Mercyful Fate's Don't Break the Oath
Upon its release, Don't Break the Oath charted fifth on the official British heavy metal album list and was supported by a two month long sold-out American tour in early 1985. The band's controversial stage appearance with burning crosses, a microphone stand formed as a cross made of two human leg bones, as well as other blasphemous rituals attracted the attention of the then newly formed PRMC (Parental Resource Music Center) committee, ironically reassuring the band its position on the charts. But though the album was hugely popular in the anglophone metal scene, it was conceived in peripheral Denmark.
This book discusses the relationship between center and periphery. It juxtaposes the Anglophone reticent of heavy metal with the rather marginalized location of Copenhagen, and examines Mercyful Fate's relation to the Nordic region more generally. It also takes a close look at the methods involved in the production of King Diamond's vocals, and emphasizes the role of the vocalist as just as an important part of the over-all soundscape as the instrumental contributions.