When a metal band features 2 ex members of Venom, one of whom was in the original line up then you can expect full on metal. Original member Mantas on guitar and Tony “demoltion man” Dolan on vocals/bass released their debut album Hell To The Holy in March 2012, a real fan pleaser and received some great reviews. On drum duties was Antton Lant but his departure has left the door open for JXN who plays on the follow up album Crucified.
Those who thought M:Pire Of Evil was a flash in the pan have been proved wrong as Crucified has come to be just over a year after Hell To The Holy and is one of the heaviest albums i have heard in a long time with the recording levels threatening to send the Earth of its axis and sent spinning into space! There are 11 monsters on offer here but only 8 new songs as the remaining 3 are Venom covers rejuvenated from the 1989 release Prime Evil. Strangely enough they are mixed in with the new songs and not added at the end as bonus tracks. So those who bought the debut and thought it was good then strap yourselves in for a 45 minute white knuckle ride from Crucified!
Crucified is released via Mausoleum Records on May 17th 2013 and begins with a South Of Heaven style intro to Temples Of Ice but this is the calm before the storm as Mantas releases some blistering riffs backed by some fast footwork from JXN and a mighty vocal holler from Tony who puts in a frenzied bass barrage midway followed by a scything guitar solo. This leads into the 1st Venom cover, a bass heavy balls out take on of Parasite. Crucified is so strong that as soon as you think you have heard your favourite track on the album its followed by another contender, then another. Kissing The Beast is a 100mph buzzer with some fierce blast beats.
Other metallic highlights include the 2nd Venom cover. The crunching riff of Blackened Are The Priests comes in after a slow choral build up. It develops into chugging tempos over a spitting vocal backed by atmospheric synths. Carnivorous is the 3rd and final cover,a 2 and a half minute burst of sharp vicious rage with yet another pounding drum assault with Tony sounding a bit like Chuck Billy on this one. Black Legions is a cold hearted grinded number with a demonic breakdown midway. Wolverine has a nwobhm style intro riff which is then engulfed by a full on thrash workout.
There is no pause for breath during Demone as the band deliver a heads down thudding track, creating their own version of Manowar’s black wind. Album closer is my personal favourite, the juddering main riff to Taking It All is the a real headbanging inducer with Tony giving his most venomous vocal so far with a mighty “fuck you!” in the choruses.
Crucified is a worthy addition to any fan of extreme metal and UK fans of M:Pire Of Evil will be able to see them when they tour with legendary UK thrashers Onslaught later on this year. A bill not to be missed!
Band line up :-
Mantas – Guitar.
JXN – Drums.
Album track listing :-
Temples Of Ice.
Parasite (Venom cover).
Kissing The Beast.
Blackened Are The Priests (Venom cover).
Carnivorous (Venom cover).
Need To Kill.
Taking It All.