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View Full Version : Steerpike's Spotlight Halloween Special Part 1: Mercyful Fate - Quake with Fear!


Steerpike
10-28-2005, 08:40 PM
Halloween has to be one of the greatest holidays ever! You can dress up in costumes in public, indulge yourself on sweets, and party until dawn. And if you're American, it's another excuse to drink like a fish and have fewer people complain. Funny how all holidays in America go back to alcohol, isn't it? But I digress.

I am the Archfiend Steerpike, your host for this first Halloween special. We're having a double-header this weekend to supply you with bonechilling music that will haunt your dreams and wrap its icy claw around your mind.

So turn down the lights, break out the candy apples, light a couple candles, and ready your pentagrams in protection as we begin....

Harrowing Biography

Black metal is perhaps one of the most intense forms of extreme metal. A lot of the black metal bands out there today have brutal riffing, intense rhythms, inhuman vocals, and production so bad it sounds like they recorded the entire album on an analog answering machine then playing it into a cell phone voice mail then playing that back into a handheld tape recorder. It wasn't always like that though. It was merely an extension of First Wave black metal bands, which weren't even really black metal, but often seemed to defy classification. Venom was among the front of this movement, though Celtic Frost was without a doubt the most influential as they inspired countless bands outside the genre. And then there was Mercyful Fate.

It started off modestly with a group of Danes in Copenhagen. Hank Shermann, the guitarist for a punk band called Brats, met up with vocalist Kim Peterson of Black Rose in 1980 as both of their bands went defunct. They started jamming together, and created Mercyful Fate as a result. Kim was inspired by an Alice Cooper concert, and decided to become a veritable boogey man himself on stage. To that effect, he adopted the stage name King Diamond and dressed himself in Victorian gentleman's clothes and ghostly make-up.

They recruited Michael Denner to provide a second lead guitar along with Timi Hansen on bass and Kim Ruzz eventually came in as the drummer for their first EP, Nuns Have No Fun. It was only four songs, but it seriously helped bolster their fanbase.

In 1983, they released their true debut album Melissa, and the metal world was never the same again. The melodic dual guitar attack mixed the aggressive rhythm section and King's voice which leaped from wicked snarl to ghastly falsetto without missing a beat. One song in particular, Into the Coven, would eventually be the best thing that ever happened to them. The PMRC placed it on their Filthy Fifteen list, which of course just attracted droves of American metalheads to a band they otherwise may never have heard of.

A year later would be their second full-length album, and a real gem at that. Don't Break the Oath was considered their finest moment. A spoooooky 13 years later, Roadrunner bought up the rights to it and remastered it with a bonus track, cementing it in a new generation as a metal classic.

But when we're at our highest, the rest of the world seems to have other ideas. Creative differences emerged, and Mercyful Fate split a year later. King, Mike, and Timi wanted to take things in a more progressive direction, and Hank was beginning to worry that the evil persona they worked off of was getting stale. Fortunately, the split was amicable.

The group stayed in contact throughout the years as they pursued their own solo projects, the most famous of which being King's solo work (see Part 2 coming up soon). The only real trace of the original Mercyful Fate left though was 1987 release containing Nuns Have No Fun and five rare tracks

In 1992, King, Mike, Hank, and Timi reunited to form Mercyful Fate all over again, this time with Metal Blade Records behind them. The fans let loose a wave of evil cheer at the news and eagerly bought up the Return of the Vampire compilation, which was a collection of rare demo tracks released to help put some steam into the band's new incarnation.

With the opening track of Egypt on the 1993 album Into the Shadows, it was clear that Mercyful Fate were back.

Despite a few line-up changes, the band released a great set of albums with lyrical concepts ranging from real-life ghost stories to the work of H.P. Lovecraft.

The latest of these releases was entitled 9 and is perhaps the heaviest album to date. It is a call back to the old days of the first two albums while raising the bar for chillin music overall.

At this time, Mercyful Fate is on hiatus, though they still owe the label one more album. Fans sit intently, silent as the grave and wait with the patience of stony gargoyles for news of the new album that the band will put their blood and souls into.

And so, for now, I must bid you all good night. Pleasant dreams....

