Of the handful of bands such as Hellhammer, Venom and Bathory who formed the vanguard of the so-called black metal movement, Copenhagen's Mercyful Fate stand apart due to the more accessible nature of some of their material. Drawing upon progressive rock and traditional heavy metal the band under the stewardship of guitarist Hank Shermann developed a more commercial sound which eventually created an artistic rift between Shermann and singer King Diamond leading to the band's break-up in 1985. After following separate but not completely disconnected career paths founding members Diamond and Shermann along with Timi Hansen on bass and Michael Denner on guitar reformed and enjoyed a renaissance with the release of the album In The Shadows in 1993. The album marked a departure from the band's traditional inspiration of satanism and the occult for it's lyrical content drawing more upon conventional horror themes for its subject matter. It wasn't until 1999 and the release of the band's final studio album 9 that saw the band return to its original black metal roots and explore the dark side of the occult within its material.