MERCYFUL FATE
Traditional heavy metal • Denmark

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MERCYFUL FATE picture
Mercyful Fate is a Danish heavy metal band which helped inspire black metal through their lyrics and image.

The band was founded in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1980 from the remaining members of Hank Shermann's band Brats and King Diamond's band Black Rose. In early 1981 they helped out Michael Denner with demos for his band Danger Zone. Soon, Shermann, Denner, Diamond, and Denner's bass player Timi Grabber realized their potential as a unit and started performing as Mercyful Fate. The band experienced the usual member changes for a new band, as Denner left (and later returned). In addition, the drummer position was a revolving door, but Kim Ruzz finally established himself as the drummer.

In early 1982, the band contributed to the Ebony Records sampler Metallic Storm. Later on in the year, Mercyful Fate recorded its first material, Mercyful Fate, on vinyl for the Dutch label Rave On. The release
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Don't Break the OathDon't Break the Oath
Roadrunner Records 1997
Audio CD$4.34
$2.31 (used)
Melissa / BeginningMelissa / Beginning
Roadrunner Records 2003
Audio CD$14.20
$14.18 (used)
Dead AgainDead Again
Metal Blade 1998
Audio CD$5.49
$5.98 (used)
In the ShadowsIn the Shadows
Extra tracks
Metal Blade 1998
Audio CD$6.87
$5.99 (used)
Don't Break the Oath / Return of the VampireDon't Break the Oath / Return of the Vampire
Roadrunner Records 2004
Audio CD$12.79
$10.02 (used)
99
Metal Blade 1999
Audio CD$5.49
$2.39 (used)
Best ofBest of
Roadrunner Records 2003
Audio CD$8.13
$6.23 (used)
TimeTime
Metal Blade 1998
Audio CD$5.97
$5.96 (used)
MelissaMelissa
Metal Blade 2014
Vinyl$29.99
$34.98 (used)
Return of the VampireReturn of the Vampire
Metal Blade 2014
Vinyl$18.49
$24.53 (used)
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MERCYFUL FATE Discography

MERCYFUL FATE albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.08 | 36 ratings
Melissa
Traditional heavy metal 1983
.. Album Cover 3.61 | 42 ratings
Don't Break the Oath
Traditional heavy metal 1984
.. Album Cover 2.93 | 18 ratings
In the Shadows
Traditional heavy metal 1993
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 17 ratings
Time
Traditional heavy metal 1994
.. Album Cover 3.28 | 14 ratings
Into the Unknown
Traditional heavy metal 1996
.. Album Cover 2.97 | 14 ratings
Dead Again
Traditional heavy metal 1998
.. Album Cover 2.85 | 18 ratings
9
Traditional heavy metal 1999

MERCYFUL FATE EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.05 | 4 ratings
Mercyful Fate
Traditional heavy metal 1982
.. Album Cover 2.80 | 4 ratings
The Bell Witch
Traditional heavy metal 1994

MERCYFUL FATE live albums

MERCYFUL FATE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Burning The Cross
Traditional heavy metal 1981

MERCYFUL FATE boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 2.52 | 8 ratings
The Beginning
Traditional heavy metal 1987
.. Album Cover 2.89 | 9 ratings
Return of the Vampire: The Rare and Unreleased
Traditional heavy metal 1992
.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
A Dangerous Meeting
Traditional heavy metal 1992
.. Album Cover 2.14 | 2 ratings
The Best Of
Traditional heavy metal 2003

MERCYFUL FATE singles (2)

.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Black Masses
Traditional heavy metal 1983
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Evil
Traditional heavy metal 2009

MERCYFUL FATE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

MERCYFUL FATE Reviews

MERCYFUL FATE 9

Album · 1999 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Mercyful Fate's run of reunion albums ground to a halt with 9, which highlighted the problem with Dead Again. The problem was that the band had got themselves into a cul-de-sac; if they changed up their musical style, they'd lose that classic old Mercyful Fate atmosphere and they still hadn't found a similarly compelling alternative to it, but at the same time if they stuck with their old sound after numerous reunion albums things would finally begin to get stale. So this time around they try to go a middle route between those two options, and end up with all the disadvantages of both approaches and none of the advantages.

MERCYFUL FATE Dead Again

Album · 1998 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
One of the things I love about both classic-period Mercyful Fate and the first few albums from their successful reunion is that back in those days they were a band wholly devoted to their own musical direction, and consistently resisted the temptation to water down that distinctive Fate sound by drawing on transient trends in metal in a misguided attempt to modernise their sound.

Perhaps that's why I find Dead Again so disappointing; with its rawer production and more distorted guitars, all of a sudden it doesn't feel like Mercyful Fate any more - it feels like King Diamond popping in on some very generic mid-1990s metal band and singing a few songs with them. It's an interesting departure and I suppose it's good that they attempted to stay fresh, but in this case I think the end result is an album which has good moments but doesn't reflect the greatness Mercyful Fate are capable of.

MERCYFUL FATE Into the Unknown

Album · 1996 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
The second incarnation of Mercyful Fate goes from strength to strength on Into the Unknown, which manages to top the two preceding releases when it comes to following on from the band's first two releases. With brilliant performances all round once again and King Diamond in a particularly dramatic mood, the album includes some of the band's most compelling post-reunion songs, such as the sinister and amazingly catchy The Uninvited Guest. Though Melissa and Don't Break the Oath get most of the critical attention when it comes to Mercyful Fate's material, I'm inclined to suggest that much of the post-reunion material is at least as good as Melissa, though matching Don't Break the Oath is a much more difficult prospect. Nothing I hear on Into the Unknown changes that assessment,

MERCYFUL FATE Time

Album · 1994 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
The second album of the Mercyful Fate reunion continues the approach of In the Shadows - namely, it once again revives the classic sound of the original Mercyful Fate albums and provides us with more of the same. Whilst for most bands "more of the same" would be a criticism, when it's done this well I can happily get behind it; rather than revolutionising their sound, King Diamond and crew show an ability to derive endless new sonic horror stories from the general principles they'd always used in their songwriting to this date. Sure, maybe by this point things begin to seem a little formulaic - but the possibilities of the Mercyful Fate formula had not been exhausted yet.

MERCYFUL FATE In the Shadows

Album · 1993 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
It's no Don't Break the Oath - but then again, very little is. Mercyful Fate's comeback album might not measure up to its classic predecessor, but it does a more than good enough job of proving to the world that the Fates still could evoke a hint of that old black magic, though truly there is only a hint of it left. By this point in time, their position as "most Satanic and extreme metal band on the planet" was long past them, never to be regained, but King Diamond and company show little sign of this bothering them, launching into the usual Mercyful Fate schtick - horror and ghost stories, references to the recurring "Melissa" mythology, and an energetic blend of traditional and thrash metal.

The end result is a reunion which is fun and came at just the right time to perk up King Diamond's career (since his string of solo concept albums was beginning to get stale at this point), but at the same time it hasn't aged nearly as well as the band's two classic-era albums have. The opening brace of tracks are decent, particularly The Bell Witch, but as the album progresses it soon runs out of steam. Worth it if you are a big fan of King Diamond or Mercyful Fate, but it doesn't stand in the top rank of either acts' work.

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