"The Dark Sides" is an EP compilation by the multinational heavy metal act King Diamond, released through Roadrunner Records in November 1988, just two months after their third full-length studio album, "Them." At this point in their career, King Diamond was riding a wave of success and decided it was the right time to release this compilation.
The EP consists of 6 tracks with a total runtime of 20 minutes and 48 seconds. It kicks off with "Halloween," a track previously featured on their debut full-length studio album, "Fatal Portrait" (1986), and the eponymous single from the same year. "Them," a short instrumental track and the title piece from "Them" (1988), follows, making the first two tracks somewhat redundant if you already own the studio albums.
However, "No Presents for Christmas" was relatively rare at the time of "The Dark Sides" release, having only been featured on the eponymous single from late 1985. "Shrine" is the next track, originally released as the B-side to "The Family Ghost" single from 1987. "The Lake" comes next, originally released as one of the B-side tracks on the 1986 "Halloween" single. Finally, "Phone Call" closes "The Dark Sides." This track was previously released as the B-side to the 1988 "Welcome Home" promo single and is essentially a short spoken word/horror effects piece that was a leftover from the recording sessions for "Them."
In conclusion, "The Dark Sides" is a nice compilation featuring a couple of rarities but also some redundant tracks. For example, "Halloween" and "Phone Call" don't add much to the collection. However, the overall quality is still high enough to warrant a rating of 3.5 to 4 stars (75%).
"Halloween" – 4:14 (previously released on Fatal Portrait)
"Them" – 1:58 (instrumental track, previously released on Them)
"No Presents for Christmas" – 4:21 (previously released as the A-side of No Presents for Christmas single; later as a bonus track on the 2007 remastered version of Fatal Portrait)
"Shrine" – 4:23 (previously released as the b-side of The Family Ghost single; later as a bonus track on the 2007 remastered version of Abigail)
"The Lake" – 4:13 (previously released as a b-side of Halloween single and as a bonus track on CD versions of Fatal Portrait)
"Phone Call" – 1:38 (previously released on CD versions of Them)