The metal legend premiered the song live this summer at Hellfest and has played it during most sets since. The studio version is the first piece of music we’ve heard from The Institute, which will be the first part of a two-album horror concept story.
The song is classic King Diamond, complete with narrative lyrics and the King’s iconic falsetto wail, which sounds as crisp and piercing as ever. Seeing his stage show of “The Institute Tour” last night in Brooklyn, we can gather that the album’s story centers around an institutionalized girl “in misery and insanity.”
For being the first King Diamond studio material since 2007’s Give Me You Soul… Please, “Masquerade of Madness” was worth the wait and comes at a poignant time after the sad news of the passing of classic Mercyful Fate and King Diamond bassist Timi Hansen earlier this week.
The King offered some details in a press release regarding the writing and recording process for the track and future plans for The Institute and beyond:
“‘Masquerade of Madness’ is one of the first King Diamond studio songs in a long time. It will be featured on a future two album horror concept story, of which the first part is titled ‘The Institute’.
The style is very classic King Diamond with lots of dynamics and limited amounts of compression to achieve very natural sounding vocals and instruments throughout the song. You’ll find some complex orchestrations, including the typical choir works you’re used to hearing from King Diamond, and a special thought process bringing vocals back to the forefront: ‘All vocals are lead vocals.’
Both Andy and I are presently working on several different songs with high potential for the upcoming album; all of which are absolute killers. We will continue this work when we’re back from our North American tour in December, during which you can hear the live version of ‘Masquerade of Madness’.”
Listen to “Masquerade of Madness” below.