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Classic Review: Mercyful Fate - Melissa
Mercyful Fate

Label: Roadrunner Records
Year released: 1983
Duration: 40:14
Tracks: 7
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: October 3, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating

Rated 4.63/5 (92.5%) (64 Votes)

I'm going to commit heresy here and say that "Don't Break The Oath" is Mercyful Fate's masterpiece, and that their debut, the much-lauded "Melissa," is not quite as good. Melissa was apparently the name they had for the skull King carried onstage, if you ever wondered.

This still holds up amazingly well after 22 years. "Melissa" is a heavy, riffy exercise in classic heavy metal with the distinctive vocal prowess of King Diamond at the helm, unleashed here for the first time on an unsuspecting world. "Evil" is a good opener, but not as good a song as it could be. The real prizes here are the awesome "Curse Of The Pharoahs" and then the groovy, Sabbath-styled "Into The Coven". "At The Sound Of The Demon Bell" is pretty cool, but "Black Funeral" smokes it right off the map. "Satan's Fall" gets a lot of press, but I have to say it isn't as good as all that. It's a 10-minute epic, and none of the parts are boring by themselves, but as a whole the song doesn't really come together. There are some good parts to it, but it's not really a great song, if you know what I mean. "Melissa" closes out the album on a mellower note, as it's a ballad - albeit of the heavy variety - and it doesn't have any really hooky parts.

So "Melissa" is a great album, and deservedly a classic, but despite the hype, it can't stand up to the all-encompassing awesomeness of "Don't Break The Oath." But you can't have one classic MF album and not the other one, that's just blasphemy. Get them both, get them both now.

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