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- - Online reviews of the CRUCIFIED album by M-PIRE of EVIL - -
M-PIRE OF EVIL ''Crucified'' - Review by Obliveon DE
M:Pire Of Evil bestehen, wie ja eigentlich jeder wissen sollte, aus dem alten Venom-Recken Mantas und dem auch mal bei Venom aktiven Atomkraft-Mucker Tony Dolan. Mantas startete die Band ehemals als Prime Evil und musste sich dann aufgrund rechtlicher Gründe umbenennen. Die aktuelle Scheibe enthält dann auch von der aktuellen Formation aufbereitete Songs aus der Prime Evil-Ära. Die Genialität Venoms kann hier natürlich niemand erwarten, aber mit dem räudigen Thrasher „Parasite“, dem schnellen Stampfer „Carnivorous“, dem schnellen „Wolverine“, welches durch einen schönen Mosh-Part aufgelockert wird, und dem fetten Thrasher „Taking It All“ gibt es einiges ansprechendes Futter, welches auch Sound-mäßig gut herüber kommt. Da aber eh bei jeder Cronos-, Mantas-, Abaddon- Veröffentlichung über die glorreiche Vergangenheit gesprochen wird, bin ich der Meinung, die Mannen sollten sich zusammenraufen und den Kinderzimmer-Black-Metallern einmal zeigen, wo der Deibel den Klumpfuß her hat.
7,5/10 - LL.
M-PIRE OF EVIL ''Crucified'' - Review by Festival Photo Sweden

Welcome to yet another divided band situation. Who started it, WISHBONE ASH? Anyway VENOM as you all know became legendary during the NWOBHM with their no frills (or musical knowledge) bang on satanic heavy metal. The album “Black Metal” probably laid the base for a Norwegian movement etc. As Cronos, Mantas and Abbadon were closing in on a collapse in 1985/86 the band metamorphosed and became VENOM with actual musical abilities. But the really good albums “Prime Evil” (1989), “Temples of Ice” (1991) and “The Waste Lands” (1992) were never fully appreciated, if you ask me. Since 2010 Mantas, Demolition Man (Tony Dolan, ex. ATOMKRAFT) and lately the drum stool is occupied by JXN.

They go for “Temples of Ice” right away, good choice. The album is made up of more than 80% classic songs, and only two new. Most of the songs are from “The Waste Lands” this time, while their previous effort “Hell to the Holy” contained less old material. The songs are, as can be expected, intensive, and Tony´s lost none of his edge during his acting career. My instant faves are “Blackened Are the Priests” and “Black legions”, old stuff of cause. But next to them I think that the closing track “Taking It All” deserves a mention. It is a thundering track with the necessary choruses and the heaviness to match Prime Time Prime Evil VEN…sorry M:PIRE OF EVIL!

Rating: 4/5

M-PIRE OF EVIL ''Crucified'' - Review by Mass Movement UK

M:Pire Of Evil – Crucified CD (Mausoleum Records)
Have you missed Venom? Well M:Pire Of Evil feature guitar legend Mantas and Tony ‘Demolition Man’ Dolan (former Venom vocalist) and they play it exactly like Venom DID! ‘Crucified’ being the second album, sees original drummer Antton replaced by drumming sensation JXN and the eleven tracks here batter your ear drums exactly like the band that gave you ‘Welcome To Hell’ and ‘Black Metal’ only with a modern day production. Sure there’s a couple of Venom ‘Prime Evil’ era tracks on hand here, but Dolan’s cleaner vocal approach (compared to counterpart Cronos, whom he replaced for a while) produce a stunning barrier of power and hammer home the solid guitar leads of Mantas. Lots of bands don’t play it like this anymore, making an over complex musical commodity and forgetting the basics of song needs, yet with M:Pire Of Evil we get well executed bare bones heavy thrash metal. Old schoolers enjoy with nostalgic memoirs, new schoolers listen and learn. A fantastic album of solid thrash aggression with songs that will bounce around your cerebrum addictively.

Mark Freebase

M-PIRE OF EVIL ''Crucified'' - Review by Rock Garage

Es gibt wohl kaum einen halbwegs ausgebildeten Metaller, der noch nie was von VENOM gehört hat. Die Ur-Väter des Black Metal haben mit ihren Frühwerken komplette Musikergeneration maßgeblich beeinflusst und auch wenn, oder vielleicht auch weil, die Musiker alles andere als technisch perfekt waren einen unzweifelhaften Kultstatus erlangt. Ich hatte das Vergnügen VENOM einmal Live zu sehen und auch wenn es gerumpelt hat wie die Hölle, es war mindestens genau so geil.

Der geneigte Leser fragt sich jetzt vielleicht, was M:PIRE OF EVIL mit VENOM am Hut haben. Ganz einfach. Mit Jeff Dunn ist bei M:PIRE OF EVIL ein Gründungsmitglied von VENOM am Start. Allgemein hin besser unter seinem Pseudonym „Mantas“ bekannt, bekommt er Unterstützung durch Tony „Demolition Man“ Dolan, der ebenfalls von 1989-92 zum Line-up von VENOM gehörte.

