Mercyful Fate is a heavy metal band from Copenhagen, Denmark. The band was formed by vocalist King Diamond and guitarist Hank Shermann in 1981. The original MF line-up shared members with another Copenhagen band, Danger Zone, whom Diamond and Shermann were helping out. By 1982, the "classic" Mercyful Fate line up of Diamond, Shermann, guitarist Michael Denner (ex-Brats and Danger Zone), bassist Timi "Grabber" Hansen (Danger Zone), and drummer Kim Ruzz was in place. Over the next couple years, the band would release an EP and 2 LPs that would cement their reputation as one the most influential metal bands of the early 1980s. King Diamond's blasphemous lyrics and theatrical stage presence would have many label the band as part of the 1st wave of black metal, although musically the band was closer to the style of Judas Priest or Iron Maiden. The group split in 1985, as Shermann decided he wanted to pursue a more commercial direction. King Diamond launched a solo career, taking Denner and Hansen with him, while Kim Ruzz disappeared into the regular world. The band's legend continued to grow after their split. In 1993, the classic line up, minus Kim Ruzz, reformed for a new album, "In The Shadows". Hansen dropped out after that release but the group continued on throughout the 1990s. At the same time, King Diamond kept his own solo career going. Michael Denner left the band after 1996's "Into The Unknown" and Diamond and Sherman continued on with new players. 1999's "9" is, to date, the band's last full-length release. King Diamond has stated that MF has not split up but the band is on hold for the foreseeable future. In 2009, Diamond, Shermann, Denner, Hansen, and drummer Bjarne Holm (who has played with the group since 1994) reunited to re-record the songs "Evil" and "Curse Of The Pharoah" for the "Guitar Hero: Metallica" video game. In 2019, the group announced they would be playing a series of live dates. The line up would include Diamond, Sherman, Wead, Holm, and bassist Joey Vera (filling in for Timi Hansen, who was battling cancer). Lineup: King Diamond - vocals Hank Shermann - guitar Bjarne T. Holm - drums (1996 - present) Mike Wead - guitar (1998 - present) Timi Hansen - bass (1982 - 1985, 1993 - 1994, 2009 - Present) Michael Denner - guitar (1982 - 1985, 1993 - 1996, 2009) Kim Ruzz - drums (1982 - 1985) Snowy Shaw - drums (1993 - 1994) Sharlee D'Angelo - bass (1994 - 1999) Joey Vera - bass (live 2019)
Mercyful Fate is a Danish heavy metal band from Copenhagen, formed in 1981 by vocalist King Diamond and guitarist Hank Shermann. Influenced by progressive rock and hard rock, with lyrics dealing with Satan and the occult, Mercyful Fate were part of the first wave of black metal in the early to mid-1980s. Many of the bands from this movement went on to influence later black metal musicians in the 1990s, particularly in Norway. Since the band's inception in 1981, Mercyful Fate have released seven studio albums, two extended plays and four compilations. After several line-up changes and self-made demos, Mercyful Fate released their self-titled EP in 1982, with the line-up of King Diamond (vocals), Hank Shermann (guitar), Michael Denner (guitar), Timi Hansen (bass) and Kim Ruzz (drums). With this line-up the group recorded their first two studio albums (1983's Melissa and 1984's Don't Break the Oath), until 1985 when the band broke-up due to musical differences. In 1993, four out of the five members of Mercyful Fate reunited to record the album In the Shadows, which was released the same year. During the 1990s, the band released four more studio albums and went through several line-up changes. Since 1999, Mercyful Fate have been on hiatus, but have reunited on occasion during the 2000s.