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M:Pire Of Evil - Crucified

M:Pire Of Evil
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 02 May 2013, 8:01 PM

I had several misgivings regarding the UK Heavy / Speed Metal band, MPIRE OF EVIL, the notorious trio consortium of evil led by ex-VENOM  Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan  and Mantas, and their decision to release a second album as the ground space for the re-recording of tracks from their VENOM days playing alongside each other. Mainly bands of such character, in this case like MPIRE OF EVIL, tend to release such re-recorded efforts as a first burnt offering in order to form a fan base. But these guys chose to head in different direction, releasing an EP with covers and a few new sample tracks, a full length debut of originals and now, a sophomore LP filled with ghosts from their past, revealed in a new face, along with newly bread recordings of fresh material. Peculiarity or not, it is up to the clan of evil to decide their fate, and their business. Whether it was worthwhile or not, you will read about it after I will be done with this intro. This sort of semi compilation (plus extras) was named "Crucified", after one of the three originals on display, and it was just released by Mausoleum Records. Produced again by Mantas, which was in charge of the debut's mighty engineering and procedures, "Crucified" reeks and feels like a VENOM album, yet in a different reincarnation.

Though I was tempted to being with the fresh tracks at first, I decided to follow the re-recordings as I just had to find out how songs, between the years 1988 to 1992, sound two decades after, especially with two out of the three guys that played them back in the hey days. If you had any bafflement regarding the chose period in VENOM's career, the main reason was due to Dolan's involvement with the band after replacing Cronos a few years after the release of "Possessed". Sinking knee deep in the tracks, and their new productions, I found some comfort within the new versions. Although I honestly wasn't set ablaze by MPIRE OF EVIL's efforts, especially with the tracks taken from "The Waste Land" like "Black Legions" and "Need To Kill", which seemed tedious and tiresome than the original versions that kicked harder, even with an old type of sound engineering. On the other hand, the three bust nuts of "Prime Evil", boosted the unholy gathering into a gleaming memory of a period lost forever. "Blackened Are the Priests", one of my favorites out of "Prime Evil" sounded even darker than its initial version and a lot heavier. There were a few alterations here in there, but only for the fans' benefit. "Carnivorous" and "Parasite" slayed as they should, high octane destruction of all that is good in favor of sheer malevolent pasting. The former remained true to its Speed Metal prowess while the latter preserved its fine grooves. It actually sounded a bit weak at first glance, but it got better.

As far as the new tracks go, it went both ways. Obviously, it seemed to me that MPIRE OF EVIL didn't exactly follow the debut "Hell To The Holy" but rather assimilated a slightly changed path. The failing "Demone" sounded punchy, but weird and it was hard to bond with its antics. "Crucified", way better than the former, enhanced the obscurity into a course of improvement, felt mystifying, but lacked the lust and additional inspirational rhythms and riffs. Lastly there is "Taking It All", the band's power head and reason to be. That particular number won me over right from its beginning. No rest for the wicked, which is the suitable saying for this bastard. MPIRE OF EVIL combined the splendor of MOTORHEAD along with VENOM malevolence to create an anti-type song against oppressors. This one has a Rocking kind of flavor along with various grooves, a Heavy Metal anthem for the masses that hate being fraught. Generally, I like this release and its sound. It was great to remember some of VENOM's Thrashiest moments, but I would have picked different tracks, at least from "Temples Of Ice" and "The Waste Lands". When it comes to the new songs, this band found its gem, the rest being only fair. 

3 Star Rating

1. Temples Of Ice
2. Parasite
3. Kissing the Beast
4. Blackened Are the Priests
5. Carnivorous
6. Black Legions
7. Need to Kill
8. Wolverine
9. Crucified
10. Demone
11. Taking It All
Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan - Bass & Vocals
Mantas - Guitars
Marc Jackson - Drums
Record Label: Mausoleum Records


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Edited 30 January 2023

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