What’s up, Butcher Crew?! It’s your Master Butcher, The Saw, and I have a very special Heavy Breakdown for you today. Abigail (1987) is a 10/10 album and is one of the first horror concept albums in metal. For my birthday, my dad got me the graphic novel that King Diamond wrote that goes along with the album. The book also came with an exclusive one-time variant vinyl, a limited edition with only 3,000 copies. How cool is that?
King Diamond partnered with Z2 comics to help him co-write this novel, and they did a fantastic job making the story of Abigail come to life. Damien Worm designed the art in the book and the vinyl, and it’s so eerie! I love it! I read the novel in one sitting, and it was very haunting. It follows the album very well, and if you’re a visual person (like myself), or if you just love anything King Diamond, then you should get your hands on the novel!
Now, you already know how much I love concept albums. So today, I wanted to share with you the terrifying story of Abigail.
The novel begins with the burial of Abigail La Fey. The workers for the Count put nails in her coffin to ensure that evil is never released. They put one nail to represent the 7 deadly sins she would bring to the world, one for each of the 7 gifts the Holy Spirit will use to keep her in her grave, one through her mouth, arms, hands, and knees.
Then, the story jumps forward in time to Jonathan La Fey. He is having a nightmare of what appears to be a woman lying dead on a medical table with blood everywhere. His wife, Miriam Natias, is trying to wake him because there are angry men outside their home. His surgeon license is being suspended for the horrible act he committed. So, he and Miriam decide to leave and go to Jonathan’s mansion that belonged to his uncle.
When they arrive in their new town, the legacy his uncle left behind puts a bad taste in the community’s mouth. They do not talk to Jonathan once he tells them where they are going. It appears that something horrible has happened in the past that the community knows about.
On their way to the mansion, the carriage driver suddenly stops. The coachmen thought he saw 7 men out in the woods, and it spooked him. He says that he doesn’t feel like God’s presence is in the woods. Jonathan goes out to explore, he begins to freak out because he thinks he sees the men… but it turns out to be an old fence post (yeah, okay. Let’s go with that).
When they arrive at the mansion, the inside is cold and dark. Jonathan can smell a stench of blood. Miriam apparently doesn’t notice the smell and is so excited about her new home. She finds a massive portrait of Jonathan’s uncle – the Count in 1777. When they find the master bedroom, the bedframe is in the shape of the Norse Tree of Life. Miriam explains that the Vikings believed the Tree of Life is the skeleton of the universe and that it holds the realm of reality. Including earth, heaven, and hell.
As they are sleeping, Jonathan has another nightmare, the same one he had the night before. But this time, we get a little more of a backstory. Jonathan was married before Miriam. His wife was pregnant, and he thought he could deliver the baby on his own… while drunk. I think you can tell where this is going. He lost his wife and child, and he feels guilt for that every day. Also, while they are asleep, a presence goes into Miriam’s body… interesting…
The next night, Jonathan is awakened by the presence of his uncle, the Count. The Count tells Jonathan not to be scared and wants to show him the “crypt down below” where Abigail rests.
Jonathan and the Count make their way to the family vault, and there is a tomb – a sarcophagus of a child. Abigail was a stillborn (no, not the Black Label Society song). The Count tells Jonathan that Abigail is the purest of evil and that he must stop her from coming back to earth. He also tells Jonathan that Abigail’s spirit is inside his wife, Miriam, and that he must kill her to stop the evil from coming.
Jonathan has second thoughts about moving into the mansion, and he asks Miriam if she is happy here. Of course, she says yes and that the mansion inspired her creativity. She then proceeds to show him a painting she created. Can you guess what it is? It’s a painting of a stillborn baby… well, things just got interesting.
This freaked Jonathan out, and he decided he needed to know what happened to Abigail. So, he goes to the nearest bar and bribes people with drinks, so they will tell him what they know. And here is how the story goes.
It was the 7th day of July, 1777. The Count was a busy man, and he paid no attention to his wife. However, she quickly catches the eye of a stableman (bow chicka wow wow, if you know what I mean), and she gets pregnant. At first, the Count thought the child was his, but he wants to get rid of the child when he finds out about the affair. Side note, I’m not sure if this was because of religion or if he was just a crazy dude. Either way, what he does next is brutal. The Count pushes his wife down the stairs and cuts out the baby. He kills the child and says that “she shall be forgotten. But you [his wife] must rest in shame.”
Once Jonathan hears this story, he finally understands what’s going on. But you know what he does next? He does the nasty with Miriam. And next thing you know, Miriam has a big baby bump the next morning. Now, I’m not a doctor, but I don’t think this is normal. So now Jonathan is freaking out, and he finds Miriam levitating a baby’s crib in the air. Come to find out, Miriam is now Abigail, and she is ready to be reborn. So Miriam is dead, and now Jonathan has to deal with the spawn of Satan herself – Abigail.
He decides to tell Abigail that she should be reborn where she died, and she agrees. As they make their way to the family vault, Jonathan is about to push her down the stairs. Buuuuttttt he gets distracted by the serpent who provided Abigail this second chance. Abigail then pushes Jonathan down the stairs, and he dies.
Oh, but the story doesn’t end there. Abigail is now reborn and is getting stronger and stronger. Remember the Count’s workers from earlier? Yeah, well, their ghosts appear, and they pretty much say to each other, “we have to deal with this again?!” So they take Abigail to the church that is on the family property, and one of the ghost workers drives a nail through Abigail’s head.
END OF STORY.
Well, there you have it – the story of Abigail.
What I found interesting about this is that King Diamond said in an interview that he had a nightmare about this story. That is when he decided to write this album at 3 A.M. The name Abigail and the date July 7, 1777, was on a tombstone that someone sent him. So he decided he would use that in his story.
Overall, the album and the novel are awesome. I really enjoyed this story, and I hope my explanation does the story justice.