[Northern European/Scandinavian Metal] Mercyful Fate / King Diamond (DK/US/SE)
#1
Here at Forces of Steel, we avoid cliche discussions such as Iron Maiden vs. Judas Priest! So here's the next best thing, Mercyful Fate vs. King Diamond! Which is your personal preference?

Mercyful Fate released some true milestones in heavy metal. Melissa and Don't Break the Oath are undeniable classics, and the EP is nothing to take lightly either. King Diamond on the other hand has released tons of stellar albums over the years, so his solo band has quantity going for it, if nothing else. Fate has that raw sound, thick atmosphere, and satanic themes, but King Diamond has those ultra-catchy songs and mindblowing concept albums. So what does it come down to for you?

In my case, it is such a close call. I absolutely love King Diamond's early albums, and several of the later ones (The Puppet Master and Voodoo spring to mind immediately). The songwriting is just so damn GOOD. The concepts are interesting on at least the majority of the albums, and the music itself is fresh and catchy. On the other hand, Mercyful Fate is what started it all. It is distinctly darker and thicker on atmosphere, a quality that I love in my metal. Where one could look at Mercyful Fate as first wave black metal, the same can't quite be said for King Diamond's solo work. When it comes down to comparing actual albums, a top 10 list from me would combine much of the early King Diamond material with those 3 classic Fate releases all near the top. I have to say, in the end, that Mercyful Fate just barely inches out King Diamond because Don't Break The Oath is one of my all time favorite albums. However the deadly trio of Abigail, Them, and Conspiracy come very close after.
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#2
Mercyful Fate by a cunt hair.
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#3
Mercyful Fate!

Not a big fan though,the first two albums are pretty cool.
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#4
I'm gonna go with King Diamond just because Them is one of my favorite albums of all time.
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#5
Mercyful Fate. I love the KD solo stuff, Abigail is one of my all-time favorites and Andy LaRocque is one of my all-time favorite guitarists. Them, Fatal Portrait, Conspiracy....all great albums, BUT...Mercyful Fate...what a great band they were and their work up to and including Don't Break The Oath is just sick. The Melissa album - Satan's Fall, Into The Coven, Evil, Melissa - classic. A day doesn't pass that I don't play MF on my guitar, Shermann and Denner's work on those albums is awesome and has been a huge influence on my playing. All in all, both are great bands but MF will always be my first choice between the two.

There's some great stuff on here, Corpse Without Soul, Doomed By The Living Dead...fucking sick!


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#6
I hear ya on the solo stuff being great, House Of God is my favorite KD album, but there is just something about Mercyful Fate that is better.
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#7
I voted for King Diamond. Love both bands though the biggest difference between the two for them is the atmosphere of the music. Mercyful Fate was more straight forward, ass whooping, heavy as hell music whereas King Diamond has more of a dramatic feel to it (basically with the intros, interludes, etc). I also enjoy reading a long the stories with King Diamond albums, I'm a geek when it comes to concept albums so therefore I lean towards King Diamond on this one.
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#8
Mercyful fate no contest
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#9
If you will ask me which one is my fave album, I would probably say "Don't Break The Oath", but in general and by comparing both discographies in their entirety, I would say King Diamond.
However, the first Mercyful Fate era is unbeatable.
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#10
Mercyful Fate
This one gets my vote. The band's self-titled EP, Melissa, and Don't Break the Oath are all three definite heavy metal classics, showcasing some truly incredible stuff. "A Dangerous Meeting" and "Nightmares" are especially favorites, with the latter being the song that made me understand why King Diamond is so revered as a vocalist; I used to feel turned off by his exceptionally high singing range, which I felt was overwhelming -- as if someone was always squeezing his balls during the recording process.

King Diamond
I recently scored this boxed set, containing the band's first five albums. I knew from the get-go that it was going to be a sweet score, and despite King Diamond's music not being as aggressive as Mercyful Fate's, they're still quite memorable masterpieces. My three personal favorites are Conspiracy, Abigail, and Fatal Portrait (this one is probably the closest King Diamond recording that resembles the style of Mercyful Fate, which is why I like it a lot). "Them" and The Eye are also really good.
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#11
Very tough call for me, I would have to go with Mercyful Fate but not by much since I love both.
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#12
If any of you guys haven't checked out Danger Zone, you totally should!

