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 King Diamond!!!! \m/

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Phoenix Reign Drummer
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PostSubject: King Diamond!!!! m/   Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:13 pm

Danish singer King Diamond (MERCYFUL FATE, KING DIAMOND) has issued the following update:

"So the black cat is out of the bag.

August 2008, just before the Ozzfest, Lars Ulrich called me with a very unique suggestion. He was inviting MERCYFUL FATE to be a part of METALLICA's and Activision's Guitar Hero: Metallica videogame. Of course I was immediately interested, it would be such an honor to be part of such a project. Lars requested that we find the original masters for either 'Evil' or 'Curse of the Pharaohs' and gave me a contact person, Scott McDaniel at Activision, to whom we should send these master tapes. I called Hank [Shermann, MERCYFUL FATE guitarist] right away and gave him the interesting news and asked him if he had any idea if the master tapes for the 'Melissa' album might still be at the old studio in Copenhagen or whether that studio might have sent the masters to Roadrunner in Holland way back when. I called Roadrunner New York to ask them if they knew where the masters might be. The big search went so far that Hank went to the old owner of the Danish studio to look through his private cellar since the studio (Easy Sound Recording) had been shut down more than 10 years ago. All searches came back negative.

"Couldn't believe our bad luck. I had to call Scott at Activision with the bad news but when I suggested that we might be able to get most of the original band members to re-record a brand new version of the songs, his response was extremely positive. The only problem was that Activision needed these masters within three weeks, so you can say all hell broke loose.

"Then I went back to Hank with this suggestion and we started trying to figure out how to do this in such short time. Hank said he would give Michael Denner [guitar] and Timi Hansen [bass] a call to see what they would say.

"Since none of us had heard Kim Ruzz play drums since 1985, and running out of time before we had even started, it became too risky to entertain this unknown scenario. We simply had to play it safe. Too much was at risk here. Therefore it was natural to ask Bjarne T. Holm who has actually been the drummer on most of the MERCYFUL FATE albums, including the latest, '9'. Bjarne has kept himself in top form by participating in all kinds of different projects, so we knew he could do it no problem whatsoever. Same scenario goes for Michael Denner, and he got back to me and Hank within a day with a big YES. Regarding Timi Hansen, he supposedly has not played any significant bass for the past 15 years, and has not owned a bass for the past 10 years. BUT, like Michael Denner, he's an absolute natural and when he came back to us with a big YES as well, we knew we had a shot at it.

"Hank made all the arrangements and booked some time for the following week in Earplug Studios in Copenhagen where all the musical tracks would be laid down. Then hardcore rehearsal started, Hank and Bjarne worked on all rhythm at the rehearsal studio, Michael Denner worked at home picking out every single note from his old solos. Timi could only listen at home since he was not in possession of a bass guitar.

"This was the time when I had the second call from Lars inviting me to join METALLICA on stage at Ozzfest for the entire 'Mercyful Fate Medley'. We also invited Hank but he could not attend due to the fact that he would have to be in the studio recording.

"Recording started with rhythm guitars and drums and then it was Timi's turn. Hank told me that Timi had arrived at the studio without a bass and Hank pointed out that the studio had an old Gibson he could try out. Timi grabbed the bass and playing with his special finger-plucking technique, both songs were laid down to tape and perfectly so, only 5 hours later. Like I said, he's an absolute natural. Hadn't lost a beat.

"Next, Hank started working on his solos laying them down note for note like the originals, with very few exceptions. These exceptions were made to enhance the old solos. It sounds so fucking aggressive. Perfect job.

"In comes Michael Denner to recreate all of his original solos. They are all note for note, bend for bend, absolutely identical feel, but with a better sound than back then. Just amazing.

"With all the music in place, and in my mind sounding better and way more brutal than the old recordings, it was my turn. I went in to Nomad Recording Studio here in Dallas, Texas, approximately one week after the Ozzfest and worked with my favorite engineer J.T. Longoria, recreating all of the old vocals.

"It was such a thrill to be back in the studio again. My back didn't allow me to do my preferred six-hour sessions, so we just cut the sessions in half, spending about 3-4 hours every recording day. It was very interesting picking out the various harmony melodies that had been done 25 years earlier and then try to recreate them in the right way.

"Next, J.T. Longoria and I mixed the two songs at Nomad in this quite unique way, which is necessary for a videogame. Meaning, these special stem-mixes where each instrument, drum, cymbal, whatever, each has its own stereo track. Also, we were not allowed to master these songs ourselves. It had to be done by Activision in order to fit all their criteria.

"We got the two songs off to Activision a day before the deadline, and they loved it. They decided to use 'Evil' over 'Curse of the Pharaohs', but I can guarantee you that 'Curse' turned out just as brutal as 'Evil'. 'Evil' was, in the end, a better song for the playability of the game.