Steerpike
10-28-2005, 08:40 PM
Current Spooky Line-Up

King Diamond - vocals, keyboards
Mike Wead - guitar
Hank Shermann - guitar
Sharlee D'Angelo - bass
Bjarne T. Holm - drums


Current Malicious Label

Metal Blade Records


Horrifying Discography

Nuns Have No Fun (1982, EP)
*Melissa (1983)
*Don't Break The Oath (1984)
The Beginning (1987, compilation)
Return of the Vampire (1992, compilation)
*In The Shadows (1993)
*The Bell Witch (1994, EP)
Time (1994)
Into the Unknown (1996)
Dead Again (1998)
*9 (1999)

*Dial R for Recommended


Blasphemous Mailing List

Put down your email address as usual, and prepare to trade your soul for the following songs wrenched from the depths of realms man was not meant to know:

Into the Coven
Curse of the Pharoahs
Devil Eyes
A Corpse Without a Soul
Egypt

Freezing Moon
10-28-2005, 08:47 PM
All hail Mercyful Fate. \m/

I love these guys, although I couldn't get over King Diamond's falsetto style of singing at first.

Excellent writeup. :)

Apocalyptic Raids
10-28-2005, 08:50 PM
MERCYFUL FUCKING FATE \m/

Melissa is one of my favourite albums ever.

Shattered_Future
10-28-2005, 08:50 PM
Mmmmm...Mercyful Fate.

King Diamond has one of the biggest ranges I've ever heard. Takes a while to get used to his voice though...

I know you're gonna be sending out uploads, so...:D

anemiate@yahoo.com

Thanks much. You're the greatest. :thumb:

Steerpike
10-29-2005, 12:14 AM
I'll finish up in the morning. Come on, people, this is a Halloween special. This is important to me damnit.

Cain
10-29-2005, 12:52 AM
Good thread as always Alex. I love the Halloween motif too, and your description of black metal production.

I'm unsure if I'd be interested in these guys, but I'll wait for you to finish your haunted space. :)

Rep++ for doing a longer series than anybody on the planet.

Riva
10-29-2005, 01:20 AM
Mmmm, King Diamond is one of my favourite singers. And I think nobody can deny that Mercyful Fate have earned every jot of the respect they have earned, whether you like them or not. :) I am part of the former group, of course, and so I'm doubly pleased with this awesome write-up.

Apocalyptic Raids
10-29-2005, 01:46 AM
I think the King has mentioned in some interviews that there will be a MF DVD sometime soon.

Silentia
10-29-2005, 02:51 AM
I lóve King Diamond, but I never really took the time to listen to Mercyful Fate, I guess this inspires me though! Great job on the write-up, fun reading!



/eagerly awaits the King Diamond one

Lord Abortion
10-29-2005, 05:16 AM
Man I love king diamond...

he's going to go far in the vocalists comp.

Apocalyptic Raids
10-29-2005, 05:27 AM
he's going to go far in the vocalists comp.
We shall make sure of it ;)

Iron Bars
10-29-2005, 09:31 AM
I only discovered them recently so I'm not to familiar with their material yet but I absolutly love Melissa and Kings vocals in general.

Steerpike
10-29-2005, 11:21 AM
And we're ready to rock. Put down your email address and wait for the witching hour.

Malekith2005
10-29-2005, 11:47 AM
Great to see Mercyful Fate on the forum again! They are far more influential than a lot of people give them credit for.
My personal faves are "Gypsy" and "A Dangerous Meeting". I like them a hell of a lot more than King Diamond (the band,natch),whose output I always felt was a bit too,well,y'know "cheesy",(Halloween and No Presents For Christmas spring to mind).
But before I get flamed for that remark,I must say that "Abigail" is a bona-fide classic:wave:
Just don't listen to Mercyful Fate before conducting a seance......:lol:

heavy metal kid
10-29-2005, 01:27 PM
Yeah, i love Mercyful Fate, Michael Denner and Hank Sherman are the riff-masters.
Melissa is by far one of the best Metal albums ever made.
My favorite song is Evil.
Also Mercyful Fate is better than King Diamond imo.

Ve Das
10-29-2005, 01:31 PM
Great thread!ALL HAIL THE KING!

Iron Bars
10-29-2005, 01:36 PM
jvm360@hotmail.com

More Merciful Fate please.

Deth
10-29-2005, 01:50 PM
I want to trade my soul!

eddiesminion@gmail.com

And again, great write-up.

