Riff Of The Week: Mercyful King Diamond Edition


[*riffs in F(alsetto) sharp*]

Before we do our communal cum tribute into the coven, here are the results from last week’s August Free-For-All Edition. We had a tonne of entries from all over the spectrum, but in the end it was dissonant death that won the day.

Now let’s check out what you sent in for this week’s theme…

Mercyful Fate – “Into the Coven” (Riff @ 0:51)

Way back when Hansi Kürsch’s vocals on Imaginations From the Other Side were the heaviest I knew, I was reading up on metal history in Ian Christe’s Sound of the Beast. In the middle of one of the chapters, there was an image of an oddball singing into a bone crucifix, and I thought that was pretty nifty. After several Bill Clinton MP3s from Limewire, I landed a trve copy of “Into the Coven.” The intro acoustic and whimsical solo hooked me, but the riff that followed was one of the reasons I picked up a guitar in the first place. That was around 15 years ago, and the riff is still one of my favorites to play. “Come, come, into my coven…YAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!”

Iron Goddess of Mercy(ful Fate)
Mercyful Fate – “Doomed by the Living Dead” (Riff @ 4:05)

Fuck riffs that aren’t moshable. I wanna mosh. I wanna hear breakdowns. I wanna mosh to Mercyful Fate breakdowns. FIND ME IN YON PIT, MY DEAR MELISSAS

Lord Of Bork
Mercyful Fate – ‘Night Of The Unborn’ (Riff @ 0:13)

For my money, it’s tough to beat the dirty intro riff to Night of the Unborn – it’s brief, it’s got some fun chromatic weirdness and tasteful harmony between Denner/Sherman, and they’ve got so many riffs to spare they never even come back to it.

Mercyful Fate – Witches’ Dance (Riff @ 0:00)

Watching the Witches’ Dance music video floods the mind with questions: Where the hell did King Diamond come from? Did he ride in on that foam rock? Why is this dog here and is it being fairly compensated for barking? Why is this lady twirling? Do witchy rituals really need THAT much tulle? Does King wear anything underneath his robes? Is this Scooby Doo-core? Are deserts inherently spooky, or are the Danes fascinated by the American Southwest desert ecoregions like those Germans I met at the Grand Canyon that one time? All questions to mull over as you let the tasty riffage of Denner/Sherman wash over you

Gazing Globe
Mercyful Fate – ‘Shadows’ (Riff @ 1:29)

I love everything the King does, but to me it’s the solos that are the highlight of the guitar work in his music, not the riffs. At the risk of disqualification, I submit for your consideration one of my many favorite Solo’s in all of the KD/MF discography, to be heard at 1:29

King DIamond – ‘Father Picard’ (Riff @ 0:00)

Whole of ‘The Eye’ is actually balls to the wall awesome.

Mercyful Fate – ‘Room Of The Golden Air’ (Riff @ 0:05)

The riffs in this instrumental provide an insanely fertile substrate for some of the most stunning solos the MF’s ever dropped.

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Next week’s theme is Coffin(s)
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