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The principle of doubt - 88%

Forever Underground, September 13th, 2021

First of all I don't come here to criticize the classics because I want to be cool guy with my "out of the box" opinions. When I do a review I do it mainly because I think I have something to say that can contribute about that album or because I want to review it in depth, in this case I wanted to review in depth Melissa by Mercyful Fate, why? Well basically because on a punctual listening I did of the album, I was feeling that maybe the album wasn't as good as I remembered, which made me feel strange and made me want to go deeper into it. I still believe that it has a lot of good aspects to highlight, I will comment on the ones I think are the most interesting, but I certainly think it has some negative points that I think that since it is a classic they go a little more unnoticed and sometimes even deliberately ignored due to its status.

In my opinion there are several moments of dubious musical quality that go unnoticed mainly because of the magnificent interpretation of King Diamond who besides executing his role at a good level, is responsible only with his voice to give much more dynamism and atmosphere to parts of some songs that if they were purely musical could come to appreciate that the album has lower moments than it may seem, some examples of this would be the chorus of King Diamond in "At the Sound of the Demon Bell" when the lyrics says

"Rise... rise... rise... rise... It's Halloween
Rise... rise... The ghost will rise".

If they didn't have those choruses and left only the instrumental part before that part was sung we would find ourselves in a rather poor musical moment and yet it ends up being one of the most memorable moments of the song.

Another example would be the part that serves as a prelude to the guitar solo of "Into the Coven" which is harmonized by the falsettos of King Diamond and without which it would lose strength both that moment and the following one, and I think that this effect can be found in many songs of the album, so in my opinion it is safe to say that they had difficulties when writing transitions.

Is this something to criticize? Shouldn't we value the music as the sum of all the parts? I understand that it seems unfair to criticize something based on "if you remove this element it wouldn't sound so good" and in fact it is totally unfair, however I don't do all this to try to get something negative from where in principle there is none, I think it can serve as a point to compare the musical level and the evolution that would come later with "Dont break the Oath" which is far superior in this aspect with respect to this one.

Even so I think that 90% of the musical work of this album is exceptional, there is a quantity of iconic riffs that is sincerely outstanding and when we find ourselves with the song "Satan's Fall" we are in front of the biggest exception to the rule that we found in this work, if most of the songs were improved by King Diamond's performance, here we find a song that if it was totally instrumental I'm sure it would be just as good, the amount of killer riffs that this song has is immeasurable and could be qualified as the best song of the whole discography of the band perfectly.

Although my doubts about the quality of this classic album have been resolved in a positive way, it is worth remembering that the true value of the music from an artistic aspect is the music itself, of course there are more factors such as the time in which it was released or the influence it had on various genres, but we should never be terrified of reviewing with a critical perspective an album with an already defined status, that is the way for the medium to move forward.

"Cartesian doubt is a systematic process of being skeptical about (or doubting) the truth of one's beliefs."