Mercyful Fate – especially King Diamond – has been the focus of attention in the metal scene all the time. The band started in the early 80s and has released 7 albums, two extended plays and four compilations. They had many line-up changes, but nevertheless, the band is considered to be a big inspiration for Norwegian Black Metal bands as well as heavy and thrash metal masters as well, such as; Metallica as they released a Mercyful Fate medley in their cover album, Garage Inc. In addition, Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman stated that they were big fans and influenced by Mercyful Fate while recording their second album, Hell Awaits. Therefore, it was hard for me to choose the songs, frankly, I like them all, but here’s what I selected…
1. ‘Evil’ from Melissa
Though the band had two releases earlier, EP: Mercyful Fate and a single: ‘Black Masses’ but this is their first full-length and was a good god damn choice to be the album-opening, or what do you think?
2. ‘Curse Of The Pharaohs’ from Melissa
It was originally made for Mercyful Fate musicians when they were in previous underground projects Black Rose and Brats, and it was called at that time ‘Night Riders’ on an old Brats demo.
3. ‘Nightmare’ from Don’t Break The Oath
I liked the bass intro with the drums as well as the catchy guitar riffs; it was like good preparation for Diamond’s vocals. The album got re-mastered in 1997 by Road Runner and it was pretty cool as they also added Death Kiss (demo). The album received great reviews by AllMusic. Did you know that Metal Rules mentioned it as #1 of its list “Top 50 Extreme Metal Albums”? Now, you do.
4. ‘Egypt’ from In The Shadows
One of my favourite heavy metal tracks of all time! The very unique vocal line by Diamond was the leading line for the whole song. What I really like that he didn’t try to build the song structure on any Higaz maqam (like how it’s mostly done – Check best Metal Songs About Ancient Egypt) but the solo gave it a sweet oriental flavour and to the point.
5. ‘The Oath’ from Don’t Break The Oath
This album was considered as one of the influences for Black Metal musicians based on the lyrical themes, as well as the progressive elements that were delivered within heavy metal tunes and the theatrical falsetto vocals by Diamond. The whole album is great but I preferred ‘The Oath’ the most.
6. ‘Is that you, Melissa?’ from In The Shadows
Again with Melissa. It seems that there is something wrong with her, don’t you think so? Anyhow, the album was made after their reunion and their third full-length. Diamond preferred to leave the satanic themes and focus more on different issues. Guitar riffs and drum lines in this song are a real kick-ass!
7. ‘Come to the Sabbath’ from Don’t Break The Oath
Many gave positive reviews for this song. They prefered to give more credits for the rhythmic melodic guitar riffs. Also, we can’t ignore the harmony between guitars and vocals, they are damn great!
8. ‘The Afterlife’ from Time
It’s not even my favourite album at all, but I like the sequence of ‘The Afterlife’. I like the soft intro with Diamond’s voice that takes us to a different path through the chorus.
9. ‘Buried Alive’ from 9
It’s honestly one of my favourite tracks for the band ever! This song is from their last album featuring awesome melodic rhythmic riffs that helped the structure of the song to be built on. Also, I really enjoyed Shermann’s solo over this melodic riff.
10. ‘Dead Again’ from Dead Again
One of the longest songs by the band. Although this album is considered to be their most criticized, they delivered a new style totally away from what the audience got used to.
11. ‘Satan’s Fall’ from Melissa
Another long song and one of the famous tracks by the band. The melodic rhythmic riffs were very obvious in this song, as well as King Dimaond’s speed singing that varied within pitches. ‘Satan’s Fall’ is one of the songs that you should recommend for someone who isn’t familiar to Mercyful Fate kind of music.
12. ‘A dangerous Meeting’ from Don’t Break The Oath
Sometimes I feel like I want to choose all the tracks from this album. Frankly, it’s one of their best selling albums ever. ‘A dangerous meeting’ is very obvious with its progressive style along with the powerful solos and riffs of heavy metal. Ah, don’t miss the bridge in the song, it’s a killer!
Edited by: NJ Bakr.
– Don’t miss our Top 10 King Diamond Songs list, check it out through here.