Mercyful Fate will play their first North American tour in 23 years starting late next month, but one of the group's members will be sitting out the run. Bassist Joey Vera has revealed that a touring conflict has forced him to make the decision to bow out of Mercyful Fate's reunion run, but the band has already moved quickly to find his replacement.

In a message posted to both his own and Mercyful Fate's Instagram accounts, Vera reveals that he had previously committed to an Armored Saint tour supporting WASP that had been delayed due to the pandemic. With Mercyful Fate receiving a chance to tour this fall in the U.S., that led to the tours overlapping and with Vera having to choose between the two.

Vera was initially meant to fill in for ailing Mercyful Fate bassist Timi Hansen, who had been battling cancer, but then became their full-time bassist after Hansen's death in 2019. The band's reunion tour got underway in Hanover, Germany in June of this year, with the group playing their first live show since 1999.

Vera's full statement on his exit from the Mercyful Fate fall tour can be read below, along with the introduction of the bassist that will be filling in for him, Becky Baldwin.

My dear friends: As some of you have done the math and checked your calendars, you may have noticed that it appears as though I’ve scheduled myself to be on two tours at the same time this Fall. As most of you know, I have been promoting the tour with Armored Saint supporting WASP for almost a year now. A tour I committed to in 2021 and Never You Fret, I am standing by that commitment. No thanks to the results of Covid affecting nearly every aspect of the touring industry, touring schedules have since been cancelled and moved to different times in the year. And so, Mercyful Fate had received a touring opportunity recently that was impossible to turn down. Unfortunately, this schedule conflicts with my tour in the fall with Armored Saint. So, it pains me a great deal that I cannot be in two places at one time, because If I could, I most certainly would.

Over the past 3 months I have been welcomed into the Mercyful Fate family with open arms, and this includes all of the fans. I have made new lifelong friends and have had the most amazing time this summer performing with these great musicians onstage and of course for you, the fans. These Mercyful Fate shows have been some of the most incredible gigs I’ve ever been a part of. Ever. I have been asked to be a full member in the Mercyful Fate band for touring and recording their next record, and I have accepted. However, I regretfully have to sit out this upcoming Fall Tour in the USA and S. America.

Since the show must go on, I hope you will welcome my stand-in bassist for the fall tour Becky Baldwin, with your open arms, who also plans to play the Mercy music with honor and respect to our fallen brother Tim Hansen, just as I have tried to do. I know many of you have seen the live clips on Youtube, but I promise you, this is a show you will have to see in person to believe it. Prepare yourselves to be completely blown away.

I will miss my brothers and our crew in Mercy this fall, but I’m looking forward very much to playing with my mates in Saint again and of course seeing all of you on our fall tour. See ya down front!

In closing, If I may borrow King Diamond’s “sign off”, – Stay Heavy

Meanwhile, Mercyful Fate are also giving fans a taste of what Baldwin can do on the bass, sharing a video preview of her rocking a bit of "Come to the Sabbath" in rehearsal. That video can be seen below.

Mercyful Fate's North American tour gets underway Oct. 25 in Dallas at The Factory, with dates booked through mid-November. The tour will also feature sets from Kreator and Midnight. See all the stops here and pick up tickets at this location.

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