Scrawl from The Saw’s Butcher Shop: Mercyful Fate 2022 North American Tour SHOW REVIEW

Welcome to The Saw’s Butcher Shop. Your Master Butcher has a big-girl job, and was unable to make the trip to Atlanta, GA to see Mercyful Fate, with support from Kreator and Midnight. But my mom (aka, Buzz-Saw) flew down to take in the show. And she has a Show Review for The Butcher Shop of this epic performance! She is a huge King Diamond fan, and she wasn’t missing a US tour by Mercyful Fate! Enjoy her review, Butcher Crew!

The 13th and final show of the Mercyful Fate 2022 North American Tour, was the icing on a mouthful of metal cake that delighted and satisfied our cravings for a night of metal majesty.

Upon arriving at The Tabernacle, you could feel the electric excitement as the metal heads gathered in front of the very old, very grand venue.  Built as a Baptist church in 1911, this multi-level, neoclassical styled building was the perfect setting for the final show of the Mercyful Fate tour.  The grandeur of this venue gives you the feel of stepping back into a past time when craftsmanship and fine details ruled structural concepts.  Ornate and expansive, everything from the interior trim work to the exterior columns, screamed of true artisans’ handiwork, so it was perfect for the fine musical artistry that was about to take place on the stage.

Once we entered the building, the options were to either go to the bar, the bathroom, the balcony or to the basement.  We opted to go on to get some tour gear, so we headed downstairs to the basement.  With bars on both sides of the room, the back wall facing the stairs was where the merch tables were located.  The line for merch was winding and was about 10 rows deep, so the wait was a long one.  Sadly, we did not get to see Midnight on stage, but we could hear them and there were monitors so we could watch them perform while in line.  They performed some songs off their 2020 release, Rebirth in Blasphemy, as well as a few songs off of their Let There Be Witchery album, which was released on March 4, 2022.  They are currently touring for 2022 and into 2023.  They also performed a few of their older songs as well.  They were delivering their blasphemous thrash with gusto and vigor.  They made moving at a snail’s pace in the merch line a test of perseverance to stand mostly still,  because it was really hard not to start shoving people and thrashing all around. 

We finally got our merch, so we then made our way up 4 flights of stairs to the balcony.   Our seats were on row B of Section 306, and our view was almost perfect.  We could see the entire stage from our seats with only a few obstacles.

Kreator was the next band to perform.  Kreator is on its 2022-2023 World Tour, so having caught their last performance in the United States before they head to Europe was very fortunate for us.  Their stage set up was a gruesome sight of bodies suspended from spears coming up from the floor, then bodies hanging from the ceiling, around a backdrop that featured a giant demon on his throne in the depths of a hellish cavern.  This German thrash band has been around since the early 80’s, and they are still producing some very energetic, very assaulting music.  They performed some new songs off of their album that was released in June of 2022, Hate Uber Alles, it’s 15th studio album.  They also gave us some songs from their early days.  “Pleasure to Kill” and “Flag of Hate” were on point and did not disappoint!

There was little time to recover from the onslaught that was Midnight and Kreator.  The stage was being set up for Mercyful Fate.  The set up blended perfectly with the décor and the ambiance of the Tabernacle.   Both sides of the stage hosted a staircase that led to a giant archway.  There was a giant cross hanging upside-down between the two archways, with an alter between the two.  A goat headed pentagram hung on the alter.  There was a connecting walkway that also served as a platform that the King would climb upstairs to and walk out on.  In between the stair cases, front and center on the stage was the drum kit.  It was really cool to have the drummer incorporated to the front of the stage along with the rest of the band.  The stage spread was well balanced.  The King made his way from top to bottom, side to side and in between.  I was mesmerized by the melodic horror that is Mercyful Fate.  Their sound was so clean and precise.  King Diamond’s voice is as strong and shrill as it’s always been.  They performed mostly a Melissa set, but they did perform songs off some other albums; including a new song that will be on an album being released in 2023, their 8th studio album, The Jackal of Salzburg.   I must say, to hear Melissa performed live, was one of my favorite song performances of all time.  It gave me goose bumps when I heard the haunted and pristine clarity of the King’s voice crying out for Melissa.  Just incredible!  “Black Funeral” and “Evil” rang through the levels of the Tabernacle, giving us the pleasures of pitch and range that only the King can deliver.  The acoustics in this venue allowed the sounds to fully surround and suspend you.  To end the evening, the encore was “Satan’s Fall.”  How fitting for Satan to fall in the Tabernacle!  The King graciously thanked his band and the crowd for being there with him.  No King – Thank YOU for being here with us!