not long after, it was also revealed that his solo band would hit New York City’s Best Buy Theater on October 14. It did not take long for fans to speculate that there perhaps was a tour in the works, which is exactly what had been planned all along. In this case, a 19-date trek that will see the metal icon in America for the first time since 2003.
With 19 albums in total between Mercyful Fate and his solo band, King Diamond has been one of the most prolific musicians in the genre. Although, it took a long time for King Diamond to get to the point where he can tour once again. His career seemed to be in grave danger in 2007 when he had to cancel a U.S. tour with legendary German thrash band Kreator due to extensive back problems. It was heartbreaking to many fans that had not been able to experience him since 2003’s Puppet Master Tour. Regardless, he was determined to recover and return to the stage, so he took the time to rehab his back.
Unfortunately, with the exception of a one-off with Metallica at 2008’s Ozzfest, the King was not allowed to make a full comeback. He continued back rehab, but unfortunately, his health condition worsened. It was in 2010 that he suffered a series of heart attacks, which resulted in triple bypass surgery. As a result of the extensive procedure, he had to rehab his body to full health. This meant he had to cut out smoking entirely. Furthermore, he had to learn how to breathe normally and, overall, live a healthy lifestyle. Because of the extensive treatment he had undergone, King did not have music on his mind. Instead, his mission solely was to survive.
In 2012, King Diamond began to play shows again. Due to his past back and heart conditions though, he elected to play only festivals over the last few years. As such, he wanted to put on special full production European shows that showcased top-notch theatrics. As great as these shows were, many U.S. fans were disappointed as King had gone on record saying that he would only play these large festivals. Because of this, the idea of him doing U.S. shows, which would have to be in smaller venues, seemed unlikely until now.
King Diamond is known for having one of the most iconic voices in all of metal with multi-octave vocals ranging from high falsetto to gruff baritone. He has been one of the constants in metal ever since his original band Mercyful Fate broke onto the scene in 1981. Their brand of metal combined a juxtaposition of meaty riffs and melodic technicality, similar in style to those bands that took part in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM). Additionally, King Diamond, real name Kim Bendix Petersen, created a persona, not unlike that of Alice Cooper by incorporating demonic face paint. Also like Cooper, the live shows he put on were very much a theatrical experience, which carried on even further after his turn as a solo artist in 1985.
Many metal fans have waited years to see the legendary King Diamond again. Meanwhile, with the rapid advancement of music on the internet, he has garnered a new generation of fans. Now, 11 years after his last tour, King Diamond is set to tour the U.S. for the first time in over a decade. With a full production at his side, he will be giving his stateside fans what they have wanted for years — a full-on European production. As such, this will be one of the most high profile metal tours of the fall. Most tickets will be going on sale June 27, 2014.
By Simon Mounsey