“Black Empire” (deluxe edition) by Force Of Evil

Artist: Force Of Evil
Title: “Black Empire” – deluxe edition
Label: Escapi Music
Release Date: 7/18/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

Force Of Evil is a kick ass Heavy Metal band formed under the direction of Hank Shermann (master shredder for the one and only Mercyful Fate). Shermann built the group along with the help of long-time musical partner Michael Denner, Bjarne Holm, Hal Patino and vocalist Martin Steen; “Black Empire” would be their second full-length recording. “Black Empire” found a more mature sound than was present on the bands debut effort the self-titled “Force Of Evil”. Their use of Horror themese, based on the bands overall love of the genre, especially Steen made this a killer Metal effort, not often found to be the case on a bands Sophomore effort. Since this album has already been reviewed elsewhere on the site, I would like to dig a little deeper into the release of the Special Deluxe Edition. In addition to the original release that arrived in late 2005, the band offers three extra inclusions to enjoy. There are two live recordings which show you how good the band sounds in this setting and actually this is a little bit of a tease for me. The band also released the live DVD “Evil Comes Alive” and to be honest they should have just delivered this concert as an audio CD bonus with the deluxe edition. A mere two tracks is hardly cause for celebration. There is also a video for the song “Back To Hell”, but since this is an enhanced CD, you have to watch where you play it. Not all DVD’s run this stuff and you are better off watching it in your computer. The booklet in the original release was extensive with both artwork and lyrics to the song, this has not been tampered with and remains the exact same as does the overall cover art. The main difference in the packaging is the cardboard slipcase that the disc case slides into. I expected the liner notes to be a little more up to date, or to include different photos to enjoy of the band on top of what was previously issued.

My overall opinion on the edition is that if you are going to do a deluxe edition, then please do one right. Queensryche re-did “Operation: Mindcrime” and it came with 2 CD’s and a DVD, so giving the buyer just a couple of live songs and a video hardly comes off as deluxe to me. Granted, this is an excellent band and I enjoy them very much and hope to see them in a performance setting if they ever return; however I can only recommend this CD as a purchase for those who failed to do so when it was initially released. If you are one of those people, then buy it anyway and give your copy to some other impressionable young Metal mind.

Track Listing:
1. Black Empire
2. Back To Hell
3. Cabrini Green
4. Death Comes Calling
5. Sinister Show
6. Days Of Damien
7. Disciples Of The King
8. Beyond The Gates
9. Hobbs End
10. Dead In Texas
11. Voorhees Revenge
12. S.O.S.
13. Desecration Of Souls – live
14. Calling – live
15. Back To Hell – video

Official Website: www.forceofevil.net

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