This is what ultimately led to the birth of Mercyful Fate:

A friend hooked me up with this band's demo; a solid serving of vintage Danish heavy metal!
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#13
(01-19-2014, 10:53 PM)Painkiller Wrote: If any of you guys haven't checked out Danger Zone, you totally should!

This is what ultimately led to the birth of Mercyful Fate:

A friend hooked me up with this band's demo; a solid serving of vintage Danish heavy metal!

Love that song, if you do not know (wich probably you do) that this song is on the "Return of the Vampire" comp under the name of "Leave My Soul Alone", same version just better quality though, if anyone is interested in hearing some old recordings before the "Self-titled" ep, "Melissa" and "Don't Break the Oath" and so fourth, should check that comp out, some really rad shit on it.
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#14
I'm also aware that "Death Kiss" (from the same pre-Mercyful Fate band) was what ultimately led to the classic that is "A Dangerous Meeting". My only gripe would have to be King Diamond's vocals being WAY too low in the mix.

I'll check out that compilation album that you mentioned. Smile
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#15
By the way, what do you guys think of the Mercyful Fate remasters? I just pushed my luck by getting the 1997 version of Don't Break the Oath, because I can't seem to find the earlier pressings anywhere. I lost my bid on a cassette tape of it, so...
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#16
I like 'em, hell, i own the same 1997 remaster, besides 'em being loud, the bonus content i like.
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#17
Post-reunion Mercyful Fate (since 1993) sounds a lot closer to the solo King Diamond work. It would have been nice to continue the same style delivered on the first two albums.

This song wouldn't have sounded out of place on Abigail.
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#18
(01-03-2014, 10:52 AM)Spirit Crusher Wrote: I'm gonna go with King Diamond just because Them is one of my favorite albums of all time.
What this person said!!
I love Them ;D
Heart King Diamond
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#19
I never really got into King Diamond's solo but, what I heard it has less of that occult and mysterious feel to it. It also doesn't have that adversarial atmosphere like in At the Sound of the Demon Bell and Satan's Fall had. The first 2 albums and EP are really some of the greatest metal releases. I should hear more solo King Diamond at some point though.
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#20
Check out "House Of God"

Fucking amazing album.
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#21
My favorite King Diamond album, as it stands, is Conspiracy. Musically, I found it to be the band at their peak; the guitars were more driving than a few of the previous albums, along with King Diamond's banshee screams going back more to the glory days of Mercyful Fate. Just listen to "At the Graves" to see what I mean (when the song picks up from the brooding intro). As a concept album, it continues from where "Them" left off. It's also more interesting than its predecessor.

Abigail is my other favorite, for it was on THAT album where King Diamond found his sound, leaving behind the transitional vibe of Fatal Portrait (great fucking album, nonetheless). "The Family Ghost" and "Black Horsemen" are some of the best he ever wrote and recorded.

The third one is The Eye. I especially love its opener, "Eye of the Witch"; it has such a mystifying quality to it. I can't even put it in words as to what I feel when I hear that chorus. The rest of the album is also solid, with "Into the Convent" and "The Meetings" being other pure standouts.

Now, that just leaves Fatal Portrait and "Them":

The former, as I stated earlier, is a transition from the Mercyful Fate era to the King Diamond era. The rhythm of "Charon" definitely reminds me a lot of "Gypsy" (from Don't Break the Oath). Other favorites are "Halloween", "The Candle", and "Lurking in the Dark".

The latter is my least favorite of the first five, but I really liked songs such as "Bye, Bye Missy".

The rest of the stuff is generally pretty good, with The Spider's Lullabye and The Puppet Master coming up on top.
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#22
Fatal Portrait, really awesome album!
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#23
House of God
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#24
(03-09-2014, 07:58 PM)whiteravenmetal Wrote: Fatal Portrait, really awesome album!
Yeah, it rules. I'm currently wearing my shirt of it. It's one of the few King Diamond albums where not all of the songs fit in with its concept. The first four tracks and the last are the only ones that tell the story of Fatal Portrait.

