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Force Of Evil - Black Empire Review
by Morley Seaver

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Force of Evil was created by the two pillars of power behind the Dutch supergroup, Mercyful Fate, Hank Shermann and Michael Denner. They got together in 2002, recruiting Ironfire vocalist Martin Steene, MF drummer Bjarne T. Holm, and King Diamond bassist Hal Patino.

Off the top of their sophomore record (the first came in 2003), two things are clear: Sharmann and Denner are ridiculously fast and creative guitarists. The other is that singer Steene is quite amazing as well. I never quite got into King Diamond and Mercyful Fate because of King's vocals, although I appreciate what a unique and talented individual he is.

With Steene, his vocals can go King-high but are less knife-through-the-eye. In fact, often he's more in the Halford range (think "Victim of Changes"). Hank Shermann wrote all the music and the songs are more memorable than anything MF ever produced.

Black Empire is a collection of songs that are inspired by classic horror movies, ranging from "Candyman" to "The Omen". It was mixed by Neil Kernon (Queensryche, Dokken).

Throughout Shermann and Denner's guitars sparkle. They go in a twinkle from sharp, crisp chording to fat, Iommi-like chords, before sprinting down the fretboard for solos that remind one of a time when people knew how to play their instruments.

None of the songs standout over any of the others but I mean this is in a good way. There's so much great material here that should please any metal fan. Black Empire is something that should put them squarely on the map for guitar fanatics and if their live show is anything to talk about, can we say Ozzfest next year, anyone?


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Force Of Evil - Black Empire

Label:Escapi Music
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