Legendary metal pioneers Mercyful Fate, led by the iconic vocalist King Diamond, have announced plans to record a new album and play their first shows in over 20 years. The latest iteration of the Danish band, which includes original members Diamond and guitarist Hank Shermann, will also include drummer Bjarne T. Holm and guitarist Mike Wead, members from the band’s most recent album, 9, which was released in 1999. Longtime member Timi Hansen will not be able to participate with Armored Saints bassist Joey Vera filling in. The statement states “This will very much be Mercyful Fate as we were in the very beginning, except for a brand new major stage production.”
Sadly, the reason Hansen is unable to participate in the tour is due to his battle with cancer, reports The PRP. He didn’t go into many details, but offered the statement to explain why he would not be participating in the upcoming reboot of Mercyful Fate.
The news was delivered by the band in a statement on Facebook, reports Consequence of Sound. The band last played shows in October of 1999, the same year as their last LP. For this tour the band will be playing a set that consists only of tracks from their 1983 debut mini-LP Melissa, plus the following year’s proper full-length Don’t Break the Oath.
“We asked Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Fates Warning) to fill in because he has a very unique style and sound playing with his fingers, much like that of Timi Hansen. This is very important, since the set list will only consist of songs from the very first “mini LP”, the Melissa album, and the Don’t Break The Oath album, plus some brand new songs written specifically in that very same style.”
The band hasn’t announced any official tour dates yet, though they have stated they’ll be playing the Copenhell festival in June of 2020. That festival is located in their hometown of Copenhagen, Denmark and takes place June 17-20, 2020. However, the statement says the band will play an unspecified number of shows in Europe next summer.
Mercyful Fate was founded in the early ’80s and quickly made a major impact on the metal scene with their innovative take on speed metal, eventually becoming one of the progenitors of the black metal genre. Vocalist King Diamond, who has had a successful solo career following his run in Mercyful Fate, was particularly notable for his dynamic range. Hitting the highest falsettos and black metal screeches to the lowest growls, he was and still is a one-man wrecking ball of a metal vocalist. According to Consequence of Sound, some of the classic members did perform together at Metallica’s 30th anniversary show and re-recorded older songs for Metallica’s Guitar Hero game.
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat