Friends, when I die, at an absolute minimum, please pack among my provisions for the journey, the following tracks from this album: Egypt, Shadows.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
Am I dreaming?Mercyful Fate back together?This reunion effort doesn’t just feature one or two original members,try four.Guitarists Hank Sherman and Michael Denner are here as so is bassist Timi Hansen and on drums is new recruit Snowy Shaw.Performing all the vocals on this CD is none other than that diabolical crooner from the 27th level of hell,a favorite of yours and mine King Diamond(still have eerie flashbacks about the time I saw his solo tour umteen years ago).’In The Shadows’ isn’t half bad,but nonetheless it is HEAVY!!It’s almost as intense as the band’s 1984’s ‘Don’t Break The Oath’ lp.I see the video for the track “Egypt” once in a while on Headbanger’s Ball.Other decent rockers are “Shadows”,”Thirteen Invitations”, and the ass-kicking “Legend Of The Headless Rider”.If you’re a fan of the Fate,you shouldn’t pass this title up.I’ll give it a 3 1/2 star rating.
For those who are opposed to the idea of fate, let me offer the story of my first encounter with Mercyful Fate. I was in eighth grade at the time, and being a newbie to the metal genre, I was mainly listening to acts like Metallica and Ozzy Osbourne. Browsing the discount tape rack at The Wall (yes, this was a long time ago), I came across “In the Shadows” by Mercyful Fate. I hadn’t heard of this band before, let alone their monumental impact on the heavy metal world, but the album cover looked enticing and the $2 price tag assured me that I wouldn’t be too disappointed if the album did happen to be a flop. Upon entering my room and removing the tape from its case, I was greeted by a photo of a menacing madman in black and white corpse paint, an upside down cross adorning his forehead.
It was music unlike anything I had ever heard before, and was the only album I listed to for weeks. To this day, I still consider “In the Shadows” to be my first encounter with true heavy metal. A meager $2 gamble that forever changed my musical experience.
Though not quite up to par with Mercyful Fate’s heavier material from the early 80’s, “In the Shadows” is a fantastic album with only a minor amount of patchy points, and to me, the best thing King Diamond did in the 90’s (be it Fate, or solo material). King’s voice on the album is at a perfect equilibrium. There’s still alot of the trademark falsettos on the album (as opposed to his more recent vocal outings), yet it’s not overbearing as it sounds on albums such as “Abigail” or “Them”, making it a great introductory album for those whose ears are still virgins to King’s unorthodox singing style. Highly recommended.
As a funny denouement to my story, when I first opened up the cassette case for “In the Shadows”, I noticed that Lars Ulrich played drums on the track “Return of the Vampire…1993″. Being naive and unaware, I thought `wow, this no name band should probably be thankful that Lars is on this album’. Hahaha, oh how stupid I was. But seriously, this is one Hell of a comeback from one of metal’s most pivotal acts. Buy.
The title of my review sums it up quite adequately. Let me please explain.I’d like to begin by saying that I am not a big KD or MF fan, but this album is nothing short of pure metal genius.The song writing is incredibly original, and the guitar lines are some of the best MELODIC, yet dark, grinding passages I have ever heard. This is another one of the more rare albums in which every single song is equally excellent. The only song I didn’t like as much was ‘Return of the Vampire’. However, songs like ‘The Old Oak Tree’…”blood to the ground, blood to the roots…ahhhhhh” and 13 Invitations (sent out through the night promising eternal life), and the Bell Witch with it’s haunting “I am a million years, I am the BELL WITCH!” lyrics are bone chilling.As the title proclaims ‘Favorite Halloween Album’, this recording gets played every Halloween in my household, and its blasted out the front of my house to greet the little goblins in search of candy and treats. It always puts me in proper spirit for that divine Pagan holiday with its dark story telling and wonderfully intoxicating music.Metal guitar players and listeners will undoubtedly appreciate the guitar work, as it’s first class and positively professional in every sense of the word. KD vocal freaks will agree; its KD all the way!By far one of my all time metal favorites in my collection.PR
I stayed away from MF in the 80’s because of a review in Hit Parader magazine that referred to them as “satanic drivel”. Big mistake! This is the first album I ever owned by MF and it contains some great songs like Egypt, Shadows, A Gruesome Time, and 13 Invitations. There is really not a bad song on the album. I dig how most of the songs do not follow the typical rock/pop song structure. The guitar harmonies are also very unique at times. I regard MF as progressive metal with all of their tempo changes and key modulations. Complex and intelligent songwriting indeed. A very talented and underrated band!