Mercyful Fate and bassist Joey Vera have parted ways. Vera joined Mercyful Fate upon their 2019 reunion in place of the late and great Timi "Grabber" Hansen, and has been a part of the band until present day. No word on who is replacing Vera, though the band did tour with bassist Becky Baldwin in 2022.
"Mercyful Fate and Joey Vera have mutually decided to split ways," wrote Mercyful Fate. "'Our friendship and respect for each other will always remain the same, and we all sincerely wish each other the absolut best for the future,' says King Diamond."
It's also not clear if Vera has already recorded his parts for the new Mercyful Fate, or if that's still an ongoing process. Last we heard was from Diamond himself in June 2023, who had the following to say about that record and his own solo stuff.
"There's a lot in the works right now. I'm writing with Hank [Shermann, guitar] for Mercyful Fate and writing with Andy [La Rocque, guitar] for King Diamond and writing on my own for King Diamond. For King Diamond, it's an album that's gonna be called The Institute, which is part one of two; there'll be two full albums that will be completing that full story. As the title says, it's gonna be some creepy, weird stuff. And for Mercy, I also have the title, but I'm not giving it out to anybody at the moment. We have the front cover for the new Mercy too. It's very correct, very right for Mercyful Fate. It's very back to basics.
"For my part with both Mercy and King Diamond — even more King Diamond, I would say — all vocals are gonna be lead vocals again, like they were in the old days for me. It didn't matter if it was a choir singing on the right or the left side or whatever; they would still go in and pick up parts of the lyrics to progress the story and so on. So it's gonna be anything goes with the vocals, for sure — back to the old style. And for Mercy too; it's gonna be very old-fashioned. Hank is writing very much like the old days. And it's nice to feel that we can capture that again.
"So that's the two albums that are being worked on, that will be done by the time we go out on tour again, I'm sure."