Kommen wir also zur Musik. Und die bewegt sich, wie auch nicht anders zu erwarten war, im rauen Black/Thrash Bereich der frühen 80er. Das ganze ist nicht ganz so rumpelig vorgetragen, wie es VENOM seinerzeit taten, die Rauheit und die ungestüme Wildheit hat aber auch ein Mantas nicht verloren.
So thrashen und shredden  sich Mantas und Co. durch eine gute Dreiviertelstunde feinsten 80er Schädelbrechermetal, der auch hier nicht technisch perfekt bis in die Haarspitzen ist, dafür aber 100% authentisch und roh.
Die ganzen selbsternannten Szenekönige dürfen, nein müssen, sich abermals vor den Urvätern verneigen. M:PIRE OF EVIL sind die einzig würdigen „Erben“ der alten VENOM.

Wertung 8 / 10

M-PIRE OF EVIL ''Crucified'' - Review by Forces Paralleles
Le depart d’Antton, au début de l’année 2012, avait mis fin au statut de "supergroupe" que possédait MPIRE OF EVIL depuis sa formation en 2010. Qu’à cela ne tienne, MPIRE OF EVIL demeure le projet de Mantas et de Tony Dolan, qui n’ont pas attendu bien longtemps pour lui trouver un remplaçant en la personne du jeune surdoué Marc Jackson, qui prendra rapidement le pseudonyme de JXN. Et c’est ainsi que MPIRE OF EVIL, entre deux tournées mondiales, retourne en studio pour enregistrer fissa un successeur au très bon Hell To The Holy (2012). Toutefois, précisons les choses : Crucified, le deuxième album du trio britannique, n’est pas réellement un album de nouveau matériel. Eh oui, les fans de VENOM l’auront vite compris en regardant la liste des chansons : Crucified est un album de réenregistrements d'ancien titres de VENOM de la période 1988-1993.

Pourquoi avoir choisi de réenregistrer d’anciens titres plutôt que de nous fournir un deuxième album 100 % original ? Pour une raison très simple : les albums sélectionnés pour ces réenregistrements, assez peu connus du grand public et sortis pendant une période oubliée de l’histoire de VENOM, n’ont, à l’heure où j’écris ces lignes, toujours pas été réédités. Après l’annonce de la formation de MPIRE OF EVIL en 2010 (sous le nom PRIMEVIL), le projet d’une réédition de ces albums, supervisée par Mantas et Tony Dolan eux-mêmes, avait pourtant bel et bien été envisagé. Oui mais voilà, un possible conflit d’intérêts avec ... le line-up actuel de VENOM, emmené par Cronos, n'a pas permis au projet de voir le jour. Une vraie guerre des gangs, je vous le dit.

Vous l’aurez compris, le choix de réenregistrer quelques extraits de ces albums est donc un choix par défaut, destiné à ne pas laisser ces disques tomber définitivement dans l’oubli. Par ailleurs, les pressages originels de ces albums sont aujourd’hui quasiment introuvables, et s’échangent à prix d’or sur Internet. En furetant un peu sur divers sites, on peut ainsi trouver des exemplaires de Temples Of Ice pour des prix avoisinant souvent les 60 à 80 euros. Du pur délire. Voilà donc qui justifie donc amplement une remise au goût du jour de ces albums.

MPIRE OF EVIL a par ailleurs fait le bon choix en refusant d’emblée de réenregistrer des titres de VENOM de la période Cronos. Cet exercice aurait en effet été taxé d’opportuniste, d’autant plus que le line-up de VENOM de l’ère Tony Dolan avait déjà réalisé de tels réenregistrements entre 1988 et 1993. Les titres réenregistrés ici sont donc tous issus des trois albums de VENOM publiés entre 1989 et 1992, à savoir Prime Evil (1989), Temples Of Ice (1991) et The Waste Lands (1992). Aucun titre en revanche de l’EP Tear Your Soul Apart (1990), considéré par certains comme un album à part entière. Ce sont les fans eux-mêmes qui ont été sollicités pour choisir les chansons qui seraient revues et corrigées pour l'occasion. On note toutefois un léger déséquilibre dans la tracklist, puisque l'album Temples Of Ice n'est représenté que par un titre, alors que The Waste Lands rafle la mise avec 5 titres, ce qui est assez étonnant vu que ce troisième album de l'ère Dolan n'est pas le meilleur des trois.

Toutefois, ces nouvelles versions des anciennes compositions de Dolan et Mantas sous l'appellation VENOM sont tout bonnement ébouriffantes. Loin de la redite, Mantas nous surprend en adoptant un son de guitare toujours plus moderne que jamais, dans la lignée de l'album de 2012. Le chant de Tony Dolan se veut pour sa part plus agressif que dans les années 1990, et dépoussière ces vieux titres de fond en comble. On aurait pu craindre un médiocre album de neuf fait avec du vieux, mais MPIRE OF EVIL nous prouve qu'il n'en est rien. Et que dire de la performance du nouveau batteur Marc Jackson, si ce n'est qu'elle est également très impressionnante ? Mais le plaisir ne s'arrête pas là, car aux neufs titres de VENOM réenregistrés viennent s'ajouter deux inédits, "Demone" et "Taking It All", qui ont par ailleurs fait l'objet d'une sortie en 45 tours parallèlement à l'album. Ces deux nouveaux titres très agressifs et hyper thrashy laissent entrevoir les nouvelles orientations de MPIRE OF EVIL, qui semble se diriger vers un metal résolument moderne et sans concessions.

