Mercyful Fate is one of those bands that get cited for being very influential. I managed to buy a second-hand copy of their classic 1983 CD Melissa, and boy, was the album amazing. The whole album runs for only 40 minutes (very short by today’s standard, but those were vinyl days), but there is absolutely no filler. Every single track dazzles. King Diamond is in his prime (his vocals are smooth and don’t sound strained despite the range), and the dual guitar attack of Hank Shermann and Michael Denner is unrelenting.
For me, the stand out track is the epic Satan’s Fall. According to Michael Denner, there are about sixteen different riffs in this song alone – many of these riffs are much copied. For example, the riffs towards the end of the 11 minute plus rocker are definitely recycled by Cradle Of Filth on their equally excellent Dusk And Her Embrace album.