Following a stint in Brainstorm ('74-'76), Copenhagen native Kim Bendix Petersen, aka Black Diamond, fronted Black Rose where he began wearing extensive make-up and costumes, employed horror motifs and developed a malevolent quasi-Satanic stage persona.
In '80, King Diamond left Black Rose to launch Mercyful Fate. But after the group's '84 release, "Don't Break The Oath," King Diamond left to start his eponymous band.
Too bad Alice Cooper had already set the template for Shock Rock. Bad Sabbath, with their Prince of Darkness, owned Satan. KISS's character driven make-up and pyrotechnics had nailed the theatrics. In other words, King Diamond was entering a pretty crowded field. King Diamond had an amazing vocal range that included a falsetto. But then, so did Queen's Freddie Mercury.
King Diamond's problem was that they were late to the party - but not late enough. With the possible exception of Twisted Sister's fifteen-minutes of fame, where frontman Dee Snyder was more clown than demon, no one except established acts from the '70's had much success in the Shock Rock genre until the arrival of Marilyn Manson in the mid-90's.
Of King Diamond's studio albums, only one effort, "Them," cracked the U.S. Top 100. And it only went to #89. They did better in Europe - especially in the Netherlands and Finland - but still far short of the charts' upper reaches.
Due to a chain smoking habit, King Diamond underwent triple-bypass surgery in late '10, but was back performing the following year. He sang on "Room 24," a track on Volbeat's '13 album, "Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies."
But the most publicity King Diamond received in recent years was from a public dispute with longtime bassist Hal Patino. In the summer of '14, King Diamond announced that Patino had been "relieved of his duties" for the same reason he'd been dismissed in '90, suggesting drug problems.
Later, Patino strenuously denied the charge claiming he quit after a dispute over payment for concert appearances, adding that King Diamond was just "a tired, bitter, old man."
King Diamond was featured on the 2015 Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival, which Slayer headlined.
1986 Fatal Portrait
1990 The Eye
1995 The Spider's Lullabye
1996 The Graveyard
2000 House of God
2002 Abigail II: The Revenge
2003 The Puppet Master
2007 Give Me Your Soul...Please