Truth be told, 1983 seemed to be a banner year in terms of the number of incredible albums that came out. Especially if you were a fan of Heavy Metal music. If you don’t agree with me, just look at the wide and diverse span that we have already seen happening with Motley Crue’s “Shout At The Devil”, KISS’ “Lick It Up”, Def Leppard’s “Pyromania and that little debut from those guys in Metallica called “Kill ‘Em All”. Now it is time to add the debut by Mercyful Fate to the list as “Melissa” celebrates her thirtieth birthday. Now I will admit that while I was digging into my Metal a lot more at this point than I had a few years earlier, the stuff that Fate was doing kind of spooked me. Hey, just look at that sinister cover and you cannot tell me that King Diamond didn’t send a shiver up your spine when you first heard him belt out those insane falsetto notes. In 1983 I had been a KISS fan for years and was still coming to terms with their removing of the makeup and while I was digging what the Crue and Quiet Riot were up to, Mercyful Fate was a little too scary for me. At the moment at least. This viewpoint would change by the second album based on my own musical pursuits and then of course King Diamond would start a prolific solo career but I digress that I am getting a little ahead of myself here. Let’s discuss the overall “Melissa” album and what it did for the Metal genre of the day. Continue reading Mercyful Fate’s “Melissa”; Is Still Sinister As She Wants 2B Thirty Years Later→
Artist: King Diamond Title: “A Dangerous Meeting” Label: Roadrunner Records Release Date: 10/6/1992 Genre: Heavy Metal/Dark Metal Rating: 4.5/5
You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but both Mercyful Fate and King Diamond are two of the most imposing bands that the Heavy Metal world ever had sharing their dark thoughts with. Of course the two are very connected since the King was Fate’s singer before branching out on his own as a solo performer and while the original band’s world was a very Satanic and dark place to wander, the material that King would present expanded into numerous other sinister realms that were just as horrifying. With this in mind the compilation release from 1992 entitled “A Dangerous Meeting” takes some crucial Mercyful Fate tracks and then leaves the rest to the King Diamond releases of the time. We get a small sample of three of the Mercyful Fate tunes including material from their EP and while some time is paid to their seminal “Melissa” album the title tune itself is not here for the listener’s enjoyment and that was a shame. At seven tunes across two and a half powerful full releases this is only a teaser when it comes down to it. Fans are advised to pick up “Melissa” and “Don’t Break The Oath” to properly indulge in all of the bands original malevolent majesty. Continue reading “A Dangerous Meeting” by King Diamond→
Artist: Mercyful Fate Title: “The Beginning” (remaster) Label: Roadrunner Records Release Date: 11/11/1997 Genre: Heavy Metal Rating: 4/5
It is without question that Mercyful Fate was one of the most important of the Heavy Metal bands to arrive on the scene in 1982; theirs was a sound that was far more along the lines of what Black Metal would become than its cited founders Venom ever could have imagined. Sorcery and Witchcraft and a whopping dose of Satanic themes showed that singer King Diamond was not only imposing as a performer, but very pronounced in his beliefs. The legendary band would only release two official studio albums in their heyday with “Melissa” and “Don’t Break The Oath” before King Diamond would go off to front a band using his name alone and continue to make Heavy Metal history. The release of “The Beginning” is a must have for all fans of Fate and Metal in general for this allows you to enjoy the “Nuns Have No Fun” EP that the group issued in 1982. The raw sound of these four tracks still find Mercyful Fate to be a promising juggernaut for the genre while it was in its infancy. Continue reading “The Beginning” (remaster) by Mercyful Fate→
Artist: Mercyful Fate Title: “Melissa” (Remastered) Label: Roadrunner Records Release Date: 8/30/2005 Genre: Heavy Metal Rating: 8/10
As part of their 25th Anniversary celebration Roadrunner Records has re-issued one of the most important pieces in Heavy Metal and their own label history. “Melissa”, the 1983 release by Mercyful Fate was not only loaded with intricate music and dark inferences courtesy of Shermann and Denner but also gave us the one and only King Diamond. The King and this group were a force to be reckoned with in the musical sense and also for their very powerful visual imagery. Wearing garish face paint King Diamond was first seen by the larger public due to this album and he would prove to be as dark as the themes he sang about. Musically the band was incredible with Hank Shermann being one of the most creative Metal guitarists to ever grab an axe. The dueling performance between him and Michael Denner was often intense as King prowled and lurked singing and screaming the often horrific subject matter that the band focused on. Rounding out the group was Timi Grabber on bass and Kim Ruzz on drums. This special edition includes the entire album in a remastered sense and includes a score of bonus tracks as well as a live DVD. As you will listen you will find the songs taking on new life sounding as fresh as if they came out today. My favorites on the CD had always been “Evil”, “Black Funeral” and of course “Melissa” and the new release presents them with such a level of clarity that playing a certain volumes will take you away with them. Continue reading “Melissa” (remaster) by Mercyful Fate→
Artist: King Diamond Interview Date: 10/7/2004 Label: Metal Blade Records Interviewer: Ken Pierce
King Diamond……..need I say more? King Diamond is truly the Master Of Terror when it comes to Heavy Metal music. The man is a legend in Metal and not only for his work with Mercyful Fate but also for the prolific solo career which he embarked on afterward. For years he has been weaving tales of despair and intrigue and like the mere mortals we are, we follow him into the Darkness on a continual basis. I had the sinister pleasure of speaking to King Diamond via the telephone about his recent release of “Deadly Lullaby’s – Live” and whatever else came to mind. Here is a transcription of that conversation.
KP – Hello King Diamond how are you today
King Diamond – Good how are you Ken
KP – Great man, I totally expected a different voice on the phone, you know something a little more sinister.