"Satan's Tomb" resides in the shadow of the straightforward approach of "9" and "Dead Again" with some basic modern heavy metal parts thrown in. The aforementioned records were superbly lame by Mercyful Fate standards, but here the steely tempo and drive help make the approach more appealing. The largest Mercyful Fate motif emerging is the classical lead guitar styles of Denner and Shermann. The opening solo over a somber acoustic lick has the blood of the duo flowing through it, and "Satan's Tomb" benefits from the familiar tidal wave of one of metal's finest guitar pairs. Their riffing patterns are direct, creating heavy metal tunes with a crisp edge. The majestic sequences in the vein of "Don't Break the Oath" and "Melissa" are absent, but these tracks don't suffer from a more candid direction.
King Diamond isn't here, of course. Denner and Shermann recruited Sean Peck of Cage to handle the vocals. As fine as Peck sounds, filling the shoes of King Diamond is impossible. This isn't necessarily the result of having a more straightforward power metal banshee belting out over nostalgic Mercyful Fate formulas, but the lack of the King's utter dominance. The songs otherwise rise to a standard that is acceptable for running parallel to the Mercyful Fate moniker, though not rivaling the masterful works of the past. These four tunes stick to and resemble some of the more acceptable bits of Mercyful Fate's post-reunion albums, in and out in twenty-one minutes. Now stop teasing us and let the King return to his throne!
Denner Shermann - Satan's Tomb
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