11 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Though In the Shadows proved to be a ferocious comeback for Mercyful Fate, some of its best songs—like “Shadows” and “Room of Golden Air”—were overlooked because they took the band’s vicious attack to a more textural, atmospheric place. The band’s 1994 album Time gave the group more room to explore that place, especially with “Lady in Black,” “The Afterlife,” and the title song, an eerie incantation that incorporates harpsichord to unsettling effect. Even tunes as aggressive as “The Mad Arab” use a spacious, atmospheric production that’s designed not to bludgeon listeners but to draw them into the band’s environment. “Nightmare Be Thy Name,” “Angel of Light,” and “Witches’ Dance” are three of the most definitive and catchy songs Mercyful Fate ever wrote, even as each boasts the idiosyncrasies that make the band beloved in the metal world. The album closes with “Castillo Del Mortes,” which features an army of Satanic creatures doing battle over an ancient castle in Spain. While most metal bands competed over which could be the fastest and the heaviest, Mercyful Fate focused on being the most cinematic.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Though In the Shadows proved to be a ferocious comeback for Mercyful Fate, some of its best songs—like “Shadows” and “Room of Golden Air”—were overlooked because they took the band’s vicious attack to a more textural, atmospheric place. The band’s 1994 album Time gave the group more room to explore that place, especially with “Lady in Black,” “The Afterlife,” and the title song, an eerie incantation that incorporates harpsichord to unsettling effect. Even tunes as aggressive as “The Mad Arab” use a spacious, atmospheric production that’s designed not to bludgeon listeners but to draw them into the band’s environment. “Nightmare Be Thy Name,” “Angel of Light,” and “Witches’ Dance” are three of the most definitive and catchy songs Mercyful Fate ever wrote, even as each boasts the idiosyncrasies that make the band beloved in the metal world. The album closes with “Castillo Del Mortes,” which features an army of Satanic creatures doing battle over an ancient castle in Spain. While most metal bands competed over which could be the fastest and the heaviest, Mercyful Fate focused on being the most cinematic.

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