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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Have No Soul...This Album Stole It!
Oh crikey it's Mercyful Fate...all evil and satanic and that! Well, Satanism in metal may be as common as a cocaine in a public school these days, but there is undoubtedly something very special and eerie about Mercyful Fate's second full length. It pioneered black metal and broke new sonic ground in metal whilst still retaining memorable songs and a atmosphere akin to...
Published on 2 Oct 2006 by Ed

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Another cheap re-issue of a classic album
Bought this at the same time as their debut album, "Melissa". The quality of this vinyl was unsatisfactory. The cover seems to have been put together in a haste and seems cheap to me. I expected much better for an LP re-issue. I am staying away from further re-issues by the record company that has re-issued these records.
The music though, is great as ever...
Published 8 months ago by gunderad


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Have No Soul...This Album Stole It!, 2 Oct 2006
This review is from: Don't Break The Oath (Reissue) (Audio CD)
Oh crikey it's Mercyful Fate...all evil and satanic and that! Well, Satanism in metal may be as common as a cocaine in a public school these days, but there is undoubtedly something very special and eerie about Mercyful Fate's second full length. It pioneered black metal and broke new sonic ground in metal whilst still retaining memorable songs and a atmosphere akin to that of a fine horror film...think something with Christopher Lee circa 1970 rather than `Dawn of the Dead'.

Heavy metal in the early 80's was generally finding ways to be more evil, faster and heavier etc. But Mercyful Fate perfected something far more elusive; atmosphere. With the likes of Venom, the satanic and occult imagery were always somewhat tongue in cheek (well if you've ever been to Newcastle you'll know its not exactly the gateway to the seven gates of hell, Sunderland however...) but with Mercyful Fate there was something far more believable. Regardless of ones own views on religion and the occult its near impossible to not be entranced by the mesmerising effect of the demonic images, King's unearthly range and the seemingly never ending flow of riffs. As a result `Don't Break the Oath' is the most malevolent metal album of all time...it's a haunting experience.

Mercyful Fate's previous two releases were without doubt very strong but `Don't Break the Oath' transcends from excellence into the realms of perfection. On every song here there's something a metal fan can revel in, in fact there's generally several. You'd be hard pressed to find a weak moment here, in fact although there are clear standouts none of this album can be considered weak. Anyway my firm favourites include the opener `A Dangerous Meeting' which features the Shermann/Denner guitar duo at their most menacing effortlessly shifting from galloping single note riffs to crushing power chords to melodic leads and some KK Downing worship on the whammy bar. King's lyrics are also worthy of praise describing the meeting of a coven or some other gathering of those who use dark forces...I feel like Dennis Wheatley! The outro is perhaps the heaviest moment on the album recalling Black Sabbath's self titled song with some eerie bell work. `The Oath' is the albums epic and catches the band at their most satanic (not that the rest of the album is Stryper by any means). Again it's a triumph of atmosphere and song craft, Mercyful Fate's song craft being "stick loads of riffs together and wail about Satan", but that's no bad thing unless you want banal "mature" metal for men with beards and a unhealthy obsession with meandering long songs...guess who I'm talking about? `The Oath' is an astounding piece of work with so very many good bits! Melodic and heavy with riffs recalling Priest and Sabbath but sounding like something fresher and ultimately more threatening.
`Gypsy' is a bizarre piece of work, catchy and poppy almost but not in a traditional sense at all as the shifting key changes and King's otherworldly sense of melody ensure that this isn't exactly `Help'. It's got somewhat of an eastern feel, to my ears at least, with the use of odd intervals and spiralling guitar solos. `Gypsy' is strangely haunting, a song nightmares are made of. `Come to the Sabbath' is another lofty peak in this marvellous album, from its sing-along refrain to more classic twisting riffs from the undisputed kings of six hundred and sixty six riffs per an album metal. Lyrically, its similar to `A Dangerous Meeting' again describing some macabre meeting with unholy forces.

So those are the highlights, but the more modest tracks here are still somewhat remarkable. `Night of the Unborn' is based on some coiling riff work, a soaring chorus and the lyrical theme of being haunted by ghosts of unborn children is well erm haunting. `Nightmare' as well is a effective track and when King starts saying `You are insane' in a taunting manner you really believe him rather than on later works where King sounded like he was forcing insanity on himself. The vocal delivery here is King at his best sounding partially like a cat being sick in places but that's a pretty terrifying sound so all is well. So even the albums humbler moments are exceptionally good making this in my mind Mercyful Fate's finest hour and the best thing King Diamond has ever been involved in.

Others have stating that this album has unparalleled musicianship for 1984, this isn't strictly true. I can't doubt Mercyful Fate's compositional complexity but they aren't the best players or musicians. For instance the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest or even say Van Halen had better guitar players looking at things from a solely technical perspective as who's "better" per se is subjective. However, the fact that Mercyful Fate aren't the most experienced musicians (although they are far from a shambles or inadequate) adds to the record; as the band try usual things that are unorthodox in the extreme which perhaps more seasoned players would be afraid to try due to being more rooted in strict musical theory etc. As such `Don't Break the Oath' features bizarre melodies the likes of which I haven't heard outside of projects King Diamond has been involved in and the guitarists back this up with unique riffs and solos.

