Monday, June 20, 2016

Denner / Shermann (review by MMB)

Denner / Shermann
Masters of Evil
Metal Blade Records
release: 24 June 2016
Perhaps before going any further there is one question that should be answered right away. Does the idea of glass-shattering, ear-piercing high screaming vocals seem attractive? Is it appealing to hear a singer belt it out big time as much as possible? If the answer is a firm "no" or "no way, under no circumstances," then this album is of no use because air raid siren screaming singing is a crucial part of it. Support for the album really does hinge on whether the high screaming sounds are pleasant to the ears or not, for if they are this will be a treat, and if they are not, this work will be quite jarring.
If opinion is favorable towards the vocals, then what awaits is serious, traditional guitar work in which the riff rules the realm. Denner and Shermann turn in work that is worthy of their name and legacy, and worthwhile for the public that follows the happenings of the twin guitar maestros. Time and again they come up with hooks and melodies that sound particular to the two Danes. The songwriting aims for the classic tropes that their supporters know and they want people to make the connection between now and their past songwriting.
For works from musicians that have a long history and a large back catalogue, it is often the case that reviewers feel compelled to do a comparison between the new album and the past ones. Such reviews frequently engage in an act of fighting shadows and imaginary arguments, and it can get rather silly. Of course, an album from elderly artists will be different in many ways from the works of their youth, and loyalists already have their favorite albums, sometimes based on nostalgia. This new album has the fundamental stylistic traits for which people know Denner and Shermann. As to where this title stands in the fictitious list of favorites for audiences, it is better to leave it to you. You will be the one to decide that.
OFFICIAL INFORMATION: Twin guitar lengends of Mercyful Fate Michael Denner & Hank Shermann will release their new Denner / Shermann full-length album, Masters Of Evil, on June 24th via Metal Blade Records.
Masters Of Evil contains 8 new Denner / Shermann tracks that continue right where the EP, Satan's Tomb (2015), left off. Building upon the musical foundation of Satan's Tomb, these songs cover the entire gamut of heavy metal nuances and take the listener down a mysterious path where tales of dark, supernatural fantasies are told, transporting you to places that can only be found in the most vivid, blood curdling nightmares. Fully loaded to satisfy the old fans with just what they would expect, Masters Of Evil is also injected with menacing, sinister, new surprises that could only come from the sonic DNA of Michael Denner and Hank Shermann.
"After 'Satan's Tomb', we continued aggressively writing and recording ideas, except for the short break we took to do all the press for the release of the debut. We are very excited with the outcome, and the full-length album is ready to be unleashed this summer," says guitarist Hank Shermann.
Vocalist Sean Peck comments, "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!"
Michael Denner also adds, "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."
The album cover for Masters Of Evil was painted by Swedish artist Thomas Holm, who also created the artwork for Satan's Tomb - and who is very well known amongst fans for his standout pieces over the past three decades! The mixing was once again handled by Arnold Lindberg at Sound Industry Studio in Gothenburg, Sweden - who also engineered Satan's Tomb. Mastering was done once again by Maor Appelbaum in Los Angeles, California. The vintage sound on the new record harkens one back to the days of 2 inch tape machines, long nights in dark studios, and huge consoles glowing under dim incandescent light. Once the guitars hit your ears, the unmistakable trademark guitar sound of Michael Denner and Hank Shermann is instantly recognized. Prepare yourself for a heavy metal thrill ride!
Denner / Shermann line-up:
Michael Denner - Guitars
Hank Shermann - Guitars
Sean Peck - Vocals
Snowy Shaw - Drums
Marc Grabowski - Bass

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