Mercyful Fate
1981
Denmark
Music group
Mercyful Fate is a black metal group founded in Denmark in 1981. Most people will probably have heard of them in the context of the commercially successful heavy metal band Metallica doing a medley of Mercyful Fate covers on the album 'Garage Inc' The band is infamous for their Satanistic stage shows, and the excessive use of corpse paint of lead vocalist King Diamond (real name: Kim Bendix Petersen). King Diamond would later disband Mercyful Fate and persuit a solo career.

Mercyful Fate was born out of the ashes of Danish punkrock outfit The Brats, a group formed in the late 70s by guitarists Hank Shermann and Michael Denner. The band recorded one track for a 1979 Punk/Metal crossover compilation album called 'Pair Punk' and released one full album on CBS Records '1980 Brats' which made quite an impact in Europe selling particularly well in France.

After the group disbanded Hank Shermann soon linked up again with Michael Denner (who had formed Dangerzone) and Black Rose frontman King Diamond, Dangerzone bassist Timi Grabber along with drummer Kim Ruzz. This new band recorded a four track demo. The tape featured the tracks 'Some Day', 'Death Kiss', 'Love Criminals' and 'Combat Zone'. Two more demos follwed, leading to a record deal with Dutch record company Rave On in September 1982.

Mercyful Fate released the four track mini-album 'Corpse Without A Soul'. It's impact on the underground metal scene was huge and Ron Quintana's San Francisco magazine 'Metal Mania' voted it EP of the year. The band split with Rave On and signed to Roadrunner in Europe and Music For Nations for Britain in early 1983.

As King Diamon's satanic views weren't shared by the rest of the band, and Shermann's desire to play a different form of music forced the breakup of the band around 1985. Diamond took Denner and MF bassist with him and formed his own group, King Diamond, while Shermann formed a hard rock band called Fate. Several years later, Shermann and Denner (long since departed from King's band) hooked up together in a little-known project called Zoser Mez, which may well have precipitated getting Mercyful Fate back together, which they finally did in 1993, featuring all of the original members except drummer Kim Ruzz.

Since the reformation, King Diamond (the band) and Mercyful Fate have co-existed simultaneously, with King singing in both bands and the two bands basically taking turns releasing albums.
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