Denner / Shermann | ‘Satan’s Tomb’
The question on most of our lips: who?
Well, the more seasoned metallers will know alright.
Michael Denner and Hank Shermann are the original Mercyful Fate guitarists who laid down both ‘Melissa’ and ‘Dont Break The Oath’.
It hardly needs reiterating what kind of influence those albums had on metal.
What’s incredible is the energy, vivacity and heaviness that they both bring to this fantastic gem of EP three decades after their classics.
White Hot Power
The self titled opener is one of my personal favourite tracks of the whole of this year.
It absolutely screams with white hot power, forcing a momentous torque of groove into its pre-chorus that is the work of experts.
No smaller than an absolute heavy metal masterpiece, this cut rivals the Hell album from a few years back for almost stupid levels of heavy metal brilliance.
Sean Peck (from Death Dealer) on vocals rips it up. He’s got the same kind of bite as Control Denied’s Tim Aymar or Andi Deris from Helloween, and he sails easily on higher falsettos too.
But back to Denner and Shermann. Readers unfamiliar with their work may be enthused to know about the vast influence they had on Chuck Schuldiner and Death.
Albeit that Chuck had Andy LaRocque from King Diamond play so memorably on ‘Individual Thought Patterns’, what you may be surprised by is the almost scary legacy that both Denner and Shermann left on him as well. You’ll hear it in here.
That and a bit of harder end Priest in ‘New Gods’.
At only four tracks one is simply left with jaw agape at the metal mastery on display here, and craving more. Just listen to ‘Seven Skulls’ and hear those brief, single, moody 80s clean chords over the metal ones: it’s genius.
Will they make an album out of it? Who knows.
But tracks like ‘Satan’s Tomb’ are the work of high priests of metal – a fact that even one single, hooking spin will be enough to tell you.
It has everything. Speed, power, punch, panache and personality.
Bow down to this amazing Album Of The Month. Just fucking listen to it!
4.7 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 29/11/15