When news started to circulate that the legendary guitar duo from Mercyful Fate, Michael Denner and Hank Shermann were putting together a supergroup called Denner/Shermann, there was a collective breath taken in the Metal world. When the line-up was completed with Mercyful Fate, King Diamond and Dream Evil drummer Snowy Shaw, Demonica’s Marc Grabowski on bass and the spectacular vocal range of DeathDealer and CAGE vocalist Sean Peck, that breath was quickly taken away. With the band’s October 2015 release of the “Satan’s Tomb” EP, all air was sucked out of the atmosphere with a huge gasp. This is the stuff Metalhead dreams and others’ nightmares are made of. Their EP was received with rave reviews and with a deafening scream for more material. That wish, thankfully, comes true June 24th, 2016 with the Metal Blade release of Denner/Sherann’s “Masters of Evil”.
Picking up from where “Satan’s Tomb” left off, “Masters of Evil” is a menacing and sinister tribute to the otherworldly collective talent available from these legendary musicians. Elaborating on this premise, Michael Denner states in their online bio that “this new record really shows how the five of us have grown as a band and bonded as songwriters. It contains the kind of compositions I believe our fans would expect from us. I think this release will serve as kind of a tribute to our incredible fans worldwide, as we recognize and acknowledge their die hard loyalty over the years.” Peck goes on to say that “this record really has it all I think. Working with Hank and Michael and the guys creating this record, was the ultimate Metal thrill ride for me! I can’t wait to hear the fan reaction to this sinister sonic salvo of savagery!” As strong as this statement is, “Masters Of Evil” far surpasses savage. Long-time fans of the legendary bands this group has been part of will be floored by the technical wizardry, epic, metaphysical tales of Good vs. Evil and that classic sound that is unmistakably the work of these Masters of Metal. Newer fans will find the twists and turns of this Old School Metal memorizing; hearing nuance, cohesive theme and feel that is lacking in so much modern Metal. The tracklist for “Masters of Evil” is: 1). “Angel’s Blood” 2). “Son of Satan” 3). “The Wolf Feeds at Night” 4). “Pentagram and the Cross” 5). “Masters of Evil” 6). “Servents of Dagon” 7). “Escape from Hell” and 8). “The Baroness”. These eight tracks lay a new foundation for what Metal could be with a bit of imagination and musical virtuosity. Miraculous. Lyrically, “Masters of Evil” is masterful in its poetic storytelling and ability to transform the listener to a Dante’s “Interno”-esque world where figures of good and evil battle for the souls of mere mortals. There is absolutely nothing on this album to complain about. “Masters of Evil” is sure to become a modern day, Metal classic.
In addition to the band, the cover artwork and production team for Denner/Shermann are second to none. After painting the artwork for “Satan’s Tomb”, Swedish artist Thomas Holm returns with a memorable and fitting for “Masters of Evil”. Also returning to mix this masterpiece is Arnold Lindberg at Sound Industry Studio in Gothegurge, Sweden. Mastering is once again done by Maor Appelbaum in Los Angeles, CA. Everything is done to absolute perfection. Simply impossible to find fault with anything.
Coming off their late 2015/early 2016 tour in support of “Satan’s Tomb” and the release of “Masters of Evil”, Denner/Shermann should be touring later in the year for an indeterminate number of shows based on available information. Until then, sit back and enter the fantasy world, remarkably built for you with this beast of an album. Assuredly, you will not be disappointed and will scream for mercy while waiting for more from Denner/Shermann. Definitely one of the best albums this year!