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On disc: Mercyful Fate

- 9 - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars


(Metal Blade - 1999)

Opening the album with Last Rites which starts straight and won't disappoint the fans of Mercyful Fate. For me Melissa is still the best album of Mercyful Fate, but I guess it's because it was my first experience with the music of 'King Diamond'. But the releases which they did since the mid-90's weren't disappointing. Now they are back with 9. The album offers 10 tracks which are typical Mercyful Fate. Church Of Saint Anne is a mid-tempo one with great twin guitar riffing and the outstanding vocals of 'King Diamond'. Switching between high-pitched vocals and scream and his dark, hypnotizing voice. Breaks and the changes between the 2 'personalities' of the 'King' make Mercyful Fate special. Powerful metal which was unusual in the early days and still is outstanding. Again fans will love or hate 'King Diamond' and his Mercyful Fate. They are polarizing the masses. On Sold My Soul is reminding me a lot of the early releases, but in a modern style. For me the best track on 9. Another great one is Burn In Hell which is an up-tempo one with fast guitar riffing and screaming solos. Starting slowly Kiss Of Demon probably make you expect a balladesque tune, but then they explode. After a real heavy part, a break leads into another slow part which is carried by King Diamond's voice. Again screaming guitars and pounding bass and drums join in and the high-pitched vocals take over. Mercyful Fate do what they can do best and stick to their guns.
The master of theatrical power metal is still alive and kicking. Never been music for the masses and never will be, but he has his following and I hope that with this album they will make new fans. In the beginning their music was extreme, these days the master of horror can't shock fans any longer. Black metal bands are more extreme, but they have to proof that they will last. Anyway, well done!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


           2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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