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iTunes Review

With their first full-length album—1983’s Melissa—Mercyful Fate succeeded in defining an influential new strain of Satanic metal. While Venom were busy in the U.K. creating a more primitive, punk-influenced spin on the same style, Mercyful Fate were proudly magnificent. They took cues not just from Judas Priest but from the prototypical giants of '70s metal: Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath. Frontman King Diamond even admitted a passion for Rush's music, which is reflected not only in his vertiginous vocals but in the intricate composition of “Satan’s Fall” (guitarist Michael Denner later boasted that the song contains 16 distinct riffs). Melissa forms a bridge between the sneering hard rock of the '70s and the more extreme forms of metal that would follow in its wake. The band’s traditional rock chops actually make their evil lyrics more convincing. While King Diamond’s facepaint influenced scores of Scandinavian black metal acts, the group’s influence is better registered in the work of a band like Metallica, which proudly borrowed from the blueprint of “Black Funeral,” “Into the Coven,” and “Melissa.”

Customer Reviews

Incredible, beautiful hymns. Never outdone. All Hail!

One of the greatest things my ears shall ever hear. This is not a "heavy metal", or any other specified "genre" album. Aside from a few shock-value lyrics (although, theatrics are certainly a plus when we are speaking of King!), this is an album of hymns that Handel would be lucky to have the talent to write. This album will live on forever in many hearts as something sacred(?). Not just a great listen, but a great religious(?) experience.

Packing List for Eternity

Friends, when I die, at an absolute minimum, please pack among my provisions for the journey, the following tracks from this album: Evil, Curse Of The Pharaohs, Into The Coven.

Started it all

This is Mercyful Fate's debut album and this started the legacy of one of the best Black Metal bands to live. Other than Dani Filth and Nattefrost, King Diamond has got to be my favorite Black Metal vocalist. I really cant imagine how he gets his voice so high and he can do it night after night and album after album. Hank and Michael are guitar gods. Melissa has about 4 solos in it, not very long solos but very good ones. Also, i think itunes should put Mercyful Fate in the Black Metal itunes essential thing. It has all of the other bands from the first wave (Bathory, Celtic Frost, Venom) and i think MF should be added too. If you are a fan of any of those bands you will most likely like Mercyful Fate, who is my favorite out of all of them. Reccomended tracks are Black Funeral and Melissa.


Formed: 1981 in Copenhagen, Denmark

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Danish band featuring vocalist King Diamond, guitarists Hank Shermann and Michael Denner, bassist Timi Hansen, and drummer Kim Ruzz. Mercyful Fate won a large cult following thanks to their dramatic lyrics, showing a Gothic obsession with evil and the occult, and Diamond's amazing vocal range, which shifted from a low growl to a banshee scream, plus the interplay of Shermann and Denner. The band broke up after two full-length albums owing to differences of opinion about what direction the group should...
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