Hammerfall Guitarist Explains How King Diamond’s “Venerate Me” Appearance Came About


Last month, Swedish steelworkers HAMMER DROP releases a new single, “Venerate Me”with a special appearance by the legendary Danish heavy metal singer King Diamond. The title is taken from the band’s twelfth studio album, “Hammer of Dawn”which is expected on February 25 via Napalm discs.

In a new interview with Chris Akin, HAMMER DROP guitarist Oscar Dronjak indicated how King Diamondthe contribution of was born (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I am a huge DIAMOND KING and MERCIFUL FATE fan – us all are, from our adolescence; we’ve been listening to them since the 80s. And King Diamond is one of those [artists] – if you want King Diamondyou don’t just Like him; you to like him [and] you love everything about it. It’s just like that, for some reason; I don’t know why, but that’s how everyone is. So just have King Diamond as a cameo on the album – because it really is, it’s a cameo; it’s not like a ‘starring King Diamond‘; it’s not a duo or anything. As much as I would to like do that, that’s not it. So what happened is when I wrote this [song] “Venerate Me”I had this part and I thought, ‘If MERCIFUL FATE Where DIAMOND KING had this song back [in the day], that’s how they would have done it one way or another. It was right in the back of my head. Then onwards to recording the album, I sat down in the chair and said, more than half-jokingly, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if King Diamond sang this part instead of Joacim [Cans, HAMMERFALL singer]?’ or whatever, not thinking it will ever happen; Of course not. And then our other guitarist, Bridge [Norgren], he is also a sound engineer; he works with King Diamond for years—several years—so he knows him. I know that, of course, but just knowing someone doesn’t mean this thing is going to happen. When I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if…?’, he said, ‘I’m sure if I ask him, he’ll say yes.’ And I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? Is there really a chance, do you think? ‘Cause then it started to turn into “Does [there] in fact maybe a possibility of [this] event?’ And then he called her later that night, and King said yes. Sure.’ He immediately sent the material. Then we had months to work on it, to prepare it. And you know what it’s like when you have a deadline months ahead — you don’t deal with it until it’s closer. So once we were in the mix, that’s when things started picking up. [We said] “If we have to do it, it has to happen now, because soon it will be too late. And he sent his file. I talked to him a lot on the phone, explaining to him what I… Well, actually, I didn’t have to explain anything, because I sent the part, like, “That’s what I hear. Can you sing that? Do what you want, but that’s what I hear. And he tried to explain to me how he wanted it to sound and how he wanted his voice to sound in the mix, so we talked about it a lot. I immediately understood because King Diamond‘s voice is his trademark; Everybody recognize this. So he was very particular about how he wanted it to manifest. He didn’t just want to do it and then send the files and [say], ‘Do whatever you want with it.’ It is not the King Diamond style at all, and I appreciate it one hundred percent; I totally respect that. So we tried to include it as much as possible. We wanted him to be happy – [that was the] Bottom line – we wanted him to be happy with the end result, otherwise he might not want to do it. And we wanted everyone to be happy.”

Oscar continued, “What we had and the detailed things he came up with, they were just very small changes. To us, it didn’t mean much at all. It was, like, ‘no more vocals here, less…’ whatever – balance, basically, and the kind of effects that were used on the vocals. So we were happy with anything. But he was really meticulous about getting his vocals right. I mean, can you believe after doing this for 40 years – yeah, 40 years now, I think – being so meticulous about something, I have so much respect for it So once we got those levels and everything balanced, he was happy; we were happy. Boom. That’s the last thing that happened on the mix. And then – only then – did I really believe it was going to be true. Then I realized: “Now we have it. Now it’s done.” And then I was happy as hell.”

“Hammer of Dawn” was produced by a long-time collaborator Fredrik Nordstrom (IN FIRE, OPETH), who did the mixing, mastering, recording the drums and shared the task of recording guitars and bass with Norgren and Dronjak. Jacob Hansen (VOLBEAT) produced the lead vocals.

Later this year, HAMMER DROP will team up with HELLO for an extensive co-headlining tour across Europe.

King Diamond is probably one of the most recognizable and prolific personalities in heavy metal. Twice grammys nominated and revered by icons as great as METALLIC and PANTHER, King Diamond, the man and the band, left an indelible mark on the history, and now still, the future of heavy metal; Appearances in video games, festivals and tours helped propel the living legend into the limelight and in front of new crowds of metal fans. King DiamondThe 40-year musical career is one of the richest in heavy metal history, and the story isn’t over yet.

King and his wife, singer of Hungarian origin Livia Zitahave a son almost five years old, byron. The boy was named after Kingall time favorite singer, late URIAH HEEP leader David Byron. Livia played with DIAMOND KING as a chorister since 2003.

King Diamondwhose real name is Kim Bendix PetersonRecount metal hammer in 2016 that he is “much healthier” since undergoing open-heart triple bypass surgery in 2010. He said: “I quit smoking after my heart scare, my wife keeps me on a diet strict that I am completely, and the doctors are amazed at how healthy I am these days. Honestly, I think I am healthier now than I have ever been. I have also found that since making a real effort to have a healthy lifestyle, my voice has improved so much I can now hit notes that were difficult for me when I was younger.


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