MERCYFUL FATE have parted ways with Metal Blade Records after the label chose not to exercise their contractual option to renew the group's agreement for another album, according to MERCYFUL FATE/KING DIAMOND manager Ole Bang (who dropped us a line from the MIDEM convention/music trade show in Cannes, France). The split comes nearly three years since the release of MERCYFUL FATE's last studio CD, 1999's 9, and exactly a decade after the group first inked a deal with the company. If all goes well, a new deal is expected to be secured in the coming weeks, and the band is likely to begin recording their eighth studio album in late summer for an early 2003 release. MERCYFUL FATE had recorded five full-length efforts for Metal Blade during their tenure with the label: In The Shadows (1993), Time (1994), Into The Unknown (1996), Dead Again (1998) and 9.
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