Sound — 7
The music isn't perfectly recorded, but it is good enough to hear the different instruments. 5 of the songs are part of a storyline about a portrait and a girl. The songs are: The Candle, an amazing song starting with tubular bell sounds and an organ solo. The Jonah, a slower, darker song that with a truly amazing solo. The Portrait, starting with creepy vocals and furthering the story on, although it doesn't make all that much sense. Then Dressed In White, very Mercyful Fate sounding with a high tempo, my favourite song on the album. The last song, Haunted, is also part of this story, although the songs all seem to focus on something in particular about the girl. The rest of the album has other great songs like charon, lurking in the dark and halloween. The Album also features and instrumental, one of the worst I've heard in a long time, with a riff repeating over and over with minor differences.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are all written by King Diamond himself, and focus on general evil rather than satanism that was present in Mercyful Fate Albums. His high, falsetto vocals have only got better and more powerful since Mercyful Fate too, and the short storyline in the album paved the way for many great concept albums in the future. The lyrics fit perfectly with the fast, dark music although the style of singing is kind of a love hate thing.
Overall Impression — 8
This album seems like a bridge between Mercyful Fate albums and King Diamond albums, with the same style of production as don't break the oath, same guitar tone and slightly better singing. The best songs on the album are probably The Portrait, Dressed in White and Haunted, 3 of the songs from the short storyline. The only thing I dislike about this album is the short part at the beginning of The Portrait and The Jonah, a pointless bit of keyboard work, when there was enough to amaze you in The Candle. If it were lost of stolen I'd buy it back ASAP, although I'd first check my mum hasn't buried it in the garden for being devils music or something.