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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Along with Abigail and Conspiracy, a Must-Have
I love this record. To me, there are three essential King Diamond records: Abigail, Them, and Conspiracy. These three records comprise some of the best metal recorded in the late 80s. It's hard to put King Diamond, the band, in a category. This is metal for sure, but may not appeal to die-hard thrash/death/speed metal fans who shy away from melody and harmonies...
Published on June 12, 2000 by D. Read

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Listen to The Eye or Abigail Instead.
Ever since I bought Them and heard it in its entirety a few years ago I've been disappointed. I just recently gave it a listen and my opinion of it is still the same. I get the impression that this release was put together and released too quickly or something; the songs just aren't very interesting. Of course I'm not slighting the musicianship. The musicianship is...
Published on August 18, 1999


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Along with Abigail and Conspiracy, a Must-Have, June 12, 2000
This review is from: Them (Audio CD)
I love this record. To me, there are three essential King Diamond records: Abigail, Them, and Conspiracy. These three records comprise some of the best metal recorded in the late 80s. It's hard to put King Diamond, the band, in a category. This is metal for sure, but may not appeal to die-hard thrash/death/speed metal fans who shy away from melody and harmonies. That's not to say that this goes as far as Helloween or other such melodic-metal bands, but it's more towards that ballpark.
King Diamond, and these three records, work so well because of a perfect combination of great songwriting; inspired and extremely skillful playing; tight, well-rehearsed arrangements; and the chemistry and personality of the players. Mikkey Dee is one of the great unsung metal drummers. Andy LaRoque's hooks and flourishes are always a joy. Earlier and later King Diamond records suffer from the lack of at least one of these qualities, or from the lack of some of the personnel. Mikkey Dee, especially, is sorely missed in the post-Conspiracy era. The songwriting on the later records is lacking the great hooks of the Abigail/Them/Conspiracy triumverate (but, after 1990, songwriting for most metal bands changed in a way I did not like). Also, King's story conceptions on these three records have always seemed to me to be more inspired.
The bottom line is that there are plenty of people who are never going to like Kind Diamond. Either they're simply not into this kind of metal, or they can never get used to King's singing style. For my money, though, these three records are important, inspired, and a must-have.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Chilling Tale, and Thrilling Music, October 27, 2004
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This review is from: Them (Audio CD)
My introduction to King Diamond came with the high recommendations given by my former SEARS co-worker and friend, Richard. He told me of King Diamond's ultra-screech, mysterious nature (relating to "the Devil's Church"), and provocative, dark, conceptually-themed albums. But most importantly, he recommended a particular album, called "THEM."

A couple of weeks later, I was in a Newbury Comics in Boston and purchasing "THEM." My first couple of listens impressed me, but didn't exactly grasp me. Now, as I write this review, four days before Halloween, I am listening to "THEM" again, and I'm quite in awe of just how awesome my first King Diamond experience has been.

Thematically, King Diamond likes to be mysterious and controversial. His heavy makeup, vague biographies, and talks of tales such as the one found on this album as having been true tales which happened to him! This, of course, makes it easy to assume his lyrics are of a similar nature. There are some pretty cheesy executions to Diamond's nature, including his ear-grabbing vocals. In fact, VERY cheesy. So cheesy it's hard to believe that the music is so good, not so much in spite of, but rather BECAUSE of, the overly-thematic cheese.

However, as cheesy as these material aspects go, the lyrics are quite the contrary. Although some word choices are perhaps a little overdone ("I hate that b---!," for one), the story what's within behind is very well-plotted and rather eerie. And when I say "plotted," I mean there is actually a whole PLOT behind every story on the album. Yes, folks, this is a concept album (or "rock opera," as many prefer). Every song (except for this edition's last three tracks, which are bonuses) on "THEM" is a chapter in a rather eerie story. For those who have no imagination, the main plot is as follows.

A nine-year-old boy, King (supposedly King Diamond himself as a child), along with his older sister Missy and their mother, are getting a visit from their grandmother. Grandma was coming home after being released from a several-year sentence in a mental asylum (which she had been put into because she spoke of "invisible guests..."). As she settles in, King notices she's acting very strangely...and one night comes into her room in the attic, only to find her drinking tea - with other mugs floating in the air, as if being held by invisible guests! At first terrified, King slowly falls to Grandma's lulling words, and soon gets involved with her and..."Them." Meanwhile, their mother was getting sick, and sicker and sicker, feeling weaker every day. Because of this and King's strange new behavior, Missy, tries to figure out what's going on, and deemed too inquisitive, is killed by "Them." This horrific episode freaks King out and makes him come back to reality, and he rebels. He flips out in his fury at Grandma, now knowing what has really been going on. They get into a squabble, and he ends up killing her by biting her in the neck. Before he knows it, King is placed in that same asylum for the murders of his mother, sister, and grandmother, and he tries to tell them that "They" did it, that he's not really crazy... And of the ending, I shall not speak. You can figure that out for yourself.

