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Mercyful Fate - 1983 - "Melissa" (41 min, Denmark)
1. Evil 2. Curse of the Pharaohs 3. Into the Coven 4. At the Sound of the Demon Bell 5. Black Funeral 6. Satan's Fall 7. Melissa Kind Diamond (real name Kim Petersson) - vocals Hank Shermann - guitars Michael Denner - guitars Timi "Grubber" Hansen - bass Kim Ruzz - drums All songs written by Diamond / Shermann / Denner.
This is the very first pure (without keyboards) prog-metal album of all time! Don't forget the discovery made by Black Sabbath in the second half of the '70s (see "B" section of "Short and detailed reviews"), but at least, forget Fates Warning's crown for the pioneer work in respect of this genre. I personally really like four (of 1986-1989, 1997) albums created by Fates Warning, but their first album "Night on Brocken", released in 1984 (!), showed by no means progressive metal, but just a speedy hard-rock in the vein of Iron Maiden. To understand this fact (if only progressive metal is also your piece of the cake) you need just a few listenings of "Melissa", especially the second part of the album, where the songs Black Funeral and, of course, the titletrack shine like diamonds.
Unlike the next album of Mercyful Fate with more direct structures, "Melissa" contains all the necessary components of (heavy) progressive such as these: various themes and arrangements, changes of tempos and moods, etc., within any separate song from the album. It is well known that the main indicator of a progressive work is complexity, which consists of the above-mentioned components. Only it's a pity, that the sound quality on the original edition is not that excellent. Fortunately, a remastered version is coming soon.
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