Mercyful Fate:  Melissa 12" (yellow vinyl w black streaks)

Mercyful Fate: Melissa 12" (yellow vinyl w black streaks)

Tags: · 80s · hcpmf · heavy metal · metal · recommended · reissues · satan
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One of the earliest Roadrunner releases and the first to truly break the label out of the metal underground, Mercyful Fate's 1983 debut Melissa remains an astonishingly powerful record. Musically, it's a landmark, too. The twin guitar leads of Michael Denner and Hank Shermann, bolstered by the locked-in rhythm section of bassist Timi Hansen and drummer Kim Ruzz, created a powerful new, thoroughly European metal sound that combined the heaviness and instrumental flourishes of Rainbow with the aggression of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden.

But it was vocalist King Diamond who truly captured the metal world's attention - the combination of his striking black-and-white face paint and his amazing voice, which could leap from a hideous growl to a piercing falsetto scream in a single measure, was impossible to ignore. And of course, the album is just jammed with classic tracks, from the opening one-two punch of "Evil" and "Curse of the Pharoahs" to the haunting, album-ending title song.

Released as part of Metal Blade's 2020 Mercyful Fate reissue series, this colored vinyl LP edition features a spined sleeve with an insert and download card. King Diamond notes, "These are not remasters. These are the albums as they were originally done in the old days from the original production masters. They retain all the original dynamics that were captured at the time. It's very exciting to present these to fans as they were originally released."