"In the meantime, I had been notified by Lars that METALLICA had been given the opportunity to have two animated playable character guests in the game. As it has now been revealed publicly, these two guests are Lemmy and myself. I was asked to fly to California in order to be filmed with these special motion capture suits on, the same way that METALLICA was doing it. Here came the next challenge. My back would not have been able to handle a plane ride at that time, so what now? Scott McDaniel at Activision assured me that this would really not be a problem since their developers have handled these kind of issues before.

"Since the developers were in possession of our latest KING DIAMOND video 'Give Me Your Soul' and had the footage from the Ozzfest, plus a bunch of still photos I sent them, they said they had what they needed to create my animated character. It was amazing to see each stage of the development of this animated King Diamond. Along the road they asked for closeup photos of the rings, the eye necklace, and certain other items I wear on stage, so we got that to them and believe me, ALL THE DETAILS ARE THERE. I've even had the opportunity to see the animated King Diamond actually move with the music, and it's fucking eerie how detailed the developers were able to create me, crossbone mike and all.

"I noticed on various websites that there has been a few questions about the makeup. For a game, this big in stature, you end up having to compromise a little here and there. Upside down crosses on the face was not quite acceptable. Actually, any kind of cross painted on the face might have had a sense of 'blasphemy' to some of all the business partners involved in this big venture. The same goes for the upside down cross necklace.

"I do think though that under the circumstances the compromise we ended up doing works great for everyone. It's definitely King Diamond and I actually modified the makeup myself once I was told. I simply erased the crosses and modified the eye makeup to more resemble the old-style MERCYFUL FATE makeup. BUT rest assured the makeup with the crosses is THE makeup for KING DIAMOND nowadays and that goes for MERCYFUL FATE too. These days I see KING DIAMOND with the cross makeup as being the singer of KING DIAMOND and MERCYFUL FATE and should not have to change this favorite makeup of mine for future MERCYFUL FATE purposes.

"Regarding the upside down cross necklace, I think we found a perfect replacement when we exchanged it for 'The Eye' necklace. I would personally have preferred the cross makeup, but I am totally satisfied with what we all came up with.

"All in all, this has been an amazing experience to work with so many talented people, every single one of them just so pro and cool. For my part, I mostly dealt with Scott McDaniel and it's been a pure pleasure.

"Sooooooooo. Hank Shermann, Michael Denner, Timi Hansen, King Diamond and Bjarne T. Holm re-recorded 'Evil' for the Guitar Hero: Metallica videogame, August 2008. This lineup also recorded 'Curse of the Pharaohs' in that same session. We will make both of these songs available to all of you on iTunes. First though, we have to master them. We will start that process shortly. I can't give you an exact date for when they will be available at this point, but it should definitely be before the summer. I can't emphasize enough how fucking amazing they both turned out, but as I said, you will get the chance to judge for yourself in the near future.

"So this was the full story behind what I've described as big news for quite a while, I hope you find these news as encouraging as we, MERCYFUL FATE, do ourselves.

"I'll check around on the Internet and see if I can clarify any questions you might have.

"Major thanks and hail to METALLICA and Activision for letting us be a part of this totally new adventure for us."


I cant wait to hear these songs!
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PostSubject: Re: King Diamond!!!! \m/   Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:57 pm

This is too much to read for me. Someone got the Cliff Notes version?

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PostSubject: Re: King Diamond!!!! \m/   Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:36 pm

MetalGuy71 wrote:
This is too much to read for me. Someone got the Cliff Notes version?

Blah blah, Metallica Guitar Hero, King Diamond, way cool, blah blah.

I didn't read the whole thing either but that's the gist of it I think.

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PostSubject: Re: King Diamond!!!! \m/   Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:50 pm

lol you guys are lazy. He just went into detail of how they asked King to be on it and that they got 4 out of 5 of the original line up to re record 2 songs for guitar hero. It was just an interesting read.
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PostSubject: Re: King Diamond!!!! \m/   Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:25 am

Phoenix Reign Drummer wrote:
lol you guys are lazy.

Just messin' with ya PRD. Laughing I actually got the scoop on this from Blabbermouth a little while before you posted it here.

I would've been more excited to read that King had gotten the MF guys back together to finally WORK ON NEW MATERIAL rather than just re-recording a couple of tracks for a video game, tho, but whatever, I guess. Assuming that Guitar Hero Metallica sells bazillions of copies (which I'm sure it will), who knows, maybe Fate's appearance on it will kickstart some interest in MF and we may get a new album somewhere down the line.

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PostSubject: Re: King Diamond!!!! \m/   Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:48 am

I thought it was funny how they got Timi Hansen to play bass but he hasnt played or even owned a bass in 15 years, then they wouldnt even give Kim Ruzz a call since he hasnt played in 25 years. haha really if you think about it, whats the difference? I think once you play an instrument it pretty much stays with you especially if you played it for a long period of time, and come on he played the drums how hard are they to play? lol
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PostSubject: Re: King Diamond!!!! \m/   Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:38 am

Fat Freddy wrote:
MetalGuy71 wrote:
This is too much to read for me. Someone got the Cliff Notes version?

Blah blah, Metallica Guitar Hero, King Diamond, way cool, blah blah.

I didn't read the whole thing either but that's the gist of it I think.

