Don’t Break the Oath turns 31 today


Mercyful Fate Don’t Break the Oath was released on September 7, 1984. Back then, you most likely purchased the album on vinyl or cassette. King Diamond, the vocalist of Mercyful Fate, expanded on the image that Kiss and Alice Cooper had adopted years earlier, but he backed it up with powerful speed/heavy metal with melodic vocals and lyrics informed by more than a passing acquaintance with the occult.

If you ask me, Don’t Break the Oath was the peak of his career. The band picked up on the speed metal techniques of rhythm and used them to expand heavy metal with more fluid tempo and riff styles, then built epic songs out of that which did not over-emphasize the vocals but let them aid the songs, much like on the second Iron Maiden album. In the 1980s, just about every metal band listened to this classic.

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4 thoughts on “Don’t Break the Oath turns 31 today”

  1. Anthony says:

    I’m more of a Melissa fan myself, but this album definitely is one of the greats.

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the King Diamond solo albums. I’d say Fatal Portrait through Conspiracy are all pretty decent.

  2. OliveFox says:

    One those albums that, once it starts, it is hard to turn off without finishing it.

  3. Roger says:

    Entombed’s first > Dismember’s first.

  4. It was a slight shock when Don’t Break The Oath was released, compared to Melissa.
    The intro was pretty scary, and the overall sound/production was the sharpest I EVER heard from any record until that point in 1984. It ripped apart anything else that was out at that time (well, everything that I knew about).

    I sort of liked the early King Diamond albums, (especially Fatal Portrait), but lost interest in his singing style/songs around 1991.

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