Arguably the most original and critically acclaimed group to come from Denmark was Mercyful Fate. Mercyful Fate’s nucleus comprised of the multi-octave vocals of King Diamond aka Kim Bendix Petersen, and the twin lead guitar attack of Hank Sherman aka Rene Krolmark and Michael Denner. “Melissa” was the group’s first formal recording and was a featured LP for Road Runner Records. Although “Melissa” was originally released in 1983, and re-released in 1997, Roadrunner Records has remastered the songs and released this classic for your listening enjoyment. It includes the highly sought after early 1980’s BBC sessions, two extra demo tracks of “Black Funeral”, and “Curse of the Pharaohs” and a three track DVD featuring live footage of the band during early 1983. A commentary by King Diamond himself narrates the performance and the story of the group during that time frame. Mercyful Fate pioneered a sub genre of ultra heavy and complex music renown for its macabre lyrics, and Satanic/occultism driven imagery and attitude called Black Metal.
The relevance of “Melissa” as a recording is immense. Firstly the LP had 7 drop dead knock out classics including the 11 minute opus “Satan’s Fall” Secondly, Mercyful Fate’s sound was so obscenely original that to this day not another group even vaguely comes close to emulating them. And thirdly, Mercyful Fate’s success paved the way for many other extremely heavy artists to prosper.
In conclusion, this group’s body of work isn’t for everybody, and some will find the subject content and or delivery of Mercyful Fate’s music to be uncomfortable. But for those who are interested in truly groundbreaking Metal classics and the development of the genre of darker Metal music, this CD/DVD package is a must have for your collection! Be sure to check out Mercyful Fate’s 9 other releases, King Diamond’s solo work and Force of Evil’s cds featuring Hank Sherman and Michael Denner