Best Mercyful Fate Riff: “Into the Coven” vs “Evil”

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Today in RIFF or RAFF we are celebrating the timeless riffs of Mercyful Fate! Our combatants have come prepared with some heavy weaponry. It’s up to you to decide who brought the best riff.

LAST WEEK we explored the long and savage discography of Incantation. Dr. K and I were neck and neck for a little while… then it all went to shit. Congratulations Jason! You win a prize! Also, go to hell.

incantation-results

NEXT WEEK is a ****SPECIAL OCCASION***. Your mission is to submit the best riff of 2016. That’s right. Send me the best riff that was released on an unsuspecting public this year. Every entry I receive will be put into a battle royale for riff supremacy. We’re doing it Riff ov the Week style.

-Write a brief statement about why your riff rules

-Include a link to stream your selection, the timestamp for your riff, and your screen name

-Email me at toiletovhell@gmail.com

THIS WEEK it’s all about the Danish king.


I am aware that the most outstanding part of this song are the solos, not that there’s anything below average about it. There are three of them and all amazingly performed. The riffs are good as well, they’re standard Mercyful Fate fare, but they don’t come off as anything too memorable. Of course, there is an exception to that, and a glorious one, that being the riff that kicks in at 00:03 and goes to 00:13. The transition between the intro of the song and the riff is about, ending just as suddenly as it begins, never popping up in the song again. I like how it starts off with only one guitar, growing in intensity once the second guitar comes in is and reaches the top once the drums start playing. This structure is what makes it work for me. The fact that it doesn’t fade away into another riff and is simply interrupted makes is somewhat unique. The riff sounds like something out of a Diamond Head or Angel Witch song, which makes it feel out of place on one hand, but on the other makes it stand out even more. It sounds “evil” enough to fit with the rest of the song, so it works on basically every level. I love it and you should love it too. –Eliza


The best Mercyful Fate/King Diamond riff? I’ll do you one better: simply the best riff—period. That riff is most certainly the one from the song “Into the Coven,” from Melissa, the most beloved Mercyful Fate album. Which riff? THEriff. Seriously, it’s pretty much the only one in the song, and it sounds great both alone, with a verse, and especially beneath a solo.

The track begins with a deceptively pretty and delicate guitar solo with bit of a neoclassical, you might even say “prim and proper” flair, which is especially surprising your first time hearing the track if already accustomed to the Metallica cover from ’98 as part of a medley.  But then, at precisely 0:51, the riff comes seemingly out of nowhere, then truly hits its stride as the rest of the instruments kick in at 1:04 with an irresistible groove, perfect for the lyrical content, which is that of a Satanic priest conducting an initiation ritual.

You, the listener, are a devout and genuinely upstanding, very conservative Christian who’s had a rough day and been let go from your job. In a move that’s decidedly out-of-character, you find your way into a dimly lit bar one afternoon and order a stiff drink.

Where the hell am I going with this? Just a sec—

You notice an attractive, yet very modestly dressed server wiping down a table near the bar. (INTRO SOLO) You quickly look away, but too late—she’s already noticed, and you’ve locked eyes. Over the next few minutes, you’ve managed to not only hold a decent conversation, but also find that she’s also a devout churchgoer herself, and as it turns out, there’s actually a mid-week service tonight!  This is just what you need to get yourself out of this funk and back into the Lord’s good graces. . .

A couple hours later, you arrive at the address you were given and see your new lady-friend waiting for you. As you get closer, up the steps and nearly to the door, something doesn’t feel right.  Her eyes narrow, and her kind, shy smile becomes a devilish grin. . . .(THE GODDAMN RIFF!).

Guess what? It was nearly a dozen years ago when that riff smile set you on the course you’ve taken ever since.  You’re a leather jacket-wearing, motorcycle-riding, fucking Satanic warrior-priest who looks like a cross between Clancy Brown in the Highlander and Kiefer Sutherland in the Lost Boys (in other words: outrageously cool), and you ride across the land doing whatever you damn well please, tempting those with whom you’ve come into contact to leave their old ways of life to join you in your triumphant blasphemies.

The sweet, seductive power of evil cannot be denied, and the deliciously groovy, loin-stirring riff from Into the Coven is the absolute quintessence of that seduction and temptation. By the time it comes around, you’ve been indoctrinated, and you can’t help singing along with the lyric “My soul belongs to Satan!” (4:28) –Dumpster Lung


Now you must choose:

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 10-12-2016 09:00:00
end_date 16-12-2016 12:00:00
Poll Results:
Who picked the best Mercyful Fate riff?
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  • Lacertilian

    So many classic fucking riffs to choose from, I don’t think I could narrow it down to just one.
    Out of these two I’m gonna have to go with “Into The Coven” though.

  • Eliza

    I have to say, the riff in Into the Coven is great. It’s one of my favourite songs from Mercyful Fate.

    • Dumpster Lung

      And likewise, Evil is amazing as well!

  • Abradolf Lincler

    i kinda just want to vote for Eliza cuz shes the best

    • Eliza

      Aww, that’s so nice. But you don’t have to do that. Just vote for the riff you like best.

      • Abradolf Lincler

        in that case i just vote Bolt Thrower

        • Eliza

          We need a Bolt Thrower riff/raff.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      She is!

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    Terribly sorry Eliza, but “Into the Coven” is one of my favorite Mercyful Fate songs of all time.