Another thing that I forgot to mention is that the album is one of the few King Diamond releases that had Michael Denner and Timi Hansen playing.
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#25
Abigail, my favorite!
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#26
I would say Conspiracy because it is the first King Diamond album I've heard in my youth and I love it since then. Aside that one, Abigail comes second.
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#27
Yeah, I don't really like King Diamond's solo music all that much. However, if I had to choose, it would be Fatal Portrait; it's the closest you can get to the Mercyful Fate sound, and their early stuff definitely inspired my favorite kind of genre. I think if the vocals weren't so high-pitched, it'd be easier for me to believe the lie that they started off playing black metal.
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#28
Mercyful Fate, but really, King Diamond is too wimpy to call himself a Satanist. He's tame as fuck.
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#29
I don't listen to anything by this fucking LaVeyan hippy poser calling himself a Satanist
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#30
(04-01-2014, 12:52 PM)Lord Krieg Wrote: I don't listen to anything by this fucking LaVeyan hippy poser calling himself a Satanist

I thought you listened to Miley Cyrus?
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#31
Such an asinine response! I worship only true kvlt black metal war! I don't even acknowledge the existence of life-loving media whores!
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#32
Oh, so you do worship Miley Cyrus then.
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#33
Enjoy your jokes while you can, fool! When the final war comes, you life metal posers won't be laughing!
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#34
What war? The war of people sticking their tongues out and twerking?
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#35
The true black metal war to cleanse the filth of posers and minorities from this world!
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#36
Oooooh, i'm so scared of basement dwellers.ROFL
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#37
Look in a mirror, Mr. I-Make-Videos-About-Video-Games-for-a-Living.
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#38
I make videos about video games for a living? I'll be damned, I didn't know that, where's my paycheck?
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#39
Mercyful Fate: Melissa and Dont Break The Oath are alltime classics. There are just so many good songs, such as the title track Melissa - which is simply epic. Into The Coven and many more to name.

King Diamond: I really only got into 1st album or two, but they dont have the staying-power or overall strength across entire albums that Mercyful Fates offerings do.

Truly atmospherically evil sounding and ahead of their time in a sense, Mercyful Fate stands above King Diamonds solo work. Mercyful Fate sounds like true Hell. King Diamond sounds like Halloween.....
Some people have lost their way - Some people have lost their mind
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#40
I am not a fan of cheesy Satanic stuff but Yes Don't Break the Oath is really good. If not that album then I wouldnt have such a hard time, however I already voted for King Diamond because I am surprise Mercyful gets more praise in this community..... I love the conceptual horror stories of Puppet Master, Them/Conspiracy and Voodoo.
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#41
(04-23-2014, 04:21 AM)Sea of Madness Wrote: I am not a fan of cheesy Satanic stuff but Yes Don't Break the Oath is really good. If not that album then I wouldnt have such a hard time, however I already voted for King Diamond because I am surprise Mercyful gets more praise in this community..... I love the conceptual horror stories of Puppet Master, Them/Conspiracy and Voodoo.
Some of those albums are really good, but I think I'll just stick with the first five King Diamond albums. To these ears, no other release comes close to their charms. The Puppet Master is my favorite of the recent releases, but it still has some sour songs that aren't worth my time. I've seen King Diamond explaining the story, but it sounded more like he was just trying to sound scary. I would say "Them" and Conspiracy have the best stories (they're connected to each other).
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#42
Here's an interview (from around 1984) where King Diamond expresses his thoughts on religious fundamentalism, LaVeyan Satanism...and God:

Despite what his image and beliefs imply, he admits that half of the Bible can be used for the better of mankind. Discuss.
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#43
I agree with some of what he's saying, like the good sameritan, wich half the times these SO CALLED christians or jesus lovers don't even go down that road, hell, they preach the bible, yet they won't do half of the stuff that is in the bible, their even flat out hypocrites, even when it comes to all the preachers that molest, does the bible tell you to molest?, answer: NO!, they keep alot of secrets, just makes me sick, i'm not trying to make my post a bash, anyways, i get overworked on this type of subject since it always bugs me that i don't often express my veiws on this subject, so that is all i can say.
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#44
It is funny how someone like King Diamond and most adherents to beliefs outside the Big Three are more accepting of other's views than those who ascribe to the mythology of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. I have nothing but contempt for organized religion and what it has bred and breeds, this world would be a very different and much better place if these systems of control were removed from society - it is mind-boggling that in 2014 with access to so much knowledge that a majority of people still buy into and cling to the blatant lies of these religions which are nothing more than creations of man for power and control over the masses.
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"If you listen to BM, but you don’t know what phase the moon is in, or what wild flowers are blooming then you have failed. It is shocking to me that one could be seriously interested in Black Metal and not be deeply committed to radical ecology."
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#45
(04-30-2014, 09:27 PM)Speedball Wrote: It is funny how someone like King Diamond and most adherents to beliefs outside the Big Three are more accepting of other's views than those who ascribe to the mythology of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. I have nothing but contempt for organized religion and what it has bred and breeds, this world would be a very different and much better place if these systems of control were removed from society - it is mind-boggling that in 2014 with access to so much knowledge that a majority of people still buy into and cling to the blatant lies of these religions which are nothing more than creations of man for power and control over the masses.
As far as I can recall, a lot of Anton LaVey's teachings had more to do with the hypocrisies committed by the devoutly religious.

