King Diamond (born Kim Bendix Petersen in Copenhagen, Denmark, June 14, 1956) is an unlockable character in Guitar Hero: Metallica.He is in real-life the successful lead singer of renowned heavy metal bands Mercyful Fate and his own self-named band. He can be bought after the song "Evil" is passed by the player, allowing him to sing for non-Metallica songs.
King Diamond's first band, with whom he played guitar, was called Brainstorm. King Diamond left Brainstorm and began singing with a local Danish hard rock band Black Rose. It was during this time in Black Rose that King Diamond began experimenting with horror-themed theatrics as well as shaping a malevolent, quasi-Satanic stage persona. In 1980, he left Black Rose and joined the punk-metal band Brats where he met the three musicians (Hank Shermann, Michael Denner, Timi Hansen) that would join with King Diamond in 1980 to become Mercyful Fate.
Following Mercyful Fate's 1984 release of Don't Break the Oath and the subsequent tour (which saw them play in the U.S. for the first time), King Diamond split ways with Mercyful Fate. With him, he took two of his bandmates (Hansen and Denner) to pursue a solo career under his own name.
Mercyful Fate reunited in 1992 (while King Diamond simultaneously continued his solo career) and recorded five more studio albums. In 1999 King decided to put Mercyful Fate on hold and continue on with his solo career. Though Mercyful Fate continues to remain dormant, the band is still under contract with Metal Blade Records. In recent interviews, King Diamond has stated that Mercyful Fate will record and tour again when the timing is right, saying "It's definitely not finished."
In 2001, King Diamond worked out a deal with the band Usurper to sing backup vocals on the song "Necronemesis" in exchange for them shifting their recording schedule around to accommodate the recording of Abigail II: The Revenge. In 2004, King Diamond contributed vocals to "Sweet Dreams", which was the final track on the album of Dave Grohl's heavy metal side project Probot. In late 2005, King Diamond appeared on the 11Roadrunner United - The All-Star Sessions11 album, contributing vocals to the song "In the Fire", which featured multiple Roadrunner Records musicians (past and present) working together to create individual songs. King Diamond also guested on the Cradle of Filth song "Devil Woman" in late 2005.
In April 2006, King reunited with Motörhead drummer Mikkey Dee at a sold-out gig at Kåren in Gothenburg, Sweden. In 2001 King referred to Dee as "one of the best [drummers] of all time and that's something that has bothered us since he left."
King Diamond released his album Give Me Your Soul... Please, on June 26, 2007. Following the release, the band received a Grammy nomination in the "Best Metal Performance" category for the track "Never Ending Hill". He was forced to cancel a United States tour due to a herniated disk, causing severe back pain, which puts him in intense pain almost all of the time. He attributes the problem to the long, stressful hours spent working on the album.
King Diamond made an appearance at Ozzfest on August 9, 2008 at Frisco, TX alongside Metallica, performing a medley of Mercyful Fate songs previously released on Metallica's Garage Inc. album. Earlier in the day, he also performed a cover of the Pantera song "A New Level" with the band's former drummer Vinnie Paul, as well as Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian, Sepultura/Soulfly/Cavalera Conspiracy vocalist/guitarist Max Cavalera, and bassist Nick Bowcott.
In 2009, King Diamond was revealed to be a character for the rhythm game Guitar Hero: Metallica, appearing with Mercyful Fate's song "Evil".
On stage, King Diamond uses a microphone handle consisting of a femur bone and a tibia bone in the shape of a cross. King Diamond had previously used a full human skeleton, which was called Melissa (after Mercyful Fate's iconic 1983 debut album and song of the same name), on stage. In the mid-1980s, Melissa's skull was stolen after a performance in the Netherlands. It was claimed to have been finally returned in 2006; however, this was denied by King Diamond himself.
King Diamond has changed the design of his make-up often over the years. With Conspiracy, he wore a mesh of black and white line war paint, with some red "blood" made to look like a wound coming out of his forehead. With his album The Puppet Master, he used very little white and mainly had black inverted crosses going up and down his face.
In an interview from 2006, King Diamond stated that he does not follow any specific religion, and expressed concern that religion has led so many people to kill and destroy each other. He stated that he cannot comprehend why religion has caused so much death and destruction when it is logically impossible to prove the presence or absence of any god. He states that he has reached a point in his life where he has completely given up believing in anything religious and that he simply does not know what to answer when asked whether he is a Satanist or not.