Mercyful Fate / The Beginning [Vinyl Pressing]

BeginningMercyful Fate are a Danish heavy metal band from Copenhagen. Initially active from 1981 to 1985, they reunited in 1992. They are cited as major influences by many artists in the black metal, thrash metal, power metal, and progressive metal genres.

The Beginning is a compilation album by Mercyful Fate released in 1987 consisting of the Nuns Have No Fun EP and 5 other rare tracks.

Doomed By The Living Dead—-Mercyful Fate, with the trademark guitar sound of Andy, carries that traditional sound even further. Coupled with the unmistakable vocal of King Diamond and the progressive guitar playing, this is a standout track. I loved this band from the very first listen…mostly intrigued by the vocal and the song content, I soon became addicted to the sound of the entire band. This has a markedly different sound than the solo material from diamond. This is a stellar track and a piece of Black Metal history.

A Corpse Without A Soul—-Beginning with rapid fire guitar and a very aggressive palate, the band is in fine form on this track. Diamond is full of himself….the track has some really great overlayed vocals…those of the most high falsetto and the more somber vocal layer underneath of it all…giving the song an even more sinister feel. Put this together with the music…which goes from fast to midtempo and back at a seconds notice, the song has a deep and dark sinister sound. This is fantastic…the influence of later bands can de heard all over this track.

Nuns Have No Fun—-Perhaps one of the bet known songs from this band, this is full of a dark humor that cannot be ignored. The intro drum track is so accessible that most people were probably not prepared for what they were about to hear. even the guitars are moderate in pace and fairly accessible. The vocal enters and finds Diamond delivering line after line in a normal tone that is also pretty damn accessible. The gang vocals on the chorus are typical of the time…but if one listens closely to the lyrics and really studies the words, you can determine that this is not as you thought. This is a standout track and still one I turn to when I need a Fate fix!!!

Devil Eyes—-Returning to a more sinister sound and a more typical band sound, this song sounds perhaps even darker than before after the mainstream effort of the previous track. Diamond comes into the song with his highest pitched vocal to date and you wonder how the hell this guy can do this. What is amazing to me is that the guy can go from 0 to 60 in seconds….his range is pretty damn incredible. This is melodic, bass heavy and delivered with a trademark sound that was everywhere with Black Metal bands in the 80’s…this is the beginning of something rather big!!!

Curse Of The Pharaohs—-Also appearing on Don’t Break The Oath, this track has a remarkable Harris bassline…secretly reminding you of the more sinister side of the Metal God at the time the Maiden Machine. Diamond enters and delivers more blistering vocals…still making you wonder to everyone you meet…how can this guy do that? This is a bit flat for me…sometimes lacking energy and the necessary evil…but the musical movements are stellar.

Evil—-Combining all forces at once to create a pure and evil sound, this is very successful. Diamond sings in a tone that is very accessible at times and at other times alarmingly high. the band goes off on its musical tangents at will and delivers a nice sinister sound…the remarkable thing is that the song [s] never lose the sense of melody and the musical line that is present throughout . This is an art…this is heavy but never does not sound like a song…remarkable.

Satan’s Fall—-With a bit of a deeper sound, the band still maintains it’s trademark sound. The track travels at a pretty rapid pace…at times it seems like Diamond has a time actually keeping up with the pace that the band sets…then it magically transfers back to a deeper Sabbath sludge and Diamond begins to scream his heart out. This is incredible…a huge song, this is a really nice standout track.

Black Masses—-Still to this day, outside of Princess Of Hell, this remains my favorite Fate track….I love the progression, I love the vocal…at times incredibly annoying and at other times accessible as hell..showing the true accessibility of Diamond. This guy could have done any kind of music and made millions of dollars…instead, he stuck to what he believed in and swam under the surface of even the most remote pouplar music. this is built by a n=band that is so well practised and masterful….when Diamond really kicks things into gear you are shocked by his belief and his ability to give you what HE wants you to hear. This is fantastic…and when he delivers that Black Masses line…it is one for the books….I could never ask for more.

**** out of 5


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