Mercyful Fate - Melissa

Mercyful Fate - Melissa

\r\nHardly ever come up bands having the personality and the quality of MERCIFUL FATE. Even in the golden decade of 80s, where an elation of inspiration and creativity existed, the band from Denmark succeeded in distinguishing itself by presenting something completely different, something which had never been heard before and, according to my humble opinion, has never been heard since then. This was mainly due to the characteristic and unique in the whole world voice of King Diamond (his real name is Kim Bendix Petersen), and to the composer and guitarist of the group Hank Shermann (his real name is Hank De Wank) as well, whom the personal craze of inspiration seemed ceaseless... Fortunately, Shermann had the appropriate "tools" to accomplish all these gorgeous inspirations he had. The guitarist Michael Denner, the bassist Timi ’Grabber’ Hansen and the drummer Kim Ruzz, who completed the group’s line up, were excellent musicians, ready to fulfil each “crazy” desire of Shermann. And believe me; he had many of them… \r\n

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\r\nTheir first discography trial was the E.P. Nuns Have No Fun, which released in 1982 from the small Dutch company Rave-on Records and which consisted on four songs: A Corpse without Soul, Nuns Have No Fun, Doomed By The Living Dead and Devil Eyes. Despite the fact that the final result didn’t satisfy the group, as they had very low budget and only 3 days to record and mix their songs, the people liked them and things seemed to be on the way. The "jackals" of Roadrunner seeing the impression which the E.P. left and their amazing live performances, realised that they had to do with a group which was meant to be in the history of metal and signed with them a contract for five albums. \r\n

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\r\nThe first of them, named Melissa, was recorded in the July of 1983 in Easy Sounds Studios in kopegxagh, having the owner Henrik Lund as a producer. The album released in November of the same year. To manage to impress in the vinyl the pioneer and special musical style of the group was something extremely very hard and Lund succeeded in it. The final result was amazing. Don’t ask me to describe it, it’s impossible. The absolute paranoia can’t be described... \r\n

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\r\nThe incredible imagination of Shermann had as a result the changes coming continuously one after another in almost all the songs, to the point that one thinks himself "what’s going on here? » A typical example of this is the song "Satan’s Fall", without doubt the leading song of the album, a masterpiece of 11 minutes and 26 seconds, in which the band unfolds its huge talent in the best way. Listen and you will remember me. This is a rare occasion, where such a long song with so many changes in it, it is not tired at all, but on the contrary I beg not to finish!!! It’s really amazing... \r\n

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\r\nOn the other side, just to realise how crazy the group is, there is the "Black Funeral", which is the most normal song, as it is the only song without a singe change!! It seems that the exhalation of Shermann concerning the composition has at last come to an end... \r\n

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\r\nThe favourite "Evil", the opening song of the album, is likely their most known and classic song. I still remember how intensively Diamond was asked to play this song and the incredible panic which took place in RODON when he played it. Thanks King... \r\n

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\r\nThe "Curse Of The Pharaohs", "Into The Coven" and "At The Sound Of The Demon Bell" are excellent songs, but my favourite one is "Melissa", the last song of the album. I shiver each time I hear the fantastic melodic introduction with the amazing solo of Michael Denner and the "hard-rending dirge" of King..Shiver you too hearing the sensational performance of this great singer. Especially in this song, as well in others in the same album, you will find some elements from Judas Priest, in the period of "Sad Wings of Destiny", but this was inevitable, as Shermann was a fervid admirer of the great Priest. Of course we are not talking about a haphazard copy, as some bands do nowadays, in case they don’t have their own material. Finally, I would like to reward once again Henrik Lund did his perfect job concerning the sound quality, something which one came across seldom in that time, especially in independent productions. \r\n

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\r\nAs a simple fan of a kind of music I adore and listen to it for 20 whole years, I would like to give you an advice and you follow it if you want to. Don’t spend your precious money and time buying and hearing "fake" albums, be made completely in the studios from groups with no talent at all, which pay in order to compose "fake" hymns in "fake" magazines. Search a little bit more in the past and invest in non-temporal diamonds, which have been sculptured from authentic musicians, who have incomparable talent and personality. Melissa is one of these diamonds and Merciful fate were five of these musicians. Have a nice hearing. \r\n

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\r\nAntonis Alexandropoulos \r\n

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\r\nTranslation in English: Aliki Maxoutoglou \r\n

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