Unquestionably, Mercyful Fate’s “Melissa”, Venom’s “Black Metal”, early Celtic Frost and early Bathory are considered the foundations of modern black metal. Although the music on “Melissa” has more akin to the foundations of modern power metal than black metal, the black metal attitude is definitely there. No self-described fan of heavy music can call their collection complete if they do not have this album. Bands ranging from Metallica to Pearl Jam to Emperor have discussed the influence of Mercyful Fate on them. It really doesn’t get much better than songs like “Evil”, “Curse of the Pharoahs”, “Into the Coven” and “Satan’s Fall”.
It is also worth spending the extra few bucks to get this version for the interesting liner notes in which King, Hank, Michael, and the album’s producer describe the recording process. It is also worth it for the bonus live official “bootleg” on disc 2 because it is of good quality for a bootleg.
5 star classic!