(Review by Officer Nice)

This month I have been to Tilburg to see King Diamond. This Metal God has been away from the stages for way too long and after his gig at Graspop Metal Meeting I was looking forward to see him again. It was a superb concert, but no three hours as the organisation (013 – Tilburg) had promised. It was misleading, a way to sell many tickets, unfair, no? Nevertheless I had a great time hearing all those old classics, including “Come To The Sabbath” and “Evil” from Mercyful Fate.

That brings me to Mercyful Fate of course. After all these years Mercyful Fate’s “Don’t Break The Oath” and “Melissa” still belongs to the list of my favourite albums. Not only King Diamond’s obscure vocals made these albums classic ones, the riffs and leads from Hank Sherman and Michael Denner were at least as important to give me cold shivers. This guitar duo remains one of the most unique ones in het entire history of Heavy Metal. We found both guitar players back in Force Of Evil, Brats and Zoser Mez although I admit I have only the Force Of Evil records in my collection. The status of this band is unknown to me nowadays but Michael Denner now represents an album under the name of Denners Trickbag.

It was the first album to give a shot when I received a package for review, the fact this is an album of the legendary guitarist from Mercyful Fate had everything to do with it. But, let me tell you at once, that fans of Mercyful Fate and every other Heavy Metal album this guitar player ever played in might be disappointed. Denners Trickbag is no pure Heavy Metal but belongs more to the Seventies kind of Hard Rock. I suppose Michael Denner wrote this album with his thoughts by his personal favourites, bands that stood at the cradle of the Heavy Metal scène. Deep Purple, Rainbow, UFO, MSG. and in modern terms a band like Jorn… that’s the direction of this CD. In other words this is very good Hard Rock, with good songs and of course the constant typical Michael Denners guitar sound in the leads. He is, without any doubt, one of the masters in playing emotional leads and fans of his kind of solos will adore this one, at least it’s a good reason to check this one out. His fast fingered leads are a pleasure to listen to!

Ten songs of good played Hard Rock (with a little blink of an eye to the early 80s Metal), well produced and with great vocals by Lars Berthelsen, a bit Bluesy and with the flair of the better singers from the Seventies.  Add some outstanding guitars, a typical “Seventies” feeling and you’ll have the idea what it’s all about. “I Got The Fire” is a cover from Montrose, unknown by the youngsters but I suppose the oldies amongst us know what I am talking about. Great to see that Michael Denner invited his old friends to make this album, but deep inside I hope we will witness him again in some pure Heavy Metal, in my wildest dreams I still hope for a true Mercyful Fate reunion. Check out

My Points: 81 / 100 


95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !

Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan

Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it

Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing

Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate

Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard

50- : Rubbish