Voilà, il n'y a pas grand chose d'autre à ajouter. Si cet album efficace et avant tout destiné aux fans pourra faire un peu grogner ceux qui n'aiment pas les réenregistrements de vieux titres, il saura en tout cas convaincre l'amateur de metal carré et solide qui s'intéresse un tant soit peu à l'histoire de VENOM. Certes, Crucified n'apporte pas grand chose de neuf et recycle de vieilles idées, mais l'entreprise de remettre au goût du jour ces chansons oubliées est suffisamment enthousiasmante pour se jeter sur cet album les yeux fermés.

En attendant une suite 100 % originale, bien évidemment !
M-PIRE OF EVIL ''Crucified'' - Review by Skullbanger

Are you fan of Venom…specifically are you a fan of Venom from the time of the Prime Evil era?  Well my friends rejoice because M:PIRE OF EVIL gives you two members from that time.  One is original member and guitarist Mantas and the other is TonyDolan who took over bass and singing duties in Venom when Cronos left for a time.  So what does ‘Crucified’ offer the average metal listener?  Is it just a trip down Venom memory lane or something new M:PIRE OF EVIL is trying to do?  Well it’s a bit of both.

Anyone who has ever followed Venom or was a fan knows the storied and checkered history of the band.  No one seemed to like each other, members came and went and the quality of the music was all over the place.  We had reunions, split ups and all kinds of shit through the years.  I guess when you think about it, the band that helped create the black metal genre not getting along and having band turmoil seems to fit the theme pretty well even though I’m sure the band members would have loved to just have went on stage and play without all the internal mess.

So now we have M:PIRE OF EVIL with two former Venom band members allowed to do their own thing without having to answer to someone else.  Well sort of their own thing as ‘Crucified’ actually contains several Venom songs from the Prime Evil era of Venom.  This to me isn’t a bad thing though it seems they could have left off a few cover songs.  The album contains 11 tracks and about 4 of which are Venom songs.  So that may have been a few too many in my view but that’s just my view and others may not mind.  As for original material ‘Crucified’ has some strong stuff while maybe not trailblazing a new era of metal per se.  The song ‘Wolverine’ is a fantastic tune and really showcases some good songwriting and the evil spitting vocals from Dolan.  Also, Mantas’s guitar work is spot on in ‘Crucified’.  I know in the early years of Venom some people criticized his playing style as being not overly technical or proficient but even listening to those old Venom albums you could tell Mantas had a very good feel of how to translate ‘atmosphere’ and ‘mood’ to a song when the need called for it.  As of today Mantas has become a very accomplished guitar player and still has retained the ability to give songs that extra something special with his playing.

‘Crucified’ is a solid metal album for fans of Venom and of heavy metal in general.  I can see the material really going over great in a live setting and would love the opportunity to get to see the band perform.  So while we aren’t treading new ground with ‘Crucified’, M:PIRE OF EVIL aren’t shitting their pants either and deliver a solid effort that I recommend you to check out given the opportunity.

Rating:3.75/5

M-PIRE OF EVIL ''Crucified'' - Review by Metal Kaoz

When I am referring to VENOM I am exclusively talking about the Cronos-fronted days but this has nothing to do with the Demolition Man who replaced him for a series of albums. After all, Tony Dolan’s work with ATOMKRAFT is still a well-hidden NWOBHM gem. Sure, this way of looking things is absolutely biased and it would have caused trouble to my VENOM collection if “Prime Evil” had slipped through these cracks. What I am trying to say is that the Dolan-fronted VENOM albums were good and in fact better than what we are seeing nowadays getting released from the same genre. So, to underline the quality of that time period MPIRE OF EVIL decided to re-visit some VENOM songs and make an album out of it, something that has to be connected with the most successful tour after the “Hell To The Holy” release.

“Crucified” contains only two original songs (already released in the “Demone” single) while the rest of the tracklist covers all the Dolan-fronted VENOM albums and for this only I have to give credit to the band. I mean, this is the perfect excuse to dig out those albums leaving aside the Cronos issues and enjoy this Punk/Metal blend (yes, VENOM based their innovative music on this recipe). This almost ‘best of’ collection starts with the SLAYER-esque Thrash-riff driven “Temples Of Ice”. The first thing a VENOM-ear will notice is that the production is as close as possible to the original (ok, it is cleaner) giving emphasis on the bass lines and the drum work that I had a hard time digesting during the first days of Marc Jackson during MPIRE OF EVIL’s North US tour. Yeah, it was a matter of proper rehearsal.

Dolan sounds as always pissed-off and this is why he was called up to fill Cronos’s big shoes under the VENOM moniker. “Parasite” is better than the original where I had trouble getting pass that annoying bass drum sound, even though in the new version the guitars are less VENOM-esque distortion-wise. The amazing “Blackened Are The Priests” is also included and I hope it will draw some attention to the killer album “Prime Evil” that is probably the best non-Cronos-fronted VENOM album out there. Again, the production works in favor of this song but I have to admit that in the original the bass feels stronger, especially in the bass-driven break. I would be happier if they had included “Prime Evil” instead of “Carnivorous” even though the latter one is an aggressive headbanger, no questions asked. “Wolverine” played its role and made me search VENOM’s discography for “The Wastelands” and to some extent I did reconsider my initial opinion that to my defense was based on the huge turn-offfor having VENOM without Cronos.

