January 30, 2017

Danish heavy metal legends MERCYFUL FATE were honored with the "Pioneer Prize" (Pionerprisen) at this year's Steppeulven, an annual award ceremony established by the Foreningen Af Danske Musikkritikere (Association Of Danish Music Critics),on January 28 at Bremen Teater in Copenhagen, Denmark. Accepting the award at the event were original MERCYFUL FATE members Hank Shermann, Michael Denner, Kim Ruzz and Timi Hansen, along with the band's longtime manager Ole Bang.

Video footage of the award presentation and acceptance speeches can be seen below.

MERCYFUL FATE's last studio album, "9", was released in 1999.

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." Titled "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.

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