    • Eliza

      No problem, lol. I didn’t even think my pick would end up in the post when I wrote the email, I don’t even proofread it.

    • more beer

      Personally I think Don’t Break the Oath blows away everything on Melissa.

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        I like both albums equally.

        • more beer

          I like them both. I just think Don’t Break the Oath is a little better. On a different note Demolition Hammer show is today.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Fucking sweet. Have fun!
            Perhaps Rhombus will show up…oh wait…those douchenozzles didn’t even know Demolition Hammer got back together…

          • more beer

            He moved out of Denver thankfully. We don’t need enemies of the scene here. All of those fucks who write for that blog are enemies of the scene. Fuck each and everyone of them!

          • Except for Sgt D?

          • more beer

            He isn’t there anymore. He does this blog now. http://www.thepunkrockmba.com/

          • Max

            I didn’t know this is where he’d gone.

          • Óðinn

            Holy fuck! That looks stupid. But then, it’s Sergeant D, the world’s biggest retard. He should just kill himself.

          • Al Bundy

            Only metal Gf is real

          • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

            I’d love to run into Rhombus at a show just to tell him that he is a hypocritical racist piece of shit for all the shit he talked about Mexico in one of his bullshit articles (I was born in Mexico). Then again, a metal show is the last place on Earth where I’m likely to find him.

            Perhaps I’ll run into his chubby ass at a Dunkin Donuts

      • Eliza

        It’s certainly the album I listen to more out of the two. But I think Melissa is equal to it in terms of quality.

        • more beer

          They are both really good albums. I just think Don’t Break the Oath is a little better.

          • Eliza

            Well, it does have Come to the Sabbath.

          • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

            DBTO has “A Dangerous Meeting” which not only is the best MF song ever, it also has the best MF riff ever (0:15-0:30)

      • Elegant Gazing Globe

        DBtO has more raw distortion guitar tones than melissa’s overdrive tones and that makes a big difference

        • more beer

          Exactly. I always tend to like a more raw sound. DBtO just does that.

      • Señor Jefe El Rosa

        Seconded

      • Dumpster Lung

        I used to jam that one the most, but then eventually Melissa really took over for me, and then I realized I’d been neglecting the first EP, and anymore those are the ones I usually start with, but once I listen to MF I end up listening to a minimum of a couple albums before I can move onto something else, so really it all becomes one amazing awesome blur in the end.

  • Pentagram Sam

    Ooof. Hard ass choice but had to go with Evil cos that intro rulez.

    Prob my personal underrated fav is this one. Energetic montage riff erupts at :33

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYbKBHfbSK0

  • Sir Crawfish The Based
    • Eliza
    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      I am laughing uncontrollably

      • Sir Crawfish The Based

        Then this day has been a great success!

        • Señor Jefe El Rosa

          Kudos to you, O Based one! May your jimmy be ever rustled in the most pleasureful ways.

  • Elegant Gazing Globe

    Wow two riffs from Melissa. Hard choice.
    So many of KD/MF best riffs are backing solos, some of the verse and other riffs just seem pretty regular, because The King’s vox are the showcase when sherman dennet larocque or wead aren’t soloing.

    Dumpster lung your riff starts as one of those backing riffs. You got my vote.

    • Dumpster Lung

      Thanks man! Honestly everybody’s a winner when we all get to listen to/talk about Mercyful Fate.

  • Megan Alexandra

    This feels like choosing a favourite child

    • Megan Alexandra

      That being said, Evil just completely encapsulates that MF era

    • more beer

      We all have our favorites, kids included.

  • >THIS WEEK it’s all about the Danish king

    OH YEAH? WELL I’M ALL ABOUT THAT DANISH PROPHET.

  • CT-12

    Today, there are no losers. Here’s one of my favorites that’s similar to Eliza’s, in that it only shows up once in the song, but is super tasty. start at 0:14
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXA_0AhNVZ4

    • Eliza

      I like it.

    • Dumpster Lung

      That’s always been a definite favorite of mine, too (but then again, pretty much everything MF did kicks all kinds of ass).

  • Al Bundy

    Into The Coven does it for me. It’s also one of my favourite Fate songs with Welcome Princess of Hell.

  • ME GORAK™✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ
  • AeonsOvChaos

    Evil is the path I choose.

  • Al Bundy

    Slightly off topic, but they just don’t make music videos like this anymore and it’s a crying shame.
    GRANDMA!!!!!
    https://youtu.be/TJH0eBtnbcs

  • Jeremy González

    Both of those are great but the best Fate riff is in At the Sound of the Demon Bell. Around 1:50.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_PjBUcbzqY

  • It’s all about that motherfuckin’ intro riff to “Satan’s Fall”!
    https://youtu.be/ENX86F7s234

    (but out of the two in question…”Evil”)

    • Dumpster Lung

      Another song chock full of awesome riffs. If I had to pick a favorite from Satan’s Fall, though, I’d go with the one at 6:22. It’s like a threatening snarl in guitar form. Love it.

  • Dumpster Lung

    Woo! Had a submission make it onto Riff or Raff! I don’t know if you ever have before, @eliza01:disqus , but congrats to you too!

    I didn’t mean to make mine super long, but that was a long day when I wrote it, and I was channeling some frustrated boner-energy into it for sure too, lol.

    • Eliza

      Ikr, it’s an honour.

    • Frustrated boner-energy: the wellspring of all great art.