MPire of Evil- Creatures of the Black

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mpire of Evil may have been only been created in 2010, but they’ve already managed to generate a significant amount of buzz. It’s not that surprising when you think about it, considering that all three members were a part of Venom at different periods of time. For their debut EP Creatures of the Black the band has opted to present listeners with four cover songs and two original tracks. And while some people may be slightly disappointed that there isn’t more new material, this EP still feels like a good way for the group to introduce themselves.

All of the songs that MPire of Evil has chosen to cover seem appropriate, as they pay tribute to Judas Priest, Motorhead, KISS and AC/DC. These may be artists that just about every metal band has chosen to cover at some point, but thankfully the song choices are ones that aren’t covered quite as frequently. The instrumentalists take these tracks and put a thrash oriented spin on them, often taking on a deeper tonality and grittier feel than some of the originals had. Despite the fact that I would’ve preferred one more original track instead of four covers, MPire of Evil has managed to do these songs justice and put just enough of their own spin on them that listeners will want to return. As for the two original tracks, the instrumentals take on a more modern sound and even settle into a bit of a mid-tempo groove. The title track “Creatures of the Black” feels quite a bit stronger than “Reptiles”, but it does seem a little hard to judge exactly what direction a full length from this band would sound like based solely on these two songs.

Demolition Man (Tony Dolan) is the vocalist of MPire of Evil, and anyone who has listened to Venom between the 90’s and early 2000’s is likely to be familiar with his work. Dolan actually started a second career as an actor after leaving Venom, and this EP is the first time he’s fronted a band in almost eight years. But despite the long period of inactivity, he sounds just as strong as ever. While Dolan never had the range of some of the other metal vocalists from the same time period, his gruff delivery is well suited to what the band has chosen to do. Admittedly the lyrics of the two original songs become a bit repetitive far too quickly, and this is one area that could use some work as the group moves forward.

Creatures of the Black is strong enough to warrant a look from listeners who were curious to see what guys like Demolition Man and Mantas were up to these days, but the two original tracks just don’t have make it clear exactly where these guys want to go. The covers are surprisingly strong though, so if you don’t have an aversion to EP’s consisting mainly of cover songs then check out MPire of Evil’s debut. In the meantime, I’ll be waiting to see what this group has in store down the road, as there is quite a bit of untapped potential waiting to be unleashed.

Full Disclosure: Review copy provided by Scarlet Records

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