As one looks upon the annals of early heavy metal, it is easy to look upon giants such as Black Sabbath
, Judas Priest
, Motorhead, Led Zeppelin
and Iron Maiden in wonder and awe as the progenitors of the heavy sound that we have come to enjoy.
One of the most underrated bands out there, and an inspiration on the thrash and black metal scenes of the 80s and 90s, Mercyful Fate
stands as one of the unsung heroes of the early days of heavy metal.
With a make-up wearing singer who can wail to match Rob Halford
and two of the greatest guitarists ever, this band will blow your socks off and have you wailing "Satan
!" at the top of your lungs, in your best falsetto imitation.
What can I say about this album? It's good old fashioned heavy metal, for sure, even if it is credited as an influence on the black metal scene. The quality is, of course, greatly lacking. But what this album lacks in quality, it surely makes up for in musicianship and talent. Michael Denner and Hank Shermann shred like nothing else, whether on melodic intro solos like "Into the Coven" and the chilling title track "Melissa
", or riffs on well-recognized tracks such as "Evil
of the Pharaohs", the ridiculously-short "Black Funeral
", or the 11-minute epic "Satan
Let me just take a moment to expound upon the glories of "Satan
the misleading title, this song is just as satanic as the rest of the album (with the exception of "Curse
of the Pharaohs"). What I find so glorious is the extreme stamina of these two guitarists, not to mention the drummer and bassist. As a musician myself, I know how tough it can be to pump out an epic song while playing non-stop, but Mercyful Fate
pulled it off magnificently.
In summation, I would definitely encourage metal fans to get a hold of this album. I did, and I don't regret the money I spent on it. It's a kick-ass album of "true" heavy metal to fans of old music, and an inspiration for aspiring guitarists who seek to one day wield the six-stringed ax for more than just riffage.