Speaking of which, doesn't it strike you as ironic that theistic Satanists are basically worshiping a figure that their so-called "enemy" created?
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#46
(05-02-2014, 04:32 AM)Painkiller Wrote: As far as I can recall, a lot of Anton LaVey's teachings had more to do with the hypocrisies committed by the devoutly religious.

Speaking of which, doesn't it strike you as ironic that theistic Satanists are basically worshiping a figure that their so-called "enemy" created?

That's the thing, Christianity teaches/forces it's adherents to abstain from and repress natural, inborn urges and desires while dangling the threat of an eternity in "Hell" for simply indulging in things natural to man, all the while those in power and control indulge and engage in everything they preach against- and then some. A funny story, when missionaries tried to warn the Eskimos of Hell and an eternity in fire, they asked "How do we get THERE?!!!" LaVey himself was nothing but a huckster and fraud, all of his stories and claims like dating Marilyn Monroe or being the youngest player ever in the SF symphony were all b.s., the CoS is pretty much a joke, charging $200 and you can become a red-card carrying member!

The theistic satanists... now those people trip me out, most I've come into contact with were pretty out there. There was a group in San Antonio a few years back called the Cathedral of the Black Goat, I can't remember their leader's name, but he was brought-up and sentenced for some sexual assault against a minor if I remember correctly.
"I saw Kirk Hammet pick up Tiny Tim's ukulele and play some Metallica solos...sounded JUST like the record..."

"If you listen to BM, but you don’t know what phase the moon is in, or what wild flowers are blooming then you have failed. It is shocking to me that one could be seriously interested in Black Metal and not be deeply committed to radical ecology."
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#47
(05-02-2014, 08:24 AM)Speedball Wrote: LaVey himself was nothing but a huckster and fraud, all of his stories and claims like dating Marilyn Monroe or being the youngest player ever in the SF symphony were all b.s., the CoS is pretty much a joke, charging $200 and you can become a red-card carrying member!
I've heard lots of harsh things about Anton LaVey, and some of your examples are the ones that I'm familiar with. Even Ozzy Osbourne wrote a song to mock him.

All cults are the same. Some of them just happened to become so mainstream.
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#48
Never was aware there was this side of him, thats cool! Thank you for posting this Painkiller!


King Diamond
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#49
In 1987 King Diamond was playing San Francisco (LaVey's infamous "Black House" was there) on the Abigail tour and a coven of witches from the CoS was in attendance and approached KD after the show, inviting him to come meet Anton - which he did. The concert is on youtube, if I get on my laptop later I will post it and some words from KD on that first meeting with LaVey. KD believes - and rightfully so - that the King Diamond work is much more "Satanic" than MF, although more subtle and focusing on Satanic philosophy - except for his current shows where the stage's are filled with Satanic imagery.
"I saw Kirk Hammet pick up Tiny Tim's ukulele and play some Metallica solos...sounded JUST like the record..."

"If you listen to BM, but you don’t know what phase the moon is in, or what wild flowers are blooming then you have failed. It is shocking to me that one could be seriously interested in Black Metal and not be deeply committed to radical ecology."
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#50
I just gave Fatal Portrait another thorough listen, and I think I'd easily put it over The Eye. The former has that old Mercyful Fate charm to songs such as "Halloween", "The Jonah", "Lurking in the Dark", and "Charon". The latter, of course, is also great, but I think it now has less highlight tracks than I had imagined it to have in the first place.
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