MERCYFUL FATE – Melissa [40th Anniversary remastered] (2023) HQ *Exclusive*
Metal Blade Records is releasing MERCYFUL FATE‘s classic record “Melissa” in celebration of the album’s 40th Anniversary. What makes this release special is that it’s a version of ”Melissa” that was remastered by genius Ted Jensen of Sterling Sound in NYC and has, up until now, not been available to fans digitally.
I still remember back in the ’80 when I got “Melissa” in my hands as import – wow, that cover art was terrifying. And the song titles? ‘Into the Coven’, ‘At the Sound of the Demon Bell’, ‘Satan’s Fall’, ‘Black Funeral’… wow, demoniac indeed. And the the music… true ’80s metal!
Advocating the need for Parental Advisory labels on audio recordings, the infamous Parents Music Resource Center cited “Into the Coven” among their Filthy Fifteen objectionable songs due to its perceived occult content. In 2017, Rolling Stone ranked ”Melissa” as 17th on their list of ‘The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time’.
From the opening lines of “Evil” all the way through the end, this album just oozes, well… evil. The riffs and songs are just off the scale – awesome. This is one of the most ‘true metal’ albums of the 80s, no question. It stands up against the best stuff from Maiden or any other band of that time.
Of course, it must be said that many people will not be able to get past King Diamond’s extensive use of falsetto, but those people are missing out.
Other thing to consider is that this album is very “proggy” in the sense the band is constantly introducing new and increasingly interesting musical ideas. They are not satisfied with just three chord, verse-chorus-verse-chorus. These songs move and progress, and are always throwing something great at you.
“Satan’s Fall” is simply epic and has some of the most ominous sounding riffs you’ll hear. Title track “Melissa” is beautifully spooky. “Into the Coven” is just awesome, and the list goes on – every song is a solid classic of the era, and the album as a whole stands up today as well as it did 40 years ago.
A treasure for any metal collection.
02. Curse of the Pharaohs
03. Into the Coven
04. At the Sound of the Demon Bell
05. Black Funeral
06. Satan’s Fall
King Diamond – vocals
Hank Shermann – guitars
Michael Denner – guitars
Timi Hansen – bass
Kim Ruzz – drums