What a plot. That's one half of why I love this album. Here's the other half: the music.

King Diamond's band includes guitarists Pete Blakk and Andy la Rocque (the work of whom I'm familiar with on Death's album INDIVIDUAL THOUGHT PATTERNS) are a tight duo. Shredding like pure thrashers, incorporating lots of great melodies (fast and slow), and crossing solos left and right with such ease, they are a good team. There are great solos and leads in each song, and some great harmonies. I like. Oh yes, I like. Bassist Hal Patino lays down some good lines, mostly mirroring the guitar riffs but still being a much more prominent feature in the overall heaviness. And Mikkey Dee on drums...very good. Fast, complex, lots of double-bass, snare, and tom bashing. King Diamond's got quite a good band to back his insane vocals.

Vocally, King Diamond outdoes even the great Rob Halford in how high-pitched a male soprano singer can be. Thankfully there are lyrics to read the story with, as well as to understand what Diamond is pronouncing. He has a bit of range, from alto growls and snarls to the more prominent shriek. He also performs all the vocals on the sound effects, performing young King, Missy, and even Grandma! It's easy to see how he has influenced upon black metal vocalists.

There's not much else to say about this album. Every song is very singular and original, telling another chapter in this horrifying episode. The music is more than often appropriate for the mood of each piece. There's even an instrumental, the title track "Them," which relies on acoustic guitar and clean electric leads, courtesy of Mr. La Rocque. Oh, and there's an awesome acoustic break in "A Broken Spell," with a brief bit of low-end alto vocals, which is a nice little breather.

Finally, there's this new edition of "THEM," which is remastered and recorded on a gold (yes, the metal gold) disc. I've not heard the original, un-mastered edition, so I can't tell how much better the sound might be, but the sound here is crisp and yet with just enough mist to add an extra touch of atmosphere to the album's vibe. As I mentioned before, there are three bonus tracks on this album. They include an outtake, "Phone Call," which makes both a nice prologue or epilogue to the rest of the plot (it's a phone conversation between King and Grandma), as well as demos of two songs on the album, "The Invisible Guests" and "Bye, Bye Missy." These latter songs are not of particular interest to me, but they're a nice look into the past.

At my friend Richie's recommendation, I bought this album and fell in love. So now I am recommending to you, the reader, to buy this album, and enjoy it...but don't listen to it after dark.

Now, would you care for some tea?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wish the sound quality was better, September 1, 2005
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Them (Audio CD)
The songs are great (as expected), but the sound quality isn't great. I was hoping the remaster would fix some of it, but it didn't. When I compare Them and Conspiracy - what a difference! Conspiracy is engineered much better.

Note that I am not rating the songs, because the songs on Them are great - just wish the sound quality was better. Take a listen to Conspiracy if you want to be able to crank it up and hear everything.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Will you stop playing that thing?", April 26, 2000
This review is from: Them (Audio CD)
After the underground success of "Abigail", the Master of Horror Metal is back! "Them" isn't as brilliant as "Abigail", but it is incredibly enjoyable, as King throws himself into his second epic album. King presents us with a story about his Grandmother returning from the nut house, and causing havoc to his mother and sister with horrifying results. Musically, it took me a little time to really get into it when it first came out, but "Them" has completely warmed up to me over the years. Although, Denner and Hansen have left Diamond, Pete Blakk is an excellent replacement for Denner, and Hal Patino ain't no Timi! Mickey Dee is still in top form on the drums in every song! Songs like "Welcome Home", "The Invisible Guests", "Bye-Bye, Missy", "A Broken Spell", and "Them" really stand out. "Tea" has a nice 3/4 beat to it, and "Mother's Getting Weaker" is only the first of things to come by the brilliant Andy LaRocque. Great keyboard effects only enhance the music. And "Conspiracy", the sequel, is even better!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rules, August 20, 2008
By 
This review is from: Them (Reissue) (MP3 Music)
Look, there are metal fans, and then there are King fans. King usually takes some getting used to. The falsetto's and the intricate music don't go down like a Britney-pop. I remember when I first heard King. I was unsure at first, needing to latch on to the lyrics before I could understand how the vocals actually brought chilling life to the words. On to the review...

