The closest thing to a MERCYFUL FATE reunion thus far in DENNER / SHERMMAN, featuring Michael Denner, Hank Shermann, Snowy Shaw along with Sean Peck (CAGE) and Marc Grabowski, has posted their new video for the title track of their debut EP, Satan’s Tomb.
Hank Shermann comments: “We are happy to be able to release a video for the title track, which was the first song that really got us going as a band.
Now we are building upon the shadowy metal essence of what we created with the ‘Satan’s Tomb‘ EP, and are moving forward with a full-length release for next year.”
Since the world should no longer wait for any form of new MERCYFUL FATE-related music, guitarists Michael Denner and Hank Shermann have announced their new name simply entitled, DENNER / SHERMANN. Additionally, former MERCYFUL FATE drummer Snowy Shaw is part of the band. Marc Grabowski (DEMONICA) and Sean Peck (CAGE and DEATH DEALER) will be on bass and vocals, respectively.
Their first release will be an EP, Satan’s Tomb. The band state, “These songs were crafted with the Mercyful Fate worldwide legion of fans at the forefront of their collective minds. From the first riff to the last wail, one cannot help but feel the magic newly recaptured once again.”
Hank Shermann comments: “We have been writing and recording with an incredible line up of musicians and the fans are in for a dark, classic, heavy metal treat for sure. We wanted to get back to the essence of what we created back in the early 80s” “The music inevitable sounds like you would hope it to be, fans of our early work should be very excited”.
Recently, original MERCYFUL FATE guitarists Michael Denner and Hank Shermann got together for the 30th anniversary of the band’s monumental debut, Melissa. Check out this video of them jamming on a bunch of riffs from the album. Inspiring!
Four albums into their career and I can happily report that VOLBEAT are still going strong. Beyond Hell/Above Heaven is more or less “a VOLBEAT record” with it’s distinct blend and balance of thrash, punk, rockabilly, country, and 50/60’s rock n’ roll. There are some subtle nuances here and there but nothing that significantly changes what fans have come to expect from the band.
This time the band don’t start out with an obligatory “intro” of country guitars but instead breaks out of the gates with the heavy “The Mirror