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Mercyful Fate

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 1981 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 return ...read more

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 1981 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.

Several demos and live shows survive from 1981, including their infamous first concert “Sabbath of all witches” held in early/mid 1981. In early 1982, the band contributed to the Ebony Records sampler Metallic Storm. Later on in the year, Mercyful Fate recorded its first official release, Mercyful Fate, on vinyl for the Dutch label Rave On. The release included heavy and evil material that would later inspire the black metal genre (although Venom and Bathory are as equally considered as the forefathers of black metal).

Following the EP, the band released Melissa in 1983 and Don’t Break the Oath in 1984, which are now considered by many to be classics in both the power metal and black metal genres. Following the tour (which saw them play in the United States for the first time) in support of Don’t Break the Oath, Diamond split ways with Mercyful Fate in April 1985 as a result of frustration over creative differences with Hank Shermann. With him, Diamond brought band mates Hansen and Denner to found a new band under his own name. Diamond’s new venture continued the tradition of Mercyful Fate, but with a more progressive, conceptual twist to it. In response, Hank Shermann formed the band Fate, which pursued a more AOR direction.

In July 1992, the band reformed and signed a contract with Metal Blade Records. All the original members without Kim Ruzz (replaced by Morten Nielsen) reformed and released In the Shadows in 1993. The album featured a re-recording of “Return of the Vampire”, with Metallica drummer and Mercyful Fate enthusiast Lars Ulrich playing on the track. In the years since, the band has released four other albums, with the last being 9. Similar to the band’s first run, members have left and been replaced; Michael Denner left and was replaced by Mike Wead, Drummer Nielsen was later replaced by Snowy Shaw who was then replaced by Bjarne Holm, Bassist Timi Hansen left quickly and was replaced by Sharlee D’Angelo. Following the release of 9 (1999), King Diamond put Mercyful Fate on hold and continued his solo career. Shermann, Denner, Holm and (King Diamond Bass player) Hal Patino formed Force of Evil, which incorporates many of the themes of the original Mercyful Fate.

In a March, 2008 interview, King Diamond stated that Mercyful Fate is currently “hibernating”, but had never split up. Though he does not know when the band will become active again, he said “It’s definitely not finished, at least in my book.”. « hide

Similar Bands: King Diamond, Bathory, Celtic Frost, Venom, Judas Priest

LPs
9
1999

3.3
71 Votes
Dead Again
1998

3.1
60 Votes
Into the Unknown
1996

3.1
62 Votes
Time
1994

3.7
80 Votes
In the Shadows
1993

3.8
114 Votes
Don't Break the Oath
1984

4.4
454 Votes
Melissa
1983

4.4
492 Votes
EPs
The Bell Witch
1994

3.6
14 Votes
Mercyful Fate
1982

4.2
74 Votes
Compilations
The Best of Mercyful Fate
2003

4.3
28 Votes
Return of the Vampire
1992

4
11 Votes
A Dangerous Meeting
1992

4.1
5 Votes
The Beginning
1987

3.9
16 Votes

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