The two new songs “Demone” and “Taking It All” are fine examples of where MPIRE OF EVIL stand nowadays and that is closest to the Dolan-fronted VENOM days. Especially “Taking It All” has the in-your-face and refuse-to-follow-norms attitude that VENOM was built upon. Dolan sounds absolutely amazing (listen to the opening lyric lines) with his trademark harsh singing while I have to acknowledge the drum work that fits the MPIRE OF EVIL music like hand in glove. Last but not least is Mantas who, I want to believe, has renewed his interest for this type of music, so there will be more coming from MPIRE OF EVIL in the same vein. As a VENOM fan I am absolutely happy having the two lineup versions active in discography, in case you were wondering...

PS: How cool is mentioning VENOM so many times?

M-PIRE OF EVIL ''Crucified'' - Review by Hard Rock Haven

M:Pire of Evil returns with Crucified. They released their debut, six-track Creatures Of The Black album along with the highly respected Hell To The Holy album in 2011 and early 2012. Now, the wait for their newest album is over. Originally, Dunn took on the name Mantas and formed a band that challenged all of the pioneers of the music world. He took inspiration from the greats and made a combination known as Venom. Mantas, a longtime guitarist, and Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan formed M:Pire of Evil in 2010. Initially, they were called Prime Evil, which comes from an illustrious Venom album, but they discovered another band had the name as well. With Crucified being released, heavy metal magic is made.

The album starts out quite strong. “Temples of Ice” has intensely fast guitar riffs and an amazing bass line that causes instant head banging. The howling voice of the “Demolition Man” creates a fierce edge that ends the song with somewhat of a haunting whisper. The steadfast heavy drudge carries on through the next series of songs. All of the songs provide this type of build that makes the entire song have a narrative feel. There are catchy choruses and words that refuse to leave your head. “Need to Kill” is no exception in terms of a song that will stick with you. “Demone” is another hard and fast song that makes Crucified so severe and raw, but it difficult to not discuss every song on this album.

“Crucified” is one of the songs that stuck out the most in terms of a narrative approach. However, there is more than a story being presented within the song. There is a hardcore instrumental background that is perfectly balanced with the roughness of the vocals. The solos done by Mantas are so memorable in this song as well. For being the song titled after the album, it creates such an impact.

M:Pire of Evil have a sound of their own, and the scales and technical abilities that this band can cover within an album is mind-blowing. Each song proves that these musicians complete one another. Mantas has such quick shredding fingers with every riff he plays. Keeping up with the speed of Mantas, the drums are done in a heavy but technical sense. It is all brought together with the primal sound and tension in the “Demolition Man’s” voice. This three sound phenomenal together, and this album is not disappointing in any way.

Hardrock Haven rating: 8.5/10

M-PIRE OF EVIL ''Crucified'' - Review by Music Trespass

Evil has come here to stay!!!

Having not heard the M:Pire of Evil debut release 'Hell to the Holy', I didn’t have any preconceived ideas as to what 'Crucified' would be like. I have to say, since hearing this new offering from the band, I have checked out the original, and I’m hooked! They make no secret as to what the bands roots are, having three original members of the infamous Venom, in Mantas, JXN and Demolition Man. This CD includes some Venom favourites from the 'Prime Evil' era, and consists of eleven all powerful, chest thumping tracks.

This album can’t help but take you back to Venom's classic black, furious and insanely heavy numbers. M:Pire of Evil seem to have taken this a little further however, occasionally taking on a more slanting rhythm mid song, and then finishing in a speedy, heavy and aggressive finale, resembling early Black Sabbath. Other tracks follow the simplistic, but comfortably familiar Speed Metal formula, very reminiscent of Metallica in their heyday, but Venom invented Black Metal and this is a good slab of that genre.

There is no questioning the superb musicianship contained within this CD, and showcases 'No Nonsense, Down and Dirty' vocals. Add to this the quality of production, which often detracts from the original recordings found on a fair few Heavy Rock albums these days. All in all this is a hard and heavy, kick ass offering, that shows no boundaries, and is going to appeal to most fans of Heavy Metal. Bring it on guys!!

M-PIRE OF EVIL ''Crucified'' - Review by The Ringmaster Review

Crucified is a mixed bag of tracks which combine to make a pleasing and satisfying encounter that without lighting any hunger driven fires in the passions certainly brings a smile to the face. Unleashed by UK metallers M-Pire Of Evil, the band formed by former members of the legendary Venom, Jeff “Mantas” Dunn (guitar) and Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan (vocals & bass), the album thrusts eleven heavy metal/thrash powered aggression fuelled tracks through the ear, their offerings made up of new material and revisited tracks from the five year period the duo played together in the black metal masters. It is an album which works much better than just a simple best of… album or one simply copying of past glories, but when the best material on the release is arguably the new songs there is a sense that it missed the opportunity to make a mark like its predecessor the acclaimed Hell To The Holy.

