Various Artists - _A Mercyful Fate Tribute_
(Listenable, 1997)
by: Paul Schwarz (8 out of 10)
Although I have never heard Mercyful Fate, this compilation provided very interesting, not to mention quite good, listening. Production on every track is excellent. It is obvious from listening to this album's 13 bands and 68 minutes of music that each band has injected a little, or a lot, of their own style into the original Mercyful Fate song. The only other thing that could be the case is that Mercyful Fate were 1) 10 years ahead of the norm, or 2) 8 bands in one. What this compilation is, is a collection of very well written songs performed by some of my favourite independant label bands (Deceased, Dark Tranquillity, Emperor, and more, all feature). What I am undecided on is whether this compilation is a good representation of Mercyful Fate and whether it is a good introduction to the band's music. Only a couple of tracks capture the classic 80s feel and attempt King Diamond's eunuch like vocals. Most of the album, although mostly quality music, does not sound like Mercyful Fate but like a new song by the band performing. Gardenian's "A Dangerous Meeting" sounds like a taster of their forthcoming album while Immolation sound like they've dug up one of their old demo tapes to give us "Satan's Fall". Gardenian's track is extremely good and Immolation's is far from shabby, but most of this CD sounds a little too, well, 90s. The pros of this are that it sees bands injecting new and different energy into old songs; the drawback is that it doesn't capture the 80s atmosphere in which the originals were written and recorded. A great value compilation of bands but probably not one for Mercyful Fate fans still stuck firmly in the 80s and rejecting the 90s.

(article published 10/3/1998)

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