|Review: Denner/Shermann - Satan's Tomb|
Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2015
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: November 13, 2015
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Rated 2.83/5 (56.67%) (6 Votes)
On first impression I did feel pretty disappointed with this, although let it be said that I had considerable expectations. Coming back around, this is definitely holding up a lot better. I don't think Michael Denner or Hank Shermann need any real introduction, so let's skip all that and dive on in.
I'll be honest in saying I'm not a big fan of Sean Peck. He's undoubtedly a great, gifted vocalist, but much like Tim Owens (another great, gifted vocalist, and one with similarities to Sean) has a style that doesn't really resonate with me. As such there's a considerable wedge of music I struggle to identify with here, further highlighted via some drop-tuned, modern-style guitar parts. Fortunately when Hank and Michael are on the ball, things get pretty sick.
Every song at least has its moments which take you back to Mercyful Fate and the composition throughout feels very conscious in establishing those nostalgic values. The riff and guitar solo trade offs throughout are absolutely satisfying, and I'd say worthy of the legacy surrounding this release. I think King's command on these guys, as well as the songs in general is something sorely missed, although Sean gives it his best shot in "Seven Skulls" which has the strongest strands of the Mercyful Fate DNA.
The end result is essentially a meeting between Cage and Mercyful Fate (Mercyful Cage), and ultimately one I would like to be a little more dangerous. When Hank and Michael are ripping out the eighties metal riffs and shredding leads, I'm absolutely in my element, but when Sean is crooning over generic finger chord riffs any built-up enthusiasm diminishes. I will be interested to see how a potential full-length pans out, but for now I think mileage will vary.
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