Mpire Of Evil - "Creature Of The Black" (CD)
"Creature Of The Black" track listing:
4. God Of Thunder
5. Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be
6. Creatures Of The Black
Reviewed by EdgeoftheWorld on December 21, 2011
Sometimes even legends have a bad day. That's evident in the debut disc of Mpire Of Evil, "Creatures Of The Black." Do Mantas, Demolition Man and Antton (aka Jeff Dunn, Tony Dolan and Antony Lant) deserve reverence for their work in Venom? Most metalheads would give a hearty "hell yeah" to that. Unfortunately, their latest output, "Creatures Of The Black" just doesn't measure up.
To be fair, things start out quite well, with a cover of Judas Priest's "Exciter," which works despite the fact that Dolan's vocals are much, much more in the Lemmy Kilmister vein than the Rob Halford one. The band — especially Lant — adds a thrash dimension to the song that works well.
Unfortunately, Lant's strange attack on "Motorhead" makes that one less impressive, despite Dolan's aforementioned vocal similarity to Lemmy. The disc's two other covers, Kiss' "God Of Thunder" and AC/DC's "Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be," fail largely due to Dolan's vocals, which, especially on the latter tune, simply grate. Also, excessive soloing and Lant's uninspired drumming completely rob "Hell" of its trademark groove.
As to the two originals, "Reptile" is a super-speed thrasher that consists largely of Dolan screaming the title phrase in the chorus, while the much better "Creatures Of The Black" actually establishes a pretty killer groove. It definitely closes the disc on a high note, and ought to serve as a template for what these guys would do on a new full-length album of originals.
Venom fans will like at least some of what they hear on "Creatures Of The Black," but it's hardly a disc that will carry Mpire Of Evil to global domination.
Highs: "Creatures Of The Black" and "Exciter"
Lows: "God Of Thunder" and "Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be"
Bottom line: Venom fans may enjoy bits, but others will shrug off some sub-par covers.
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