By the time they released their second full-length, 1984’s Don’t Break the Oath, Mercyful Fate had evolved into a veritable occult-metal behemoth worthy of the Luciferian Uncle Sam beckoning “I want you” from the album’s cover. From the mystical horror-movie atmospherics and virtuosic dual-guitar shred to the occult themes — witches, Satan, hell and death abound — everything was bigger, better and more blasphemous. Just listen to “The Oath” in which King Diamond swears himself with unnerving sincerity to the Dark Lord.
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