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Review & Photos: Mercyful Fate, Kreator, Midnight


NOVEMBER 4, 2022


By Neil Shumate, OOTB Publications

After twenty-three years of stillness across North America, Denmark’s black metal influencers Mercyful Fate have resurrected and returned to the states to deliver heavy metal music services to assemblies of old school metal lovers. Cincinnati was part of the traveling revival Friday night.


Vocalist King Diamond—with his trademark corpse paint and cross-bone microphone—preached to the congregation through song. “I have a feeling this meeting is going to get dangerous,” exclaimed King before ripping into “A Dangerous Meeting” from 1984’s Don’t Break The Oath.


The king proved that even after four decades he can still shriek and wail with an impressive high octave range, as heard on their new song “The Jackal Of Salzburg.” 


The OG band’s production was arena worthy—and the 16-month-old venue’s live sound was phenomenal. The stage was designed as if part of a gothic castle—background arches (with the number of the beast), electric lights flickering, and marble looking steps leading to a platform backed by an inverted cross and pentagram logo. Smoke bursts fulfilled an absence of pyro.


The extensive visual production didn’t distract from the auditory talent; throughout the set, the band performed with precision and contagious energy. Flawless piercing guitars by Mike Wead and Hank Shermann (while King air guitared), spot on bass thuds of high energy Becky Baldwin and the powerful lean in drumming of Bjarne T. Holm.


German extreme thrash metalers Kreator opened with a set of many heavy classics (including: “Flag Of Hate,” “Satan Is Real,” “Pleasure To Kill”) and a couple newer songs from their latest release Hate Uber Allies. The shock-rock stage props added to the hard hitting performance. Vocalist Mille Petrozza expressed the band’s gratitude for having so many years of open arms while touring the states. 


Cleveland’s black hooded three piece Midnight walloped with an early set of heavy hitting metal tracks with the aggressive hardcore speed of punk. The band released their latest album Let There Be Witchery earlier this year.

See tour dates here.