There are essentially 3 must have King records. Abigail, Them, and Conspiracy. This one being Them, is the first of a two part concept recort that may be the best thing King ever put out. The music is just about as good as it gets, and the lyrics and story behind them are top notch. It will take a few listens in the dark to truly get everything meshing, but it is worth the time invested. I have listened to this record since release, and it just never gets old. If you have never listened to King before, do yourself a favor and let the record play through a couple of times while reading the lyrics. It will all tie together and paint quite the mental movie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just As Good As Abigail, September 18, 2005
This review is from: Them (Audio CD)
The is a brilliant album from King Diamond, equal to Abigail. You wont be dissapointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars KING RULES!! One of His BEST!!!!!!!!!, January 26, 2005
By 
Andrew Armstrong (The Dark Frozen Wastelands Of The Zombie Apocalypse!) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Them (Audio CD)
Them is truely one of those albums that just blows you away!! This may be one of the Best albums King has ever done!! Part 1 of a great concept story ( the second being King Diamond Conspiracy- also not to be missed!!) Like ALL King's albums the guitar work and the music are AMAZING!! I never get tired of all King's great stories and this one is one of the best he has written.The production and quality on the Re-Master disc is incredible!! The 3 bonus tracks are perfect for the album! ( the last 2 rehersal songs ARE studio quality and have no vocals , but are great to jam to!) One of the Best line-ups King has ever had on ANY of his albums!! If you are new to King Diamond then this is an excellent starting place for you! ( Follow this album up with "Conspiracy " for an excellent night of musical chills!!) King has a terrific catalog of music and be sure to check out other Great albums by King such as : " Abigail" and " Fatal Portrait" + the newer albums too!! I love this album and I hope you will too!! (PS:) Be sure to listen to this CD with headphones and the lights out!! Enjoy!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars King's best work, July 14, 2003
This review is from: Them (Audio CD)
King Diamond is one of metal's best and longest lasting artists, continuing to release amazing metal records to this day. Growing up on metal in the 80's I had the chance to experience these records on their initial release (Roadracer records anyone?). Although most believe "Abigail" to be his breakthrough record I find "Them" to be a much stronger release. On Abigail, King found his now signature sound breaking away from the Mercyful Fate thing but Them perfected this new found sound. Every song on this record is strong and the intro song alone should send chills down your spine. Lyrically this record tops them all weaving an amazing story tht keeps you entranced while the music gives you whiplash. An amazing record for any new King Diamond fan to start with.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOULD YOU LIKE A CUPPA?, July 12, 2001
By 
Kevin Dobbs "dragonboots" (Perth Western Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Them (Audio CD)
This for me is the King Diamond release that ensured a life long addiction and will guarantee shelling out dollars for each subsequent release. Many state that 'Abigail' is the one for them, and it too is a magnificent beast, but this one is on an equal par in my opinion. The concept is very good based around Grandma and the House Of Amon, and of course its evil possessors. King and his sister Missy try to escape the clutches of 'Them' only leading to disasterous consequences. What makes it all work so well is the story being narrated by King's character in his usual operatic style and not too many characters to confuse the first time listener. The individual songs are however more than an excuse to tell a tale, indeed they stand strong as musical masterpieces alone. The musicianship is spot on, this man and his cohorts really don't get the respect they deserve. Infact only now does early Mercyful Fate work get some small amount of the respect that it deserves. Stand out moments are many but the trilogy of 'Bye, Bye Missy', 'A Broken Spell' and 'The Accusation Chair' really show King Diamond at the height of his creativity. The story builds and builds in an exciting fashion, follow the main characters fall into madness. Being well paced and by using fantastic imagery you almost feel that you were living in the cursed house hurtling towards the inevitable fate that awaits you. And like all great horror stories there is a hint of a sequel. A real winner...buy on site!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'THEM' is one of the best metal albums out there!, December 7, 2008
This review is from: Them (Audio CD)
I love this album! it is the best king diamond album by far.the story line is just so good and the playing is so tight and well rehearsed.this is the man and the album that got me into metal.if your looking for some damn good music,buy this!
....and also,check out king's other albums like,abigail,the graveyard and best of.
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Them
Them by King Diamond (Audio CD - 1997)
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