In celebration of their 30th anniversary (man, I remember buying Kill ‘Em All on vinyl!), Metallica recently played four intimate gigs at the Fillmore Theater in San Francisco exclusively for members of their fan club. The four shows featured many guests stars (members of Anthrax, Black Sabbath and Alice In Chains, Dave Mustaine, Lou Reed, Marianne Faithful, Rob Halford and many more) including the glorious Danish group Mercyful Fate, who are among the godfathers of black metal. Four of the five original members — frontman King Diamond, guitarists Michael Denner and Hank Shermann and bassist Timi Hansen — played onstage with Metallica (possibly for the first time ever), and it sounded great.
The following footage was taken on Dec. 7th, the second night of the concert series, and features a medley of vintage Fate tunes from the early to mid-’80s. One can only hope that the classic line-up reunites because they are sorely missed. Their first two albums, Melissa and Don’t Break The Oath, along with their inaugural EP, are dark masterpieces with Gothic and progressive elements interwoven into epic, sophisticated songs. King Diamond’s shrieking falsetto was a distraction once in awhile, but the music possessed fire and passion. These brooding headbangers were friends with Metallica back in the day, and although the Bay Area thrashers went on to become mainstream while their Danish buddies stayed cult figures, they have never forgotten them nor their influence on them. Frontman King Diamond has even appeared on stage with Metallica since.
Mercyful Fate have made some fine music since the Eighties (breaking up, then reuniting, then going on hiatus), and as it’s been over 12 years since the last studio album, and 16 with the original line-up intact, I’d say it’s about time!