Sunday, January 15, 2017

Mercyful Fate - Melissa (1983)

While Mercyful Fate is far from anything extreme or underground, just like Sabbath, they're definitely a pivotal band that undoubtedly deserves a spot on the blog. Mercyful Fate was a part of the first wave of black metal was instrumental in the use of occult and satanist themes. Notable for this band is their unlikely influence of more 70's-like hard or alternative rock. While they were pioneers in the development of black metal, their style was not as much of an influence as other first wave bands and can be more described as "heavy" or "speed" metal. Most of the bands from this movement went on to influence 90's black metal, particularly in Norway. You see a lot of late 80's and 90's thrash bands reference Mercyful Fate as influential as well.
For anyone who is a fan of the occult, you can't pass this album without at least giving it a try. If you need more convincing, in '85 the Parents Music Resource Center labeled "Into The Coven" as one of their "Filthy Fifteen" objectionable songs due to it's content. I'm not gonna lie, Mercyful Fate can be... difficult to listen to. Compositionally speaking, the music is rhythmically catchy and reminiscent of heavy metal, but it's the vocals and the content that really make this album "raised from the grave.. by the dead!" If you can manage to get through the unpredictable pitches of the vocals, this is a truly enjoyable album for any metal head, I don't think there is anyone out there who enjoys metal truly who hasn't at least heard this album. At the very least, go read the lyrics for some creative and disturbing story telling.

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