Mercyful Fate -Don't break the oath, 1984
This was the second full length lp from this band. It was also be the last album of their first run. This brings back memories of getting home from high school, crashing on my bed and listening to this album from start to finish. King Diamond has always vocals that you either love or hate. Personally I love his vocals, particularly on this album. He became a little more scattered when he went solo. Normally whenever this band is mentioned, so much is made of the vocals and/or the lyrics. I think the music and the rest of the get or at least used to get left out at times and not get the credit they deserved. To me this is a metal album that carries a heavy load and carries it well. From the opener "A dangerous meeting" you know it's solid metal with a heavy barrage of guitars, thumping bass and steady drums.Yet we get King's crazy vocals and maybe more importantly is they way they approach their song structures. There are parts that are typical, but just when you think you have them pegged they mix it up in a major way. The music flies off into another direction, the vocals change abruptly or the music halts or just completely takes another turn. This actually happens all through the album and what's more amazing is it works every single time. It's just crazy how much music is really on this album when you think about the number of pace changes. To me this is one the most engaging real metal albums of it's decade. I think sometimes people have forgotten how many different sounds this band had and just how many different metal sub-genres they really influenced. The band also sounds like they are 100% charged all the time here and the energy level rarely falters. It would be amazing to have them live at this point in their career because they were certainly at the top of their game. Highly recommended listening for sure.