The man and the falsetto - King Diamond is celebrating a birthday today and we have some interesting facts to tell you about one of the influential musicians in the Black Metal and Gothic Metal genres.
1. He was born in Copenhagen, Denmark on June 14, 1956, as Kim Bendix Petersen.
4. In 1974 he formed his first band "Brainstorm" which played music in the style of hard rock and metal.
5. Diamond later became a member of the band "Black Rose" where he began to develop the quasi-satanic character and the dark theatrical persona.
6. From there Diamond moved to the punk-metal band "Brats" where he met guitarist Hank Shermann. The band has released two albums.
7. The two later met the guitarist Michael Denner who invited them to his band - "Danger Zone", which also included bassist Timi Hansen. This quartet was the roots of the band "Mercyful Fate" which was formed in 1981.
8. Although Diamond is known for his tremendous vocal range, he also plays keyboards and guitar during recordings, when on stage he prefers to concentrate solely on singing.
9. "Merciful Faith" belonged to the first wave of bands that defined the Black Metal style as "Venom" and "Bathory".
10. From its earliest days, the band influenced bands like "Metallica" and "Slayer". The members of the band "Metallica" were fans of the band and spent quite a bit of time with them during the recording of the album "Ride The Lightning".
11. In 1982 the band released an EP called "Mercyful Fate". Diamond co-wrote the four songs on the EP.
12. In 1983 the band released their debut album "Melissa". Already on this album, the idea of concept albums that would include horror stories began to form in Diamond's feverish mind, when Melissa's character was a witch who was burned alive, as it appears on the band's first EP cover.
13. In 2017, "Rolling Stone" magazine ranked the album 17th on the list of the 100 greatest metal albums of all time.
14. In 1984 the band released their excellent album "Don't Break the Oath". It is one of the most influential and well-known albums in the black metal scene, combining heavy metal roots with progressive motifs and dark writing themes.
15. This album gave the band great success and in fact, was a breakthrough album in the US where the band performed for two months.
16. During the US tour, the band members began to discuss the band's future. Guitarist Hank Shermann wanted to pull the band in a more commercial direction, while King Diamond wanted to continue on the same line and even push it towards more complex music.
17. The result was that in April 1985 the band disbanded at the height of its success and left the metal world in awe.
18. After the breakup, King Diamond takes guitarist Michael Denner and bassist Timi Hansen with him. He adds two new musicians to the lineup, drummer Mikkey Dee (who will later join "Motörhead") and guitarist Andy LaRocque.
19. He forms the band named after his stage name - "King Diamond" and immediately starts working on materials for the new album, while in the meantime the band releases on Christmas 1985 the single "No Presents for Christmas".
20. In 1986 the band releases their first album - "Fatal Portrait". Diamond wrote all the songs on the album exclusively, except for three tracks written in collaboration with guitarist Michael Denner. It was a "creepy" concept story, which dominates more than half of the album's tracks.
21. "Fatal Portrait" was a great opening shot for a glorious solo career of "King Diamond". The album's dark and creepy style will evolve into full concept albums that have all the elements that will be upgraded and perfected in future albums like "Abigail" and "Them".
22. As part of the "King Diamond" band, Diamond released 12 studio albums, 2 mini-albums, and three live albums, with the album "The Institute" expected to be released in 2021.
23. In 1993 Diamond reunited with his friends Hank Shermann, Michael Denner, and Timi Hansen, and the band "Mercyful Fate" released the album "In The Shadows" which included a guest appearance by Lars Ulrich.
24. Later, the band will release 4 more studio albums, the last "9" from 1999.
25. In 2019 it was announced that the band is reuniting for a tour and guitarist Hank Shermann even noted that the band has recorded 7 new songs. On June 2, 2022, "Mercyful Fate" performed their first live show since 1999.