Released: 2003, Diamond Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Denmark's all-star band Force of Evil is one of the biggest surprises for me this year without a doubt. I came across the band´s website like less than two months ago and got very excited about them when finding out the line-up of the band. There´s 3 guys in the line-up of Force of Evil that have all previously been members of Mercyful Fate (Hank Shermann, Michael Denner and Bjarne Holm that are), one ex-guy from King Diamond (Hal Patino) and one used to be the vocalist in a melodic Power Metal band called Ironfire (and Martin Steene, that´s him!). So talk me about a true ´all-star´ band...!!
The band´s self-titled debut album was released in the fall of 2003 by a relatively small domestic Danish label Diamond Records and I have my strong reasons to believe that Force of Evil´s debut may even become the best selling album on their roster. Naturally a well noted line-up helps this a little bit, but I still have guts to say that it´s actually the band´s classic metal outburst that are the ultimate winners on the band´s excellent debut release. Even the opening song, “Dawn of Dominion”, off the album shows what kinds of ingredients Force of Evil´s music has been built of. Sharp, vicious and violently hot guitar riffs pierce in the air while the band´s vocalist Martin tries his very best to impersonate some of Rob Halford´s high-pitched vocal parts through this particular song. Most of the time Force of Evil sounds very Priest-like indeed; mainly we have to thank both Hank´s and Michael´s adorable and splendid guitar work for that. If “Hell on Earth” isn´t a heavily Priest –sounding song, then nothing is. Lots of Priest –worship can be heard in that particular song for sure. And it´s Martin again who brings his own kind of ´Halford –spice´ into this tune with those well-recognizable high-pitched vocal attacks. The same things could be underlined in a song called “Mindbreaker” as well. Many familiar musical references can be pulled toward the mighty Judas Priest direction again as well.
But of course there´s just more behind their music than just plain copycating of the classic Priest –sound. In “Eye of the Storm”, which is mostly a slow-paced song with a nicely developing creepy, hauntingly beautiful and eerie atmosphere, you are also about to hear some of those elements that could be ripped straight from some Mercyful fate –songs, but that shouldn´t any surprising to any of us, now being aware of the line-up behind Force of Evil. The 6th Force of Evil tune on the album, “Samhain”, has probably the heaviest and darkest moments on the whole album, reminding me again occasionally of a bit of Mercyful Fate here and there. It also happens to be one of my personal favorite cuts on their fine debut due to its ´dangerous lurking´ moments in it.
“Fountain of Grace” on the other hand is, may I say, sort of a ´Doom Metal´ song on the album, having a couple of truly damn heavy ace riffs crawling in the background of the song that have a quite distinctive Candlemass –trademark in all of them.
Nevertheless, the guys have an enormous capacity and ability to take the world by a massive storm as the material on their debut release works out as a serious storm warning for all people who like a real classic metal sound. It´s gonna be no wonder if these guys will achieve worldwide success for themselves some day as we certainly have 5 really experienced and professional musicians in the legion of Force of Evil here. My honest and sincere guess is that these guys are going toward to the top league all the time and there´s just nothing that can stop them now. Time will naturally tell, of course.
I´ve been told that the first pressing of the CD is only 1000 units, so you need to hurry up if you are going to get your own copy out of the 1st pressing. After the 1st pressing has sold-out, a new pressing will have a different cover artwork, making the pressing a true collector´s item. So be quick... or be and live without the 1st pressing... ;=)