I've been given an opportunity to get a taste of M-PIRE OF EVIL's upcoming album and all I have to say is: praise be the metal gods! This is it! M-PIRE OF EVIL, made up of legendary rockers and ex-Venom members Jeff "Mantas" Dunn on guitar, Tony "The Demolition Man" Dolan on Vocals/bass with Venom's frontman's Conrand "Cronos" Lant's brother Antony "Antton" Lant punishing the kit, M-PIRE OF EVIL's ( Facebook Official Website ) "Hell To The Holy" is as heavy metal as it gets! Shit, this has to be one of the best offerings I've heard in the past eight months...it's definitely within the top five, no doubt about it!
This is the follow up to their well received "Creatures Of The Black" EP which contained 4 covers (JP's "Exciter", "Motorhead", "God of Thunder" and AC/DC's "Hell ain't a bad place to be") as well as two original songs "Creatures Of The Black" and "Reptile"...and it doesn't disappoint one iota!!
The album opens with "Hellspawn" and it immediately rips the flesh right off of your skull, with its annihilating speed interlaced with epic hooks and chorus. Ah man, how can I describe it? This isn't oldshcool, yet it is, it takes all the talent and experiences of these three musicians and packages it into a perfect disc of utter ferocity which is excitingly fresh and desperately needed!
This is goddamned heavy metal! The type of music one gets when a band is out to play the best rock n roll they can! These guys, after having known one another for years, mesh in a perfect tempest of such devastating power that the music should be given its own sub-genre name by the World Meteorological Organization and then permanently retired!!
After the killer "Hellspawn", we are taken into the glorious Metal cruncher "Metal Messiah", blast beats, gruff vocals, and insane guitar work, with sick ass NWOBHM leads, will have every single headbanger grinning ear to ear from sheer ecstasy...damn, I am close to saying this isn't only one of the best albums I've heard recently, but rather, in years!!
Holy shyte! Ten tracks of pure unholy metal! Not a single boring one in the bunch, "Waking Up Dead" continues to build the momentum and leads us into the terrifying intro for the title track "Hell To The Holy"...
It's quiet and church bells softly ring, off in the distance the gentle voices of Benedictine nuns and their Gregorian song can be heard; thunder rolls through the sky and you sense the scene is darkening as rain begins to fall. The song of the faithful turn into lamenting screams of horror....the sobbing grows louder, there's a growl, low and menacing...voices are even closer now, pleading... do I hear the call of a war horn far off in the distance? "What's your name?" asks a demonic voice... a drum beat and crushing guitar rhythm seemingly written for the hordes of hell drag you into the fiery pits! I dig this song completely, especially the anthemic chorus of "Bring Hell...To The Holy Ones". Yep, no painted theatrics here...this song is pure black metal (lest we forget who gave the genre that name)!
Stepping into the batter's circle is "Snake Pit" which is speed metal with some seriously sick ripping leads...fug yeah! Hard drinking, pretty ladies, and hooks galore: "Bang your head down in the Snake Pit!". This is the type of music which made us listen to heavy metal in the first place; the lyrics are laden with nods to the metal masters of old, like Priest, Maiden, and, of course, Venom...simply classic!
It is now the turn of "All Hail" and, again, it has watertight beats, string work and vocals. It is followed up by "Devil". "Devil" begins with the sounds of the bayou at night and a bluesy guitar; a little southern fried evil comin' my way...I anticipate it to take off in a burst and it doesn't disappoint! The lyrics seem to pay homage to Robert Leroy Johnson and the cross roads tale: "I was talking to the devil when I swear I heard my momma speak. She said: "Don't go down to the crossroads, it'll take you straight to hell!" Sold my soul at the crossroads got me some of that six string hell!" The following chorus is awesome!
Give me some of that,
I want some of that,
I've got nothing to lose...yeah
Give me some of them devil blues."
ARRRRGH! it's over...these guys just kicked my ass across the room...I lay up against the wall in a heap of twitching flesh for several minutes before I can climb back up into my chair and continue to type.
The next song is "Shockwave" again, a blurring medley of bedlam! "The 8th Gate", comes in tow, this one has a bit of a progressive feel to it; foreboding and heavy, it is as equally awesome as the others. Finally we have, "M-pire (prelude)" closing the album down with a killer acoustic that gives way to deep growls and slow, crushing rhythms...bad ass!
All in all, a spectacular masterpiece from the elder statesman of metal... the range of musical styles on this album is astounding to say the least; it explores everything from Black Metal to Southern Fried Hard Rock (a bit heavier than that mind you) and yet, not once does it lose focus on the core essence of what this band is about! Only true maestros can pull that off!
M-PIRE OF EVIL has my jaw on the floor; I am, as perhaps you can tell, seriously impressed! "Hell To The Holy" hasn't been released yet, but I've given you the links to keep up to date, which you must do at all costs! Also, if you're a member of the databases, be sure to throw these dudes some juice over on the social machine too!
On a side note: M-PIRE OF EVIL are going to be on tour with Onslaught for the "Scream For Violence North America 2012 tour" and I gotta tell ya, this is one hell of a show you DO NOT WANT TO MISS, cause it's going to be EPIC!! ThrashHead will be there in Tempe!!