METALLICA has confirmed that King Diamond (MERCYFUL FATE, KING DIAMOND) will appear as a playable character in the "Guitar Hero: Metallica" game, due in stores this spring.
Fans, stagehands and groupies alike will have the opportunity to shred and drum with or wail as the digital King Diamond during performances of "Evil". The song, which originally was recorded in 1983 and is one of the MERCYFUL FATE songs that comprise METALLICA's "Mercyful Fate" medley, was re-recorded by four of the five original band members for Guitar Hero: Metallica. The recording session was overseen by guitarist Hank Shermann in the band's native Denmark; after which King Diamond laid down his vocals in Dallas, Texas, and mixed the song with J.T. Longoria.
Commented King: "It's been absolutely amazing to be a part of this Guitar Hero experience. It was quite a trip to re-record the [MERCYFUL FATE] song 'Evil' almost 25 years after the original recording took place. The end result with four out of the five original musicians turned out so much better than I would ever have hoped for. Seeing my animated character take form was totally eerie in a very good way. It's so strange to see yourself animated in such perfect detail — cross bone microphone, Eye necklace and all. This game looks and sounds METAL all the way. HORNS UP!!!"
Also appearing as a playable character in the "Guitar Hero: Metallica" game is MOTÖRHEAD frontman Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister.
Gamers will have the option to either watch Lemmy's in-game likeness as he hammers away at his bass and sings in his signature, whiskey-drenched vocals, or they can step into his cowboy boots and learn to play MOTÖRHEAD's 2008 re-recorded version of the band's biggest hit, the anthemic "Ace of Spades".
"It's great to be in 'Guitar Hero' with all these famous people and I'm really pleased to be in it with METALLICA," Lemmy said, "but [frontman] James [Hetfield] is still taller than me."
METALLICA and MOTÖRHEAD have long enjoyed a mutual admiration of one another's work, as METALLICA once played seven MOTÖRHEAD covers under the moniker THE LEMMYS.
MOTÖRHEAD picked up its first Grammy in 2005 in the "Best Metal Performance" category for the band's cover of METALLICA's "Whiplash", which was featured on "Metallic Attack: Metallica - The Ultimate Tribute" album.
MERCYFUL FATE will be remembered for its unquestionable mark on the history of metal with its innovative sound, complex arrangements, memorable melody, and its influence on bands that later took the genre to new heights.
In 1998, METALLICA paid tribute to MERCYFUL FATE by recording a medley of classic MERCYFUL FATE songs on the album "Garage Inc." Entitled "Mercyful Fate", the medley included parts from "Satan's Fall", "Curse of the Pharaohs", "A Corpse Without Soul", "Into the Coven" and "Evil".
Lars Ulrich of METALLICA (a fellow Dane) played drums on a new version of MERCYFUL FATE's "Return of the Vampire" on the "In the Shadows" album, which came out in 1993.
A soundboard-quality audio/video version of METALLICA's MERCYFUL FATE medley performance with King Diamond at the one-day Ozzfest on August 9, 2008 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas can be found below.