Great Metal Albums of 1983: Mercyful Fate- Melissa
My first experience of the 1983 “Melissa” album from Danish metal band Mercyful Fate didn’t come until early 1985 when I heard the best known song from the album, “Black Funeral” on a compilation album. During that time, I constantly heard the Jesus brigade going on about how the lyrics of rock songs all have hidden Satanic messages that mess with your subconscious. Well, it is safe to say that there are no such hidden subversive lyrics in the song, “Black Funeral.” No, instead lead singer King Diamond just comes out and sings “Hail Satan.” I’ve loved that song ever since.
“Black Funeral” isn’t the only song on the Melissa album that has straight forward messages from the Dark Lord. There are lyrics in most of the songs here that grab my attention and fill me with much amusement. Take the second track, “Curse of the Pharaohs.” Those lyrics, “Don’t touch, never ever steal unless you’re in for the kill or you’ll be hit by the curse of the pharaohs” Continue to make me smile. After that is “Into the Coven” with, “Come, come into my coven and become Lucifer’s Child.” The penultimate track, “Satan’s Fall” gives two different sets of lyrics to amuse. The first is “Bring me the blood of the unborn child.” The second greatly amused my roommate at University in London and upon hearing it repeated “Satan’s still alive.” With all of these, one my think that I have upside down crosses on my front lawn and an altar in my backyard where I sacrifice chickens, goats and virgins to Satan. I don’t because like so many millions of people, song lyrics don’t effect me like that.
Satanic lyrics is only one reason to like this album. The music on “Melissa” is of top quality. Most metalheads know the unmistakable voice of King Diamond and his ability to go from a deep, low growl to his high pitched harmonies. On this album, he is probably at his best. However, what has gone less noticed is the guitar work of both Michael Denner and Hank Shermann. Not only do they hammer out some cool solos throughout the album, there is some nice little guitar breaks in the songs as well. Two more to add to the list of under appreciated guitarists. Furthermore, this is the only album that I know where the first three tracks all have catchy riffs. The opening riffs in “Evil” definitely grab your attention and when the song ends, the opening riffs to “Curse of the Pharaohs” keeps things moving. That’s not all, the medieval sounding opening lead guitar intro to “Into the Coven” is done very nicely. So, all in all, this is an album to enjoy the music while being amused by the lyrics.
- Curse of the Pharaohs
- Into the Coven
- At the Sound of the Demon Bell
- Black Funeral
- Satan’s Fall
King Diamond- vocals
Hank Shermann- guitar
Michael Denner- guitar
Tim “Grabber” Hansen- bass
Kim Ruzz- drums
Mercyful Fate’s “Melissa” album was my first true indoctrination into black metal and it had the effect of getting me hooked on it. For me, it was the right album at the right time.
Next post: Tank- This Means War
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This entry was posted on January 13, 2017 at 8:24 pm and is filed under 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags Black Metal, Classic Rock, Denmark, Guitarists, hard rock, Heavy Metal, Heavy Rock, King Diamond, Melissa, Mercyful Fate, The 1980s. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.