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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 KingDiamond’sband 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 asMercyful Fate. The band experienced theusual member changes for a new band, as Denner left (and later returned). I ...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 KingDiamond’sband 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 asMercyful Fate. The band experienced theusual member changes for a new band, as Denner left (and later returned). Inaddition, the drummer position was a revolving door, but KimRuzz finally established himself as the drummer.

Several demos and live shows survive from 1981, including their infamous first concert “Sabbath of all witches” held inearly/mid 1981. Inearly 1982, the band contributed to the Ebony Records sampler Metallic Storm. Later on in the year,Mercyful Fate recorded its first officialrelease, Mercyful Fate, on vinyl for the Dutch label Rave On. The release includedheavy and evil material that would later inspire the blackmetal genre (although Venom and Bathory are as equally consideredas 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 tobe classics inboth the power metal and black metal genres. Following the tour (which saw them play in the United States forthe first time) in support ofDon’t Break the Oath, Diamond split ways with Mercyful Fate in April 1985 as a result offrustration over creative differences with HankShermann. With him, Diamond brought band mates Hansen and Denner tofound a new band under his own name. Diamond’s new venturecontinued the tradition of Mercyful Fate, but with a moreprogressive, conceptual twist to it. In response, Hank Shermann formed the bandFate, 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 byMorten Nielsen) reformed and released In the Shadows in 1993. The album featured a re-recording of “Return ofthe Vampire”, with Metallicadrummer and Mercyful Fate enthusiast Lars Ulrich playing on the track. In the years since, theband has released four other albums, with thelast being 9. Similar to the band’s first run, members have left and beenreplaced; Michael Denner left and was replaced by Mike Wead,Drummer Nielsen was later replaced by Snowy Shaw who wasthen replaced by Bjarne Holm, Bassist Timi Hansen left quickly and wasreplaced by Sharlee D’Angelo. Following the release of9 (1999), King Diamond put Mercyful Fate on hold and continued his solo career.Shermann, Denner, Holm and (King DiamondBass player) Hal Patino formed Force of Evil, which incorporates many of the themes of theoriginal Mercyful Fate.

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

Similar Bands: King Diamond, Portrait (SWE), HELL, Ghost (SWE), In Solitude

LPs
9
1999

3.4
107 Votes
Dead Again
1998

3.1
92 Votes
Into the Unknown
1996

3.1
95 Votes
Time
1994

3.8
125 Votes
In the Shadows
1993

3.8
159 Votes
Don't Break the Oath
1984

4.4
643 Votes
Melissa
1983

4.4
681 Votes
EPs
The Bell Witch
1994

3.5
16 Votes
Mercyful Fate
1982

4.3
140 Votes
Compilations
The Best of Mercyful Fate
2003

4.3
33 Votes
Return of the Vampire
1992

3.8
15 Votes
A Dangerous Meeting
1992

4.1
5 Votes
The Beginning
1987

3.9
23 Votes

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