Steerpike
10-29-2005, 11:50 PM
Okay, there's been a slight delay, but the mailing list and part 2 will be up soon.

i am the robots
10-30-2005, 12:08 AM
Dude, please send?

eleventeen3@gmail.com

Also, brilliant write up, the Halloween speak had me rofling for a little.

BTW, Alex (that's your name right?) your a Power Metal Fanboy, why didn't you do Helloween for your Halloween Special?

Kingofdudes
10-30-2005, 12:14 AM
Mercyful Fate is great. I dont know why I dont have any of their albums. I'll need to keep them in mind next CD order.

i am the robots
10-30-2005, 12:16 AM
Mercyful Fate is great. I dont know why I dont have any of their albums. I'll need to keep them in mind next CD order.

Same here man.

Steerpike
10-30-2005, 12:21 AM
BTW, Alex (that's your name right?) your a Power Metal Fanboy, why didn't you do Helloween for your Halloween Special?

I felt that Mercyful Fate/King Diamond needed the attention a little more, considering I had recently done a thread on Gamma Ray.

Besides, the groups have actually contributed some to the darker bands of power metal. First-wave black metal bands were eclectic enough to be very influential to multiple genres. When you hear the music, you'll see what I mean.

Six Foot Revolver
10-30-2005, 12:55 AM
Great write up and a band I have been meaning to get into for a while.

ukwildheart @ gmail.com

i am the robots
10-30-2005, 01:23 AM
I felt that Mercyful Fate/King Diamond needed the attention a little more, considering I had recently done a thread on Gamma Ray.

Besides, the groups have actually contributed some to the darker bands of power metal. First-wave black metal bands were eclectic enough to be very influential to multiple genres. When you hear the music, you'll see what I mean.

I know what you mean and all, but I was just curious, the name for Helloween seemed as fitting a reason as the atmosphere for King Diamond and Mercyful Fate :lol:.

heavy metal kid
10-30-2005, 01:37 AM
I know what you mean and all, but I was just curious, the name for Helloween seemed as fitting a reason as the atmosphere for King Diamond and Mercyful Fate :lol:.

yeah, Helloween is just a name.
King Diamond is like the backing sound of a horror movie(a very talented horror movie :cool: ).

ACircuitShock
10-30-2005, 01:45 AM
I've been meaning to hear these guys, great write by the way.

cypher900@hotmail.com

br3ad_man
10-30-2005, 02:47 AM
hartwigandrew @gmail.com


Excellent work, I've always wanted to know more about MF/KD.

Hells Bells
10-30-2005, 07:13 AM
:lol: I love the spooky language in this FA. I've been interested in hearing King Diamond's voice since I saw Opeth and Akerfeld got the crowd to scream like him, and everyone did this crazy, fiendish, high-pitched shriek.

into.the.pandemonium@gmail.com

-Listy-
10-30-2005, 07:17 AM
Nice writeup :)

l0stprophet@hotmail.com

forgive the non spooky ghey address.

Lord Abortion
10-30-2005, 07:18 AM
so...olliethegreat_6@hotmale.co.uk

Chimaera One
10-30-2005, 07:38 AM
Could you please add dayvided@hotmail.com and budgie@jett2.fsnet.co.uk , please?

Thanks!

Brew
10-30-2005, 08:46 AM
I've heard 2 King Diamond albums, but not any Mercyful Fate, you've made them sound like a band I need to hear.

lord_brummington@hotmail.co.uk

White Goodman
10-30-2005, 01:24 PM
I have always wanted to hear some Mercyful Fate. Thanks.

thekingsdaddy@yahoo.com

Chimaera One
10-30-2005, 01:28 PM
Another address for this, think this will work...

chimaeraoneuk@googlemail.com

GenuineImitation
10-30-2005, 06:33 PM
Please send me a few songs. I never heard of this band and they seem like a band I will enjoy.


rock15guitarist@aol.com

Steerpike
10-31-2005, 03:56 PM
Okay, all the uploads for Mercyful Fate have been sent out. King Diamond uploads are coming out within the hour. Just in time for Halloween proper.

GenuineImitation
10-31-2005, 04:11 PM
I got the Mercyful Fate downloads. Not bad, not bad at all.

Bartender
11-01-2005, 02:18 AM
Good writeup, good band.

Got to love the PMRC.