With drummer Marc “JXN” Jackson carving up the ear with his intensive rhythms alongside the founding pair, M-Pire Of Evil turn on a furnace of insatiable riffs and heavy handed rhythms wrapped in a sonic enterprise which twists its skilled creativity around the assault. Opening track of the Mausoleum Records released album, Temples of Ice, originally from the album of the same name, swaggers in with an expressive groove  wrapping plundering of rhythms and a predatory atmosphere. Once Dolan unleashes his scowling tones upon the song the track surges with a thrash crafted hunger through to the senses, its switching gait as infectious as the melodic flames searing the ear from the guitars. It is a strong and enjoyable track which like all the subsequent re-inventions makes a valid declaration for their intent and presence.

The following Parasite, one of three visits to Prime Evil of 1989, is an excellent confrontation, a destructive spiteful fury which brings a Motorhead like rapaciousness for an unbridled treat but whether you can say it improves or does enough with the original is debatable, though such its strength it is hard to mind this slight failing. As the likes of The Waste Lands bred Kissing the Beast, the rabid Carnivorous with its corrosive riffing and delicious groove, and the excellent Black Legions bleeds its intensive destruction over the senses the album gets better and better even if still yet to truly spark any passion or find a true cutting edge to its spiteful snarl.

Both Need to Kill and Wolverine chew with accomplished craft and expected power though still the feeling of a lost opportunity shows its head across what it has to be said is enjoyable savagery. It is with the appearance of the three originals that intrigue is truly piqued and fed, starting with the title track, a song which prowls and courts the ear with less intensity but more expressive passion and inventive imagination. It is an enthralling song with the guitar captivation more about adventure than aggression and the melodic wash of sonic persuasion an impressive ally.

The closing pair of Demone and Taking It All grip attention with a stronger lure than in the earlier part of the album, the first with a punk infused thrash tempest which charges up the emotions with anthemic toxicity and the second with an air of exploration to its breath. The track is the best on the album, a ferocious consumption of ravaging riffs and belligerent rhythms ridden by the mutually voracious vocals. It is a fine climax which in many ways accentuates the feeling of a missed chance by the band to create something more memorable than it is.

Despite that Crucified is a an album which leaves only enjoyment in its wake whilst bringing a heavy metal energy to tracks which already have a place in history through their original creators. It is a strong interlude in what can be hoped is more original adventure from M-Pire Of Evil ahead. 7/10

M-PIRE OF EVIL ''Crucified'' - Review by Metal Temple
I had several misgivings regarding the UK Heavy / Speed Metal band, MPIRE OF EVIL, the notorious trio consortium of evil led by ex-VENOM  Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan  and Mantas, and their decision to release a second album as the ground space for the re-recording of tracks from their VENOM days playing alongside each other. Mainly bands of such character, in this case like MPIRE OF EVIL, tend to release such re-recorded efforts as a first burnt offering in order to form a fan base. But these guys chose to head in different direction, releasing an EP with covers and a few new sample tracks, a full length debut of originals and now, a sophomore LP filled with ghosts from their past, revealed in a new face, along with newly bread recordings of fresh material. Peculiarity or not, it is up to the clan of evil to decide their fate, and their business. Whether it was worthwhile or not, you will read about it after I will be done with this intro. This sort of semi compilation (plus extras) was named "Crucified", after one of the three originals on display, and it was just released by Mausoleum Records. Produced again by Mantas, which was in charge of the debut's mighty engineering and procedures, "Crucified" reeks and feels like a VENOM album, yet in a different reincarnation.

Though I was tempted to being with the fresh tracks at first, I decided to follow the re-recordings as I just had to find out how songs, between the years 1988 to 1992, sound two decades after, especially with two out of the three guys that played them back in the hey days. If you had any bafflement regarding the chose period in VENOM's career, the main reason was due to Dolan's involvement with the band after replacing Cronos a few years after the release of "Possessed". Sinking knee deep in the tracks, and their new productions, I found some comfort within the new versions. Although I honestly wasn't set ablaze by MPIRE OF EVIL's efforts, especially with the tracks taken from "The Waste Land" like "Black Legions" and "Need To Kill", which seemed tedious and tiresome than the original versions that kicked harder, even with an old type of sound engineering. On the other hand, the three bust nuts of "Prime Evil", boosted the unholy gathering into a gleaming memory of a period lost forever. "Blackened Are the Priests", one of my favorites out of "Prime Evil" sounded even darker than its initial version and a lot heavier. There were a few alterations here in there, but only for the fans' benefit. "Carnivorous" and "Parasite" slayed as they should, high octane destruction of all that is good in favor of sheer malevolent pasting. The former remained true to its Speed Metal prowess while the latter preserved its fine grooves. It actually sounded a bit weak at first glance, but it got better.

