Mpire Of Evil Hell to the Holy

Mpire Of Evil Hell to the Holy
No idea why "ex-Venom" is still a selling point to anyone, but it gets me excited every time, which is how I ended up face to face with this album from Mpire of Evil (ugh). Here, long-time Venom guitarist Mantas (Jeff Dunn, to his mom) reunites with forgotten Venom hired hands Antton and, uh, Demolition Man (you may want to stop reading now) to lay down an album full of what can generously be dubbed "bar metal." I mean, the passion is there, no one is denying that, but, shit, the passion is all over Hammerfall albums and I'm not spinning that stuff and you probably aren't either. For much of this disc, the band play tunes somewhere between Motörhead, Venom, harder-edged Euro trad/power metal and total local-hairy-dude-who-fixes-your-sink Saturday-night battle of the bands pub yobbo metal. So, yes, god damn it, the passion is there, but sometimes when all the elements are a touch off ― drums too clicky, songs too long ― all the metal-guy posturing and live-for-today sloganeering just result in shrugged shoulders and a feeling that, you know, I don't know if I want anyone busting me listening to this. So maybe I'll just put on the headphones now. (Scarlet)