This album "MERCYFUL FATE - Return of the Vampire" is the compilation album of rare demo tracks by Mercyful Fate recorded before their first, official release in 1982. It is released in 1992 by Roadrunner Records RR 9184.


High Resolution Photo of MERCYFUL FATE - Return of the Vampire

Music Genre:

Heavy Metal 

Album Production Information:


The album: "MERCYFUL FATE - Return of the Vampire" was produced by: Mercyful Fate

This album was recorded live in the studio, with the exception of solos and vocals which were overdubbed

Guest musician was "Lars Ulrich (Metallica) on the track "In the Shadows"

Record Label Information:

Road Runner RR 9184

Media Format:

12" LP Vinyl Stereo Gramophone Record
Total Album (Cover+Record) weight: 230 gram  

Year & Country:

Personnel/Band Members and Musicians on: MERCYFUL FATE - Return of the Vampire
    Band-members, Musicians and Performers
  • King Diamond - Vocals

    Kim Bendix Petersen, better known by his stage name King Diamond, is a legendary Danish heavy metal musician whose haunting vocals and captivating stage presence have made him an icon in the world of metal. Renowned for his extensive vocal range and his distinctive use of falsetto, King Diamond has left an indelible mark on the genre with his dark and atmospheric compositions. With a career spanning several decades, he has fronted various bands, including Mercyful Fate and his eponymous band, King Diamond, solidifying his status as a true master of metal.

    Born on 14 June 1956, in Copenhagen, Denmark, Kim Bendix Petersen was introduced to music at a young age. Influenced by classic rock and early heavy metal acts, he embarked on his musical journey in 1974 as a guitarist for the band Brainstorm. However, it was his transition to vocals and the formation of the band Black Rose in 1979 that marked a turning point in his career. The emergence of King Diamond's powerful voice and his ability to reach soaring high notes set him apart from other vocalists of the time, establishing his signature style that would define his future endeavors.

    In 1980, King Diamond joined forces with Hank Shermann to form Mercyful Fate, a band that would become a prominent figure in the burgeoning metal scene. With their occult-inspired lyrics and intricate song structures, Mercyful Fate carved a niche for themselves, attracting a dedicated following. King Diamond's eerie vocal delivery, characterized by his piercing falsetto, added an element of darkness and mystique to the band's music, earning them a reputation as one of the most influential acts in the genre.


    During his time with Mercyful Fate, King Diamond released several highly acclaimed albums, including "Melissa" (1983), "Don't Break the Oath" (1984), and "In the Shadows" (1993). These albums showcased his unique vocal prowess and his ability to convey chilling narratives with his lyrics. King Diamond's theatrical stage presence, complete with elaborate makeup and costumes, further enhanced the band's live performances, creating an immersive experience for fans.

    In 1985, King Diamond embarked on a solo career, forming his eponymous band. With a focus on storytelling and concept albums, King Diamond continued to captivate audiences with his gothic horror narratives. His solo albums, such as "Abigail" (1987), "Them" (1988), and "The Eye" (1990), demonstrated his ability to create intricate musical compositions that were both musically impressive and emotionally evocative. King Diamond's haunting falsetto served as the perfect vehicle for his dark tales of madness, ghosts, and the supernatural, solidifying his status as a master of macabre storytelling.

    Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, King Diamond released a series of successful albums, including "The Puppet Master" (2003) and "Give Me Your Soul...Please" (2007). His dedication to crafting concept albums that transported listeners into his twisted worlds remained unwavering, cementing his reputation as a true visionary in the metal genre. King Diamond's influence on subsequent generations of musicians cannot be overstated, as his unique vocal style and theatrical approach have inspired countless artists in the realm of heavy metal.

    In addition to his musical contributions, King Diamond's longevity and unwavering dedication to his craft are testament to his enduring impact on the metal scene. His ability to reinvent himself while staying true to his artistic vision has allowed him to remain relevant and revered throughout the years. King Diamond's live performances, complete with his mesmerizing stage presence and unwavering vocal delivery, continue to draw fans from all corners of the globe, showcasing his ability to captivate audiences with his dark and haunting melodies.