As far as the new tracks go, it went both ways. Obviously, it seemed to me that MPIRE OF EVIL didn't exactly follow the debut "Hell To The Holy" but rather assimilated a slightly changed path. The failing "Demone" sounded punchy, but weird and it was hard to bond with its antics. "Crucified", way better than the former, enhanced the obscurity into a course of improvement, felt mystifying, but lacked the lust and additional inspirational rhythms and riffs. Lastly there is "Taking It All", the band's power head and reason to be. That particular number won me over right from its beginning. No rest for the wicked, which is the suitable saying for this bastard. MPIRE OF EVIL combined the splendor of MOTORHEAD along with VENOM malevolence to create an anti-type song against oppressors. This one has a Rocking kind of flavor along with various grooves, a Heavy Metal anthem for the masses that hate being fraught. Generally, I like this release and its sound. It was great to remember some of VENOM's Thrashiest moments, but I would have picked different tracks, at least from "Temples Of Ice" and "The Waste Lands". When it comes to the new songs, this band found its gem, the rest being only fair. 
M-PIRE OF EVIL ''Crucified'' - Review by Planet Mosh

When a metal band features 2 ex members of Venom, one of whom was in the original line up then you can expect full on metal. Original member Mantas on guitar and Tony “demoltion man” Dolan on vocals/bass released their debut album Hell To The Holy in March 2012, a real fan pleaser and received some great reviews. On drum duties was Antton Lant but his departure has left the door open for JXN who plays on the follow up album Crucified. Those who thought M:Pire Of Evil was a flash in the pan have been proved wrong as Crucified has come to be just over a year after  Hell To The Holy and is one of the heaviest albums i have heard in a long time with the recording levels threatening to send the Earth of its axis and sent spinning into space! There are 11 monsters on offer here but only 8 new songs as the remaining 3 are Venom covers rejuvenated from the 1989 release Prime Evil. Strangely enough they are mixed in with the new songs and not added at the end as bonus tracks. So those who bought the debut and thought it was good then strap yourselves in for a 45 minute white knuckle ride from  Crucified!

Crucified is released via Mausoleum Records on May 17th 2013 and begins with a South Of Heaven style intro to Temples Of Ice but this is the calm before the storm as Mantas releases some blistering riffs backed by some fast footwork from JXN and a mighty vocal holler from Tony who puts in a frenzied bass barrage  midway followed by a scything guitar solo. This leads into the 1st Venom cover, a bass heavy balls out take on of Parasite. Crucified is so strong that as soon as you think you have heard your favourite track on the album its followed by another contender, then another. Kissing The Beast is a 100mph buzzer with some fierce blast beats. Other metallic highlights include the 2nd Venom cover. The crunching riff of  Blackened Are The Priests  comes in after a slow choral build up. It develops into chugging tempos over a spitting vocal backed by atmospheric synths. Carnivorous is the 3rd and final cover,a 2 and a half minute burst of sharp vicious rage with yet another pounding drum assault with Tony sounding a bit like Chuck Billy on this one. Black Legions is a cold hearted grinded number with a demonic breakdown midway. Wolverine has a nwobhm style intro riff which is then engulfed by a full on thrash workout.

There is no pause for breath during Demone as the band deliver a heads down thudding track, creating their own version of Manowar’s black wind. Album closer is my personal favourite, the juddering main riff to Taking It All is the a real headbanging inducer with Tony giving his most venomous vocal so far with a mighty “fuck you!” in the choruses. Crucified is a worthy addition to any fan of extreme metal and  UK fans of M:Pire Of Evil  will be able to see them when they tour with legendary UK thrashers Onslaught later on this year. A bill not to be missed!

Planet Mosh Rating: 10 - Awesome

M-PIRE OF EVIL ''Crucified'' - Review by NovaMetalReview

My first exposure to M-PIRE of EVIL was at a less-than-well attended show in downtown Washington D.C. and these fellas damn near knocked my head off… This was a little over a year ago now and shortly after that show got hold of the then-current album, “Hell To The Holy” and have been thrashing it up ever since. I really need to catch-up and write a review because it is a great record, however today my focus is on their latest offering, “Crucified”. In many ways this would have been the perfect record for someone like me, with only a limited knowledge of their prior work, since this album includes nine re-recorded tracks from the “old days”, plus a couple of newbies. I think I need to do some explaining here first? Sometimes words get confusing when trying to unravel the history of one or more bands but I’m going to try… Back in 1979 a dark force was formed in the world of heavy metal, something that would in fact spawn a whole new genre of metal, Black Metal, taken from the second album by the crushing force that was Venom. Now, my memory isn’t perfect, but I recall certain elements of the rock press not really giving Venom the props they fully deserved and it is only in retrospect their influence is now appreciated (and perhaps worshipped in some quarters). The trio included on guitar Jeff Dunn, later to be anointed with the moniker “Mantas”. Over time, the normal wear and tear suffered by so many bands led to line-up changes that brought Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan to join Venom on bass and vocals in 1988. Along with original drummer Anthony “Abaddon” Bray and a couple of rhythm guitar players that came and went, this line-up turned out three albums, Prime Evil, Temples of Ice and The Waste Lands. Following less than stellar sales figures, largely due to the grunge-era kicking in, Venom split-up for a few years. However this was but chapter one for this story.

