Roadrunner records is one of the most important labels on mainstream Metal, for most of the youth around the world it could be the bridge to the other side of metal(along with Metallica); but, for many veteran metal fans, RR is one of the worst labels in metal. Few of them remember when RR had great bands like Brujeria, Malevolent Creation, Cynic, Death, King Diamond, Deicide, The Misfits, Fear Factory
and in this case, the mother of metal influences: Mercyful Fate.
Letís face it, Mercyful Fateís greatest work was released under the RR label, so why not after more than 15 years in the music industry take a good action and expose their old repertory to the new generation of metal heads, in the shape of one compilation featuring the bandís prime cuts and to make it more interesting add liner notes by some new artist, in this case it was Mark Hunter from Chimaira
You might think is a bit pathetic, or a great idea but the results were great, and even greater was the songs.
Michael Denner-Guitar(track 1-12)
When you put this album and hear it, it is probably one of the most incredible experiences you ever have (if you like metal); the first riff from Doomed by the Living Dead is just lovely. I remember, this was the first time I actually was hearing a song of Mercyful Fate played by the band itself, the first thing I noticed was the incredible guitar solo at the beginning, then I was astonished by the vocals, that man(King Diamond) sounded like a combination between the vocals from Venom and Judas Priest. I spend more than a day hearing Doomed by the Living
, then I was freaked out by the incredible intro of A Corpse Without Soul
, I remember hearing this song played by Metallica
, and it wasnít as fast or exciting, the guitar work is outstanding, Hank Sherman and Michael Denner became one of my favorites guitar tag team of all time, the vocals are just so unique and who could forget the scream at the end of the song, the album seemed to work just fine, Nuns Have No Fun
is slower with catchy vocals and a cool drum intro, but nowhere near A Corpse Without Soul, sure itís a bit difficult to equalize a song like ACWS; but then, the infamous intro of a dual guitar riff harmonized by King Diamondís high vocals, oh yeah, ďI was Born in a cemetery, under the light of the moon" , those kind of opening lines(Evil
) could only take you to a dark world and the only way to it, itís MFís way; the solos are just incredible, itís just dual guitar action and the bass lines are probably on of Tim Grabberís highlights.
After Evil, thereís 3 songs I consider average, Curse of the Pharaohs
, which is one of the most famous songs of MF; to be honest the verse riffs are boring, the chorus is well written, few power chords perfectly combined with great drumming and catchy vocals, the song has a more sense of heaviness than the past 3 songs. Other than that Into the Coven
and Black Funeral
have nothing special to mention, except the acoustic guitar intro from ItC, which it could be one of the Neo Classical metal pioneers.
, probably the best song made by Mercyful Fate, more than 11 minutes of riff mayhem, eerie vocals, outstanding guitar solos and some odd time signatures; at his time it could be one of the most experimental metal songs and it is a big influence on Progressive Metal and Technical Metal.
After Satanís Fall itís all downhill, the compilation starts to show the many facets of Mercyful Fate, A Dangerous Meeting, Desecration of Souls
seem to have the same structure and formula, this may ruin the compilation because they are kind of slow songs, but they arenít bad songs, they are constantly changing the rhythm and DoS has incredible guitar work. Come to the Sabbath is a bit odd, the acoustic riffs between the distorted guitar riffs sound weird, but after a few listening they become catchy.
The great thing about the compilation is that even the last tracks of the album are worth of listen, most of the compilations usually put the artistís popular tracks, even if their bad. But this was great, hearing Burning the Cross
, a song that reminds me the simplicity of Thrash with some old punk beats adding to that a cool dual guitar outro , made me think that the compilation did his job, then again, I wasnít 100% right, because all the work done by Mercyful Fate is great. The compilation ends with a kind ballad, named Return of the Vampire
, which is the softer side of the compilation, half of the song is slow and soft, the other half is just a normal Mercyful Fate song, is good but nothing special compared to the other 13 songs.
Why it is a 5/5 compilation?
1. First of all, all the songs are incredible.
2. It sums perfectly the essence of Mercyful Fate.
3. It got me into Mercyful Fate, and probably will get others too.
4. Great guitar work.
5. Great Vocals
What is bad:
1. Song Order
2. Once you are into MF, you find few songs are missing.
A Corpse Without Souls
Come to the Sabbath
Burning the Cross