Mercyful Fate, 'Melissa' (1983)
Mercyful Fate were obviously a significant, pivotal band on our radar. They were a big part of shaping Metallica's sound, and for a lot of people in the hard rock underground, they were one of the bands that got their name around. This was their first proper album. It was a huge, huge, huge influence on a lot of the next generation of bands, like ourselves, and they were also great friends and became partners in crime. We rehearsed in their rehearsal studio, we did shows together, and we actually did a medley of all their songs for one of [Metallica's] "garage" albums. They had two guitars, lots of harmonies and musical adventures – some of the songs are really long. There's a song called "Satan's Fall" that's gotta be at least 10 minutes long, or something.
Their concerts were crazy. [Frontman] King Diamond would, like, recite the Lord's Prayer backwards before a song, and for one of the songs, they would have some goose feathers and do all of this ritualistic stuff, which King Diamond was super passionate about it. He's a super cool guy. You know, we were just really into the music. It was just so fresh and so original and we loved those guys. They were really, really like brothers-in-arms for many years.