Fast forward to the year 2010 and Mantas was playing in a band called “Dryll”, and found himself looking for a drummer, and recruited another former Venom member, Anthony “Antton” Lant to fill the drum stool. At that point a glimmer of brilliance sparked and the Demolition Man joined as the third member of the power trio. Originally taking the name “Prime Evil”, this was found to be ‘in-use’ by another band, so they came up with a slightly morphed variant, becoming known as “M-PIRE of EVIL”. Antton only lasted through the recording process of their debut EP and “Hell To The Holy” and departed just prior to the band taking to the road in early 2012. Fairly rapidly Marc Jackson stepped in and the line-up was complete. Shortly after completing the tour Jackson joined M-PIRE of EVIL as a full member and was anointed the name JXN. Fortunately we are now up to date. So, what does “Crucified” give us? Well as noted earlier, we have mostly re-recorded tracks from the three Venom-era offerings featuring Mantas and the Demolition Man and a couple of new numbers. In fact for me this is perfect, since I am not at all familiar with the Venom back-catalog, and while live M-PIRE are able to include some of the other classic Venom numbers (such as “Black Metal” and “Countess Bathory”), I’m guessing those numbers have other writing credits to them one way or another, making them harder to re-record/release.

So the album opens with “Temples Of Ice” from the album of the same name, and this rips. With a classic half-pace opening intro, it takes a short 47 seconds to get to the meat’n’potatoes and as Mantas tears into the riff with a crisp precision, the vocals cut through and grab your attention. The Demolition Man is both vicious but melodic at the same time – none of that grunting or growling that afflicts so many bands that allude to a similar genre classification. This is the perfect combination of nasty while musical. To be honest I keep thinking that Tony reminds me of Lemmy (yes, from Motorhead…) with a little less rock’n’roll and more bite. Excellent! There is a neat bass intro to the solo and then we get some guitar heroics which really show how good Mantas is playing these days – he is both highly melodic, while pulling off some very technical runs. It’s about now you will wake up and start to pay attention to the pounding on the drums. Damn JXN is a monster… the double kick-drum work through the tail-end of the solo is just vicious, while over the top are some just amazingly executed fills. Wild stuff all round. Up second is “Parasite” and this just reinforces the idea that the first track wasn’t a fluke. This is a band firing on all cylinders and, yes, this bad-boy is both turbo- and supercharged. Crank this up; it deserves to be played loud. Depending on what you’re playing this on, the louder it gets, the better it seems. Awesome. Incidentally this is very well recorded album, so top marks for that. The bass work on all the tracks is just excellent, while not being overblown which is a temptation with a trio sometimes.

I won’t run this track by track, since we’ll be here all week, but I really dig the crazy-fast double-kick drum work on “Kissing The Beast” (track #3), while the moody “Blackened Are The Priests” provides a bit of breather and a more atmospheric feel – I particularly like the bass section in the middle eight. I’m going to skip forward to track #8, “Wolverine”, which has a totally wicked double-kick drum fueled chorus section which meshes perfectly with the guitar riff and to me makes me think of machine guns. Wicked stuff all round. “Crucified”, the title-track, taken from The Waste Lands, has a damn catchy melody to the chorus, which I don’t think is totally expected given who is delivering this, but it works extremely well. This might be my favorite track on the whole record to be honest. I really like the way the solo builds out of the middle-eight section and again is another example of how good Mantas is; there’s even some harmony parts in there, but it’s not over done in any way – tasteful even.

The two new tracks lead off with “Demone” and this is a power-thrash number. To be honest this has more than a nod in the direction of Slayer to my ears, at least until we get to the solo, which pulls the pace off a bit and has a more bluesy tint to it. Closing the album is “Taking it All” and this is a lot of fun, with a chanted “F**k You!” as the feature of the chorus. I believe this track is reason for a recent request the band put out requesting fans send in videos of themselves shouting, screaming and yelling “F**k You!”, so standby for a video release by the band for this track featuring an assortment of M-PIRE of EVIL fans. Should be a riot! So let’s put this in perspective. There are only two new tracks here, so those of you that are hardcore Venom fans may get a little less out of this than I did, simply because you probably already have nine of the tracks here. But let’s not discount the fact that it’s nice to get an up to date take on this material and we are dealing with modern recording techniques, giving us better sound here. Whether you ‘like’ that is up to you. I really like this record and score this a hard metal 8.5/10.

M-PIRE OF EVIL ''Crucified'' - Review by Metal-Temple
I had several misgivings regarding the UK Heavy / Speed Metal band, MPIRE OF EVIL, the notorious trio consortium of evil led by ex-VENOM  Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan  and Mantas, and their decision to release a second album as the ground space for the re-recording of tracks from their VENOM days playing alongside each other. Mainly bands of such character, in this case like MPIRE OF EVIL, tend to release such re-recorded efforts as a first burnt offering in order to form a fan base. But these guys chose to head in different direction, releasing an EP with covers and a few new sample tracks, a full length debut of originals and now, a sophomore LP filled with ghosts from their past, revealed in a new face, along with newly bread recordings of fresh material. Peculiarity or not, it is up to the clan of evil to decide their fate, and their business. Whether it was worthwhile or not, you will read about it after I will be done with this intro. This sort of semi compilation (plus extras) was named "Crucified", after one of the three originals on display, and it was just released by Mausoleum Records. Produced again by Mantas, which was in charge of the debut's mighty engineering and procedures, "Crucified" reeks and feels like a VENOM album, yet in a different reincarnation.

