Tag Archives: hank shermann

“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.
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“Melissa” (remaster) by Mercyful Fate

Artist: Mercyful Fate
Title: “Melissa” (Remastered)
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release Date: 8/30/2005
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 8/10

As part of their 25th Anniversary celebration Roadrunner Records has re-issued one of the most important pieces in Heavy Metal and their own label history. “Melissa”, the 1983 release by Mercyful Fate was not only loaded with intricate music and dark inferences courtesy of Shermann and Denner but also gave us the one and only King Diamond. The King and this group were a force to be reckoned with in the musical sense and also for their very powerful visual imagery. Wearing garish face paint King Diamond was first seen by the larger public due to this album and he would prove to be as dark as the themes he sang about. Musically the band was incredible with Hank Shermann being one of the most creative Metal guitarists to ever grab an axe. The dueling performance between him and Michael Denner was often intense as King prowled and lurked singing and screaming the often horrific subject matter that the band focused on. Rounding out the group was Timi Grabber on bass and Kim Ruzz on drums. This special edition includes the entire album in a remastered sense and includes a score of bonus tracks as well as a live DVD. As you will listen you will find the songs taking on new life sounding as fresh as if they came out today. My favorites on the CD had always been “Evil”, “Black Funeral” and of course “Melissa” and the new release presents them with such a level of clarity that playing a certain volumes will take you away with them.
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“Black Empire” by Force Of Evil

Artist: Force Of Evil
Title: “Black Empire”
Label: Escapi Music
Release Date: 3/29/2005
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 8/10

The Force Of Evil has returned with yet another tasty piece of metal for the hungry masses. One wonders if the infamous “sophomore curse” would come into play on the bands second outing, yet this group has worked together before in other projects. It should only be considered the second chapter in a new book and this book is one that would seem impossible to put down. Lead guitarist and founder Hank Shermann truly knows what works in a metal group and clearly his years of work alongside King Diamond and Mercyful Fate has made him among the most creative forces in the genre. There is a lot of heavy duty metal on this release and “Black Empire” follows a horror theme. I discovered that this was due to Martin Steen’s love of the Horror Movie genre and when he presented the idea to Hank he was all for it. This was a smart choice for it also works along with the premise under the bands name. Evil and Horror often go hand in hand.
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PiercingMetal Talks To Force Of Evil’s Hank Shermann

Photo - Hank Shermann - Force Of Evil

Guitarist Hank Shermann has long been a powerful creative force in Heavy Metal music. For years he combined efforts with King Diamond in Mercyful Fate and brought a sense of horror and evil to the front for Metal fans worldwide. Now, working with long time collaborator Michael Denner he has formed Force Of Evil. This no nonsense act is sure to please all fans of his work. Currently their release “Black Empire” (the second CD by the group) is receiving critical acclaim and a tour is being discussed. Hank took the time to answer a number of questions and we present them to you now.

PIERCINGMETAL: Hank it is great to get the chance to talk to you about your newest band “Force Of Evil”. The first CD was a very exciting and heavy piece of music. Now with “Black Empire” being released tell me about the response you have been getting from the followers you have had over the years.

HANK SHERMANN: Everyone seems to “dig” the new piece of music, which of course makes everyone in the proud. We always do our best at the moment of recording, so positive feedback is a nice reward.
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“Evil Comes…Alive” [DVD] by Force Of Evil

Artist: Force Of Evil
Title: “Evil Comes….Alive!”
Label: Escapi Music
Release Date: 03/2004
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 8/10

Late last year the core founders of the band Mercyful Fate (Hank Shermann and Michael Denner) started a new Heavy Metal band called “The Force Of Evil”. This CD has been already reviewed to high marks on the site and is being very well received in the Metal world. How could it not, since it is essentially all members of Fate plus Hal Patino of King Diamond and newcomer Martin Steene of Ironfire. Our review can be found HERE.

Filmed in Stockholm in November 2003 one can see the band in its live infancy. I say this as it is filmed during the bands second performance ever, and one cannot tell that this is the case. The tunes are good and heavy and the production of the DVD is solid, clear, and not one instrument over powers any of the others. I especially liked how Steene sounds live, one is always concerned that the vocalist on the CD does not sound the same live. I also like his voice as it suits the material very well. However I was not 100% crazy about the way he sings the Mercyful Fate material but I think this is because I am too used to the way King Diamonds voice sounds on these numbers.
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