American Nihilist Underground Society

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King Diamond's Melissa Recovered

Elusive Heavy Metal Artifact Uncovered by ANUS researchers


HOUSTON, TX -- Early this week, members of the American Nihilist Underground Society -- an organization known for its extensive and elitist Dark Legions metal archives -- have returned a long lost artifact of heavy metal history to its rightful owner.

The "Melissa" skull, which was once owned by heavy metal crooner King Diamond, was stolen at a Mercyful Fate show in Holland in the mid 1980s. The skull was said to be that of a witch who suffered at the hands of Judeo-Christianity before finding its way to King Diamond. Prior to the theft, the skull often accompanied King Diamond on shows and inspired multiple Mercyful Fate and King Diamond songs; one of which was chosen as the title for Mercyful Fate's debut album.

The ANUS member who recovered Melissa declined to give us his real name, but opted to give us his ANUS screen name of "Penisbird". We managed to contact him through the phone and recorded the interview with his permission. Here is his story, in a slightly edited and abridged version.

"We talked for a while and had similar taste in metal. We were both fans of Gorguts, Burzum, Atheist, and Opeth, and we were both familiar with the legendary Texan thrash bands Dead Horse and Fearless Iranians from Hell. We talked for a while until he asked me about what I thought about Mercyful Fate. I told him that I thought Don't Break the Oath was an absolute metal masterpiece, and he nodded. His bloodshot eyes, I think he was stoned or something, I don't know, then narrowed and he asked me if I knew about King Diamond's old skull."

Penisbird took a moment to recollect himself, and then continued. "Of course I did. What true metalhead doesn't? Well, the guy came closer and whispered to me saying that he had obtained it a few years ago from some Dutch guy in exchange for a hit of [LSD]. I was, uh, impressed, naturally, though skeptical. He told me he had it in the glovebox of his car and it was collecting dust, and that I could go see it. I followed him and lo and behold, a human skull with trauma to the forehead was, um, there. He then looked down at my Demilich shirt and asked if I would like to trade it for the skull, as the novelty had already worn off for him. I grudglingly accepted because while those Demilich shirts were limited in number, there is only one Melissa skull. I hoped it wasn't a scam, but a shirt for a human head wasn't a bad deal at all. Though walking around without a shirt afterwards holding a skull didn't exactly improve my place in social heirarchy."

Penisbird paused for a second, then continued, "The next day I got up, took a shot of [alcohol] for my hangover, and called up my buddie Prozak. Prozak is deep in the underground when it comes to metal, man. He can name drop bands I've never even heard of before at the drop of a hat. I mean, the guy refers to some metal icons by their first names! He used to run some underground metal radio show years ago called KCUF or something. Anyways, I called him up and asked him what I should do with [the skull]. He told me to visit King Diamond's house and he gave me his address. I put the skull in a box, picked up some friends, got a meal at Taco Cabana, stopped at a rest area to [go the bathroom], and eventually arrived at Dallas."

"I could feel my legs trembling with my jittery nerves as I was accompanied by my friends approaching the house. It was a pretty nice house, come to think of it. I was unsurprised at it being painted black. We walked up, I was holding the skull in my left hand, and rang the door bell. A few seconds later King Diamond opened the door; I didn't really recognize him since I'm used to seeing him with his hat and corpse paint on. He asked me what he could do for us, then froze and he stared down at the skull. His eyes widened and grabbed it out of my hands and brought it close to his face, studying it. He said, 'holy [poop] it's Melissa,' and asked me how I got it. I told him and he was quite ecstatic. He could recognize the skull by the way the skull repaired itself when Melissa had forehead trauma while she was alive."

"He thanked me endlessly for it and even though I didn't originally intend to give it to him, I didn't push the issue and let him have it. He thanked me by giving me one of his old guitars, which he then signed with a sharpie. We talked for a while, though I was nervous at meeting one of my metal heroes, and when I had to leave he gave me and my friends the devil horns, to which we responded in the appropriate fashion by giving them back. Then we drove off back the Houston, blasting Mercyful Fate in the car stereo with the windows down through Dallas suburbia."

About Mercyful Fate

Mercyful Fate was formed in 1980 and released their first groundbreaking album "Melissa" in 1983, which along with "Don't Break the Oath" is cited as being one of the most influential albums in metal history. Many bands, such as Metallica, have given tribute to them in various ways.

About ANUS

The American Nihilist Underground Society advocates nihilism, or a removal of interpretive layers from our perception of physical reality, as a means of transcending illusion. Nihilism denies value and purpose, which are byproducts of the human desire to judge reality and make a consensual "social reality" that by seizing on a single material factor misses the intelligible, or design-based, knowledge we need to adapt to reality. ANUS has been promoting nihilism since 1987.


About Nihilism

Nihilism is the belief that nothing we perceive has Absolute value; reality exists, but beyond its inherent meaning to us as the physical container of our existence, it has no significance outside of what we perceive. "The world is my representation," indeed. When we strip away all of the values projected onto physical reality and its outcomes, we are left only with personal ideal and natural ideal, and bringing the former into adaptation with the latter is the lifetime task to which nihilism is a gateway.