When you watch a movie like THE GATE or DEATHGASM, and they talk about crazy cursed albums with the ability to bring about the end of days, I’m pretty sure they are referring to this 1987 album. “Abigail” was a concept album from Danish heavy metal master King Diamond. “The concept album” (which was big in the 70s and 80s) is a record that tells a story over the course of the entire album, and it is a right of passage for many bands. Musicians like Pink Floyd, David Bowie, The Beatles, and even Kiss have all driven down the concept album road. And King Diamond’s contribution to the genre is by far the most frightening album ever.
“Abigail” begins in the summer of 1854 as Jonathan and Miriam Le’Fey arrive at a mansion Jonathan has just inherited. Upon their arrival, they are warned by their carriage driver not to move into the mansion. Their first night in the mansion, the ghost of Count La’Fey leads them to a casket containing the remains of a stillborn baby named Abigail. The Count warns Miriam that she is pregnant with a child carrying Abigail’s soul. The Count goes on to warn Jonathan that he must kill Miriam before the child is born.
The album then retells the events of July 7th, 1777. Realizing that another man impregnated his wife, Count La’Fey throws her down a flight of stairs. The Count’s wife is immediately killed by the fall and the child is stillborn. Wanting to preserve the child, for some reason, he names it Abigail and mummifies it before placing it in a casket.
Flash forward back to 1854, Jonathan and Miriam are besieged by several supernatural occurrences, including seeing a basinet fly through the air. Miriam’s pregnancy is moving along quicker than normal. Miriam begs Jonathan to throw her down the stairs and kill her just as Count La’Fey murdered his own wife. However, as Jonathan attempts to do so, Abigail’s spirit takes control of Miriam and throws Jonathan down the steps instead. Miriam gives birth to Abigail and dies soon afterwards. The child is discovered by seven men who find it inside its sarcophagus. Although it isn’t explicitly stated, it is believed she is eating her previous vessel, the mummified body of the prior Abigail. The men take the child to the cemetery where they drive seven silver spikes through her body before burying her. That is until you bring forth Lucifer by playing the album backwards while speaking a Latin incantation that you find hidden in the liner notes of the album (I’m only assuming this last part).
I first heard “Abigail” at a friend’s house, who happened to be a diehard King Diamond fan. The walls of his room were plastered with posters, and the pages from metal magazines. Not only was he obsessed with the album, but also he was consumed by the messages behind it. It was almost as though posters and pages on his wall were a study of some deeper hidden code contained within the grooves of the record, and perhaps he was right. Numerology figures heavily throughout the album, and King Diamond frequently uses the number 9. For instance Miriam is 18 years old and Jonathan is 27, both multiples of 9. Also, when the carriage driver drops them off the house he tells them “18 will become 9” – meaning 18 year-old Miriam will become 9 months pregnant. Then you have the date of Abigail’s death, July 7th 1777, followed by the seven men driving seven silver spikes into the child.
Released in 1987, the album will hit its 30th anniversary in 2017… wait 2+0+1+7 equals…Oh good, its 10. I think we’re safe. No word if King has anything special planned to commemorate the occasion. However he did do a tour in 2015 where he performed the entire album.
Oh no 2+0+1+7 = 10 and 2+0+1+5 = 8
10+8 = 18, divide that by 2 for some reason and…we’re screwed!
The album did spawn a video for the song “The Family Ghost”. Don’t worry, King Diamond didn’t like the video either.