There are so many metal bands out there who want you to think that they get Satan. That their take on evil and Lucifer and the world beyond our own is the right one. And they do it with ancient glyphs, and quotes by Albert Camus, and the overuse of words like “sacrosanct” and “eschaton.” And yet, for all their trying, these cultists often come off as less in touch with the dark side than their peers. They can’t see the forest for the trees, which have been mulched and turned into philosophy textbooks. There’s no heart to their soullessness. There’s no top hat.

But King Diamond, in your name, we are votaries of the Devil. You give us the darkness we crave, with all the theater and storytelling and dramatic falsetto we’ve dreamed of since the first October that we realized that Halloween was the only night of the year worth living for. You reminded us that there was no point in being evil if you couldn’t tell a damn good ghost story, too. And today, on your 66th birthday, we want to take this moment and bow our heads in prayer to your satanic majesty.

At every turn, King Diamond, you’re there to meet us. Vocals? You don’t just go high-pitched, you go piercing and operatic. Morbid subject matters? You give us the whole haunted house, complete with a terrifying old grandma who’s somehow scarier than the phantoms about which she speaks so sagely. Performance? Whether you’re in a demonic headdress with Mercyful Fate or your patented satanic-dandy hat-and-tails as the leader of your solo band, you are always giving us the imagery and atmosphere we came here for.

While the rest of the world goes startup-blue and warm-wood brown, you’re here to bathe us in black and crimson. You’re a reminder that if you put your mind to it and love the shit out of the things that make you happy — even if that’s the forces of darkness — then life doesn’t need to suck after all.

So, King Diamond, happy birthday. Thank you not only for all your incredible music, but also for how you daily inspire us to be our ghoulish-ass selves at every turn. Crush the cross.

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4KCFf9d0ACQuMOikFySJxT?si=90c3347e5f634fb7&pt=d3d032fd7e8534dea38a50f347cd42b2