    Kim Bendix Petersen, known to the world as King Diamond, has left an indelible mark on the heavy metal genre. His powerful falsetto, coupled with his penchant for storytelling and his mesmerizing stage presence, have solidified his status as one of the most influential and iconic figures in metal history. As he continues to create music and enthrall audiences with his chilling tales, King Diamond's legacy as the master of metal's haunting melodies remains intact, forever etched in the world of heavy metal history.

  • Hank Shermann - Guitar, bass

    Rene Krollmark is from Denmark and was born in 1958. He is also known under the aliases Hank De Wank, Hank Shermann started his musical career as guitar player in 1977 with a band called Brats, this was followed by "Danger Zone", "Mercyful Fate", Fate, Lavina, "Zoser Mez"

  • Benny Petersen - Guitar

    Benny Petersen - Guitar player from Denmark who has played guitar in some of Denmark's best Hard Rock / Heavy Bands, lile: Evil, Mercyful Fate, Pretty Maids and several others.

  • Michael Denner - Guitar

    Michael Denner is a renowned Danish heavy-metal guitarist known for his distinctive playing style and contributions to the genre. Born on November 5, 1958, in Denmark, Denner developed a passion for music at a young age and embarked on a remarkable career that has spanned several decades.

    Denner's musical journey began in the late 1970s when he joined the Danish heavy metal band Brats as their lead guitarist. His skills on the guitar quickly became apparent, and his energetic performances and melodic solos earned him recognition among the metal community.

    In 1981, Denner's career took a significant turn when he joined forces with guitarist Hank Shermann to form the iconic heavy metal band Mercyful Fate. Denner's contributions to the band's distinctive sound were crucial, as he provided memorable guitar riffs and intricate solos that complemented the dark and occult-themed lyrics of frontman King Diamond. His playing showcased a blend of technicality, melody, and a penchant for creating atmospheric guitar passages that became an integral part of Mercyful Fate's musical identity.


    With Mercyful Fate, Denner released several highly influential albums, including "Melissa" (1983), "Don't Break the Oath" (1984), and "In the Shadows" (1993), among others. The band's music, characterized by its occult imagery, intense atmosphere, and Denner's guitar wizardry, helped shape the sound of the emerging black metal and extreme metal subgenres.

    Throughout his tenure with Mercyful Fate, Denner faced intermittent periods of departure and reunion with the band due to creative differences and personal commitments. Nevertheless, his impact on the band's legacy remains undeniable, and his guitar work continues to inspire countless musicians in the metal scene.

    Following Mercyful Fate's temporary disbandment in 1996, Denner explored other musical avenues and engaged in various projects. He collaborated with musicians from different backgrounds, further expanding his repertoire and exploring diverse styles. Denner/Shermann, a collaboration between Denner and Hank Shermann, emerged in recent years as a notable project, allowing the two guitarists to revisit their musical partnership and deliver new material to their loyal fanbase.

    Denner's guitar playing exhibits a unique blend of technicality, emotion, and a distinct sense of melody, making him a highly respected figure in the heavy metal community. His contributions to the genre have left an indelible mark and continue to resonate with fans and fellow musicians alike.

    With a career spanning over four decades, Michael Denner remains an influential guitarist and a revered figure in the world of heavy metal. His legacy as a skilled musician and his unwavering passion for his craft serve as an inspiration for aspiring guitarists and metal enthusiasts around the globe.

  • Timi Hansen - Bass

    Timi "Grabber" Hansen, born on 5 October 1958, in Copenhagen, Denmark, was a renowned Danish musician best known as the bassist for the influential heavy metal band Mercyful Fate. With his distinctive playing style and stage presence, Hansen left an indelible mark on the world of metal music during his career.

    Hansen's passion for music developed at an early age. Inspired by the energy and intensity of rock and roll, he picked up the bass guitar and honed his skills with unwavering dedication. In the late 1970s, Hansen joined the band Mercyful Fate, which would become one of the most significant and influential acts in the development of the black metal genre.

