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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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MERCYFUL FATE albums / top albums

MERCYFUL FATE Melissa album cover 4.23 | 48 ratings
Heavy Metal 1983
MERCYFUL FATE Don't Break the Oath album cover 4.27 | 51 ratings
Don't Break the Oath
Heavy Metal 1984
MERCYFUL FATE In the Shadows album cover 3.61 | 24 ratings
In the Shadows
Heavy Metal 1993
MERCYFUL FATE Time album cover 3.38 | 23 ratings
Heavy Metal 1994
MERCYFUL FATE Into the Unknown album cover 3.23 | 19 ratings
Into the Unknown
Heavy Metal 1996
MERCYFUL FATE Dead Again album cover 3.35 | 17 ratings
Dead Again
Heavy Metal 1998
MERCYFUL FATE 9 album cover 3.20 | 22 ratings
Heavy Metal 1999


MERCYFUL FATE Mercyful Fate album cover 4.04 | 10 ratings
Mercyful Fate
Heavy Metal 1982
MERCYFUL FATE The Bell Witch album cover 3.44 | 5 ratings
The Bell Witch
Heavy Metal 1994

MERCYFUL FATE live albums

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

MERCYFUL FATE Burning The Cross album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Burning The Cross
Heavy Metal 1981

MERCYFUL FATE re-issues & compilations

MERCYFUL FATE The Beginning album cover 3.92 | 12 ratings
The Beginning
Heavy Metal 1987
MERCYFUL FATE Return of the Vampire: The Rare and Unreleased album cover 3.16 | 12 ratings
Return of the Vampire: The Rare and Unreleased
Heavy Metal 1992
MERCYFUL FATE A Dangerous Meeting album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
A Dangerous Meeting
Heavy Metal 1992
MERCYFUL FATE The Best Of album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
The Best Of
Heavy Metal 2003

MERCYFUL FATE singles (2)

.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Black Masses
Heavy Metal 1983
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Heavy Metal 2009

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



EP · 1982 · Heavy Metal
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"Mercyful Fate" is an eponymously titled EP release by Danish heavy metal act Mercyful Fate. The EP was released through Rave-On Records in September 1982 and it´s the first official label release by the band. The original vinyl pressing is a rare collector´s item today, but the 4 tracks on the 22:04 minutes long EP are all available on the 1987 compilation album "The Beginning". The material on the EP was recorded at Stone Studio in Roosendaal, Netherlands, in two days in September 1982.

The music featured on the release is traditional heavy metal with an organic playing rhythm section, hard rocking riffs (which occasionally lean towards proto thrash), blistering guitar solos from both guitarists, and King Diamond´s distinct sounding high pitched vocals in front. Although there are clear references to artists like Iron Maiden, Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath, and Judas Priest featured in the music, Mercyful Fate set themselves apart from the get go. First of all because of King Diamond´s unique vocals and blasphemous/occult lyrics/image, but also because of the complexity of the compositions, and the adventurous playing style.

The tracks have a very immediate quality to them, which is probably partially a result of them being recorded in only two days. It wasn´t unusual in those days though and the band sure make good use of the limited recording time. Although there are audible playing errors throughout the EP, they are not distracting and only work in favor of the credibility/authenticity of the recording. It of course also helps that the material are very well written and instantly memorable (despite the relatively complex nature of the tracks). All tracks are worth a mention, but "Nuns Have No Fun" deserves a speciel mention for the overtly blasphemous lyrics which involve contemplating the rape of a nun (pretty extreme for the time). The nearly 7 minutes long "Doomed by a Living Dead" is another highlight.

The sound production is very raw and slightly lo-fi, but doesn´t lack punch or power. Considering the short recording/mixing/mastering time, it is actually pretty well sounding and detailed. Upon conclusion it´s a release which is hard to rate. The EP is pretty unique sounding for it´s time and the material is both powerful and adventurous, and delivered with burning passion and great conviction, which are all positives, but it´s just short of being as great as the two full-length studio albums which succeeded it, so a 4.5 star (90%) rating is fair.


Album · 1999 · Heavy Metal
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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.


Album · 1998 · Heavy Metal
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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 · Heavy Metal
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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 worth a listen if you're a fan of the group's first incarnation, and if I had to pick one reunion album out of the lot I'd choose this one - but they're all sufficiently similar that it's a rather arbitrary choice in the end.


Album · 1994 · Heavy Metal
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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 Movies Reviews

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