Though I was tempted to being with the fresh tracks at first, I decided to follow the re-recordings as I just had to find out how songs, between the years 1988 to 1992, sound two decades after, especially with two out of the three guys that played them back in the hey days. If you had any bafflement regarding the chose period in VENOM's career, the main reason was due to Dolan's involvement with the band after replacing Cronos a few years after the release of "Possessed". Sinking knee deep in the tracks, and their new productions, I found some comfort within the new versions. Although I honestly wasn't set ablaze by MPIRE OF EVIL's efforts, especially with the tracks taken from "The Waste Land" like "Black Legions" and "Need To Kill", which seemed tedious and tiresome than the original versions that kicked harder, even with an old type of sound engineering. On the other hand, the three bust nuts of "Prime Evil", boosted the unholy gathering into a gleaming memory of a period lost forever. "Blackened Are the Priests", one of my favorites out of "Prime Evil" sounded even darker than its initial version and a lot heavier. There were a few alterations here in there, but only for the fans' benefit. "Carnivorous" and "Parasite" slayed as they should, high octane destruction of all that is good in favor of sheer malevolent pasting. The former remained true to its Speed Metal prowess while the latter preserved its fine grooves. It actually sounded a bit weak at first glance, but it got better.

As far as the new tracks go, it went both ways. Obviously, it seemed to me that MPIRE OF EVIL didn't exactly follow the debut "Hell To The Holy" but rather assimilated a slightly changed path. The failing "Demone" sounded punchy, but weird and it was hard to bond with its antics. "Crucified", way better than the former, enhanced the obscurity into a course of improvement, felt mystifying, but lacked the lust and additional inspirational rhythms and riffs. Lastly there is "Taking It All", the band's power head and reason to be. That particular number won me over right from its beginning. No rest for the wicked, which is the suitable saying for this bastard. MPIRE OF EVIL combined the splendor of MOTORHEAD along with VENOM malevolence to create an anti-type song against oppressors. This one has a Rocking kind of flavor along with various grooves, a Heavy Metal anthem for the masses that hate being fraught. Generally, I like this release and its sound. It was great to remember some of VENOM's Thrashiest moments, but I would have picked different tracks, at least from "Temples Of Ice" and "The Waste Lands". When it comes to the new songs, this band found its gem, the rest being only fair. 
M-PIRE OF EVIL ''Crucified'' - Review by Hardrock Haven

M:Pire of Evil returns with Crucified. They released their debut, six-track Creatures Of The Black album along with the highly respected Hell To The Holy album in 2011 and early 2012. Now, the wait for their newest album is over. Originally, Dunn took on the name Mantas and formed a band that challenged all of the pioneers of the music world. He took inspiration from the greats and made a combination known as Venom. Mantas, a longtime guitarist, and Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan formed M:Pire of Evil in 2010. Initially, they were called Prime Evil, which comes from an illustrious Venom album, but they discovered another band had the name as well. With Crucified being released, heavy metal magic is made.

The album starts out quite strong. “Temples of Ice” has intensely fast guitar riffs and an amazing bass line that causes instant head banging. The howling voice of the “Demolition Man” creates a fierce edge that ends the song with somewhat of a haunting whisper. The steadfast heavy drudge carries on through the next series of songs. All of the songs provide this type of build that makes the entire song have a narrative feel. There are catchy choruses and words that refuse to leave your head. “Need to Kill” is no exception in terms of a song that will stick with you. “Demone” is another hard and fast song that makes Crucified so severe and raw, but it difficult to not discuss every song on this album.

“Crucified” is one of the songs that stuck out the most in terms of a narrative approach. However, there is more than a story being presented within the song. There is a hardcore instrumental background that is perfectly balanced with the roughness of the vocals. The solos done by Mantas are so memorable in this song as well. For being the song titled after the album, it creates such an impact.

M:Pire of Evil have a sound of their own, and the scales and technical abilities that this band can cover within an album is mind-blowing. Each song proves that these musicians complete one another. Mantas has such quick shredding fingers with every riff he plays. Keeping up with the speed of Mantas, the drums are done in a heavy but technical sense. It is all brought together with the primal sound and tension in the “Demolition Man’s” voice. This three sound phenomenal together, and this album is not disappointing in any way.

Review by Jenn Carbaugh. Hardrock Haven rating: 8.5/10

M-PIRE OF EVIL ''Crucified'' - Review by The Sick Room - Radio, New Zealand
The UK Heavy Metal group M:pire of Evil returned with another album Crucified and a new single titled Demone, which is the first to feature on a 7" inch format.
Like many reunions or "super group" formations, one can be skeptical if the quality of the new recordings can live up to expectation of the general public and previous fans of the members past encounters but I have heard tracks off of the Crucified album and 7" format single Demone and I can tell you as a fan of the artists previous encounters this more than exceeds expecation. The 7" single Demone from M:pire of Evil absolutely blew me away. It starts off heavy and in your face, and continues tension with their drummer Marc Jackson and his technical ability to match the seasoned Jeff "Mantas" Dunn and his swarming furious riffs to complete the effort is Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan whose vocal capabilities leave such a primal and unrelenting organic true metal sound. The 7" single is out now and is worth every penny especially with an album cover that would make your mother sing blasphemy.