    As a core member of Mercyful Fate, Hansen played a pivotal role in shaping the band's sound. His thunderous bass lines and tight rhythm section contributed to the dark, ominous atmosphere that became the band's signature. Alongside vocalist King Diamond, guitarist Hank Shermann, and drummer Kim Ruzz, Hansen's contributions helped establish Mercyful Fate's unique style, blending elements of heavy metal, thrash, and occult-inspired lyrics.


    The band released their debut self-titled EP in 1982, followed by their groundbreaking full-length album "Melissa" in 1983. Hansen's bass work on these recordings demonstrated his technical prowess and creative flair. His ability to provide a solid foundation while adding intricate melodies and memorable hooks elevated the band's music to new heights.

    Mercyful Fate continued to release critically acclaimed albums, including "Don't Break the Oath" (1984) and "In the Shadows" (1993), further solidifying their status as one of metal's most respected acts. Hansen's performances on these albums showcased his versatility, seamlessly transitioning between blistering, fast-paced tracks and slower, more atmospheric compositions.

    In 1985, following the release of Mercyful Fate's third album, "The Beginning", Hansen left the band due to personal reasons. However, his departure did not mark the end of his musical journey. He briefly joined the Danish hard rock band Danger Zone before stepping away from the music industry for a period of time.

    After a hiatus, Hansen returned to music and formed the band Memento Mori in 1993. As the lead vocalist and bassist of the group, he explored a different musical direction, focusing on a progressive metal sound. Memento Mori released several albums, including "La Danse Macabre" (1996) and "Songs for the Apocalypse, Vol. IV" (2002), earning positive reviews from fans and critics alike.

    Throughout his career, Hansen's contributions to the metal genre earned him immense respect and admiration from fellow musicians and fans worldwide. His bass playing, characterized by a mixture of speed, precision, and creativity, set him apart as a true virtuoso.

    Tragically, on 4 November 2019, Timi "Grabber" Hansen passed away at the age of 61 after battling cancer. His untimely death marked the end of an era, leaving a void in the metal community. However, his legacy lives on through his influential work with Mercyful Fate and the enduring impact he had on the world of heavy metal.

    Timi "Grabber" Hansen will always be remembered as a talented musician whose contributions helped shape the sound and aesthetic of metal music. His bass playing continues to inspire generations of musicians, ensuring that his influence will endure for years to come.


  • Kim Ruzz - Drums

    Kim Ruzz ( real name: Kim Thyge Jensen) has been playing drums from 1981-1985 in the Danish Thrash metal band: " Mercyful Fate".


  • Carsten Volsing - Guitar

    Carsten van Der Volsing (real-name: Carsten Falkenlind Volsing) is from Copenhagen, Denmark and has played guitar in the bands: Brats and "Mercyful Fate".

  • "Old" Nick Smith - drums

    "Old" Nick Smith plays with the "Danger Zone" band on their first two demo recordings, as well with "Mercyful Fate" on their first two demo recordings.

  • Jan Musen - drums

    Jan Musen (Real-name: Jan Lindblad) born in 1960 Copenhagen, Denmark, drummer with "Mercyful Fate" during 1981.

Complete Track-listing of the album "MERCYFUL FATE - Return of the Vampire"

The detailed tracklist of this record "MERCYFUL FATE - Return of the Vampire" is:

    Track-listing Side One:
  1. "Burning the Cross" – 8:49 (music by Benny Petersen)
  2. "Curse of the Pharaohs" – 4:27
  3. "Return of the Vampire" – 4:50
  4. "On a Night of Full Moon" (music by Michael Denner, Shermann) – 6:40
  5. "A Corpse without Soul" – 8:11
  6. "Death Kiss" – 5:53
  7. "Leave My Soul Alone" (music by Denner) – 3:21
  8. "M.D.A." (Mission: Destroy Aliens) (music and lyrics by Denner) – 4:20
  9. "You Asked for It" – 4:13
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High Resolution Photo of MERCYFUL FATE - Return of the Vampire  

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Note: The images on this page are photos of the actual album. Slight differences in color may exist due to the use of the camera's flash.