`Don't Break the Oath' is without doubt one of the best metal albums of all time, easily in say the top ten of all time. All the planets seem to have been aligned in 1984 as everything about this release is pretty much perfect from the hellish art work to the records over all feel and atmosphere. If you want to know want black metal is all about and by black metal I don't mean Norwegian dullards blasting add nauseam I mean truly evil and satanic heavy metal. Even though you know you could laugh at King's silly make-up your still scared and frankly loving every second of it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This made King Diamond the master of dark metal., 22 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Don't Break The Oath (Reissue) (Audio CD)
Headed by front man King Diamond this must be the most ahead of it's time album ever. From Sabbaths to Desecrated souls to Princesses from hell this is the ultimate dark album ever. Many bands try to create what Mercyful Fate do but fall way short musically and lyrically. In it's day and even now this is a creepy cd and give song 5 a good listen too and you'll see what I mean. A fantastic musical masterpiece which set the standard of Kings music. This is his most dark and evil album and the best Mercyful Fate cd ever. The production is excellent as all his albums are and the sound the band create is superb. The sound, lyrics and Kings wide vocal range make this cd a cracker. So if you want to hear satanic metal at it's awesome best then this is for you. If your a King Diamond fan and do not have this then get it right away. This album does not have one bad song on it. Also credit must go to Michael Denner and Hank Shermann for there guitar sound, Considering it was a 1984 release it's great. Buy this fantastic album and you will have one of the best pieces of music ever written in it's time. Stay heavy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Break The Oath, 21 Dec 2006
By 
Calum Fairweather "ccalumf" (Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Don't Break The Oath (Reissue) (Audio CD)
Describe a top-class true heavy metal classic in 1000 words or less: Mercyful Fate and King Diamond are my most favourite bands right now. Mercyful Fate began their legacy with a self-titled EP in 1982, but it was a year later that MF stepped into the limelight with their impeccable 1983 release Melissa.

If you have read my earlier review on Melissa, you'll know just what I mean here: 1984's equally brilliant album "Don't Break The Oath" is just as good or even better, depending on the opinions of the band's followers you ask.

These improvements began with Don't Break The Oath's visibly crisper, in-your-face production, the band insisted in being present during the mixing process, as for Melissa, this wasn't the case. Classic tracks like "Nightmare," "Desecration Of Souls," "Night Of The Unborn" and "Welcome Princes of Hell" have god-like riffs and awesome falsetto from the one and only King Diamond. As for the lengthy 7 minute masterpiece "The Oath", it's a brilliant attempt to try to rewrite "Satan's Fall" off the Melissa album. The final track "Come To The Sabbath" displays King Diamond's excellent and yet creative songwriting, on "Don't Break The Oath, King turns out to be a very more confident songwriter than on the Melissa album, and often teams up with Hank Shermann to emphasis his songs. Michael Denner has some killer solos whilst Hank Shermann gives top class god-like riffs, Kim Ruzz continues his top class drumming well on this album.

It's a pity that Mercyful Fate never rose above cult status, not even in the metal community. But nearly a decade later, Mercyful Fate were resurrected and I hope, in future, that I can listen to the reformed version of the Mercyful Fate band.

Don't Break The Oath is a must have album for all KD and MF fans. Especially for those who are getting into their music. Top class musicianship and eerie falsetto from King Diamond make the album irresistibly undescratable! Buying this with any other ablum by MF or KD will make this an awesome set of presents for christmas for any metal fan!

~ Calum Fairweather (Mercyful Fate and King Diamond fan)
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5.0 out of 5 stars come to the sabbath, 22 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Don't Break The Oath (Reissue) (Audio CD)
One of the best metal albums of all time. Shermans lead playing is astounding and no voice can match king diamonds. If your a fan or not buy it. Though a lot of people don't like mercyful fate due to the classical influences. I think that's their biggest selling point.
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5.0 out of 5 stars # AAAAAAAHHHH!! #, 5 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Don't Break The Oath (Reissue) (Audio CD)
The best album you will buy for a while if you're into your 80's metal. The King at his ultimate best, personal favourite on the album is Gyspy, serious tune!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Another cheap re-issue of a classic album, 18 Jan 2014
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Bought this at the same time as their debut album, "Melissa". The quality of this vinyl was unsatisfactory. The cover seems to have been put together in a haste and seems cheap to me. I expected much better for an LP re-issue. I am staying away from further re-issues by the record company that has re-issued these records.
The music though, is great as ever. Just avoid this LP re-issue
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars -I-Come to the sabbath -I-, 21 Oct 2007
This review is from: Don't Break The Oath (Reissue) (Audio CD)
Alright it was cheesy just like most 80's metal but was'nt that the era that style forgot about? it was the golden age for metal so who gives a fu.k,this band influenced the likes of Dave Mustaine (Megadeth) to Alexi lehio (Children Of Bodom), believe it or not even slipknot have a bit of mercyful fate in them...and so..this is a awsome untrendy influential metal band/Album along with the unbelievable King Diamond that any band would take a piece out of to progress..any Hungry young up and coming metal band with a Desire to leave there mark on this sacred thing we call metal site this band as a influence..be it thrash to black to melodic black metal..like when Emperor covered *gypsy*,honestly anything Mercyful Fate done pre 90's and Kind Diamond is worth listening to..
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm....Overrated but still a good album, 4 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Don't Break The Oath (Reissue) (Audio CD)
Got this mainly for Gypsy, which is excellent, and because the album has a classic status, but to be honest I much prefer Melissa...this has worse production, a couple of tracks are a bit rubbish to be honest, and apart from gypsy the tracks just aren't as brilliant as those on Melissa...The band deserves its reputation, but not sure if I believe this album does, despite it's cool cover art
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Don't Break The Oath (Reissue)
Don't Break The Oath (Reissue) by Mercyful Fate (Audio CD - 1997)
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