That's pretty cool. I'm not a gamer, so this means nothing to me, but musically, it's pretty big news. My brother has the Aerosmith version of Rock Band or whatever the hell it's called. I tried to play it, but got bored after about 20 minutes. I tapped out on the video game thing after my Atari 5200 went out of style. They've certainly come a long way though.

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PostSubject: Re: King Diamond!!!! \m/   Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:10 pm

lol how can you give up on video games? If you ever get the chance to play Call Of Duty 4 on Xbox 360 im sure you'll be hooked again. I sort of slacked on video games for a couple of years but when I got that game it put me back into wanting to actually play this stuff again.

As far as this game goes, I got Rock Band. I had it for a couple of weeks and it was fun. My gf would sing, I would play drums, my friend would play guitar but after a while my gf wouldnt be able to get past the singing on certain songs and if we moved up to a harder level my friend wouldnt be able to do the guitar, even the drums were harder to play so it got boring real fast. I havent played it since last year , but this metallica one should be cool especially with these extra little things. The only thing is though how many time do you really wanna play these songs? Id probably get bored of this one too after a week.
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PostSubject: Re: King Diamond!!!! \m/   Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:22 am

The most current game system I own is a Sega Genesis. I'm not really interested in "new" video games. I ain't got time to sit in front of an XBox learning 347,000 different moves and stuff. Gimme my Ms. Pac-Man and Frogger cartridges and I'm a happy dude.

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PostSubject: Re: King Diamond!!!! \m/   Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:20 pm

Im tellin ya play Call Of Duty 4. You dont have to learn moves or nothing. Just point and shoot. Killing people can be fun in a controlled environment lol
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PostSubject: Re: King Diamond!!!! \m/   Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:39 pm

Fat Freddy wrote:
Phoenix Reign Drummer wrote:
lol you guys are lazy.

Just messin' with ya PRD. Laughing I actually got the scoop on this from Blabbermouth a little while before you posted it here.

I would've been more excited to read that King had gotten the MF guys back together to finally WORK ON NEW MATERIAL rather than just re-recording a couple of tracks for a video game, tho, but whatever, I guess. Assuming that Guitar Hero Metallica sells bazillions of copies (which I'm sure it will), who knows, maybe Fate's appearance on it will kickstart some interest in MF and we may get a new album somewhere down the line.

Pretty cool stuff Wayne! Hadn't heard til now. I agree with Freddy though, I hope we get a new MF album somewhere down the line, and who knows maybe Kim Ruzz will be all practiced up by then.

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PostSubject: Re: King Diamond!!!! \m/   Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:46 pm

Well were going to get some MF DVD release sometime soon so that will be really cool. I got those reissue cds of Melissa and Abigil with the bonus dvd and the little that was on there was pretty cool to see for the first time. A new album would be interesting. 9 was good but it wasnt great. I dont think Mike Wead fits with Hank Sherman. Denner and Sherman worked like magic together but as soon as Denner left you could tell that the chemistry was gone. I woud only want to hear a new MF cd if those 2 are back together. Not that I wouldnt buy it if they werent back but I would prefer they were. Wead is doing good in King Diamond though so he can stay there. We'll have to wait and see. King always says they will eventually do another album.
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PostSubject: Re: King Diamond!!!! \m/   Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:08 pm

I'm really looking forward to the MF and KD DVDs. I may physically shit myself when they come out.

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PostSubject: Re: King Diamond!!!! \m/   Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:22 pm

Im going to be so fucking excited that day im gonna puke, shit and pee all at the same time during the purchase.
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PostSubject: Re: King Diamond!!!! \m/   Sat Mar 07, 2009 3:52 pm

Mercyful Fate's "9" was OK, it was better than the album before it (DEAD AGAIN) anyway. But I agree with ya PRD, once the Shermann/Denner guitar team was split up, it didn't really sound like MF anymore. Those guys were a great team, their combined sound gave MF its own distinct flava

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PostSubject: Re: King Diamond!!!! \m/   Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:19 am

Flava is what those pimps in MF is all 'bout brotha. If those 2 mofos Denner/Sherman get back in MF id busta nut! Can I get a WHAT WHAT!?
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PostSubject: Re: King Diamond!!!! \m/   Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:34 pm

Phoenix Reign Drummer wrote:
Flava is what those pimps in MF is all 'bout brotha. If those 2 mofos Denner/Sherman get back in MF id busta nut! Can I get a WHAT WHAT!?

Wooooorrrd up G-Money! If them Denner and Sherman muthafukkaz gotz theys shiz back togetha wit' da K.D., dat shiz be PHAT az HELL. Word is bond.

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PostSubject: Re: King Diamond!!!! \m/   Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:11 pm

Marc Mason is that you??? lol!
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PostSubject: Re: King Diamond!!!! \m/   Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:32 pm

Phoenix Reign Drummer wrote:
Flava is what those pimps in MF is all 'bout brotha. If those 2 mofos Denner/Sherman get back in MF id busta nut! Can I get a WHAT WHAT!?
STFU

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