Music Review: M:PIRE OF EVIL
Label: Mausoleum Records
Available: May 17th 2013
Are you fan of Venom…specifically are you a fan of Venom from the time of the Prime Evil era? Well my friends rejoice because M:PIRE OF EVIL gives you two members from that time. One is original member and guitarist Mantas and the other is TonyDolan who took over bass and singing duties in Venom when Cronos left for a time. So what does ‘Crucified’ offer the average metal listener? Is it just a trip down Venom memory lane or something new M:PIRE OF EVIL is trying to do? Well it’s a bit of both.
Anyone who has ever followed Venom or was a fan knows the storied and checkered history of the band. No one seemed to like each other, members came and went and the quality of the music was all over the place. We had reunions, split ups and all kinds of shit through the years. I guess when you think about it, the band that helped create the black metal genre not getting along and having band turmoil seems to fit the theme pretty well even though I’m sure the band members would have loved to just have went on stage and play without all the internal mess.
So now we have M:PIRE OF EVIL with two former Venom band members allowed to do their own thing without having to answer to someone else. Well sort of their own thing as ‘Crucified’ actually contains several Venom songs from the Prime Evil era of Venom. This to me isn’t a bad thing though it seems they could have left off a few cover songs. The album contains 11 tracks and about 4 of which are Venom songs. So that may have been a few too many in my view but that’s just my view and others may not mind. As for original material ‘Crucified’ has some strong stuff while maybe not trailblazing a new era of metal per se. The song ‘Wolverine’ is a fantastic tune and really showcases some good songwriting and the evil spitting vocals from Dolan. Also, Mantas’s guitar work is spot on in ‘Crucified’. I know in the early years of Venom some people criticized his playing style as being not overly technical or proficient but even listening to those old Venom albums you could tell Mantas had a very good feel of how to translate ‘atmosphere’ and ‘mood’ to a song when the need called for it. As of today Mantas has become a very accomplished guitar player and still has retained the ability to give songs that extra something special with his playing.
‘Crucified’ is a solid metal album for fans of Venom and of heavy metal in general. I can see the material really going over great in a live setting and would love the opportunity to get to see the band perform. So while we aren’t treading new ground with ‘Crucified’, M:PIRE OF EVIL aren’t shitting their pants either and deliver a solid effort that I recommend you to check out given the opportunity.
Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan – Bass & Vocals
Mantas – Guitars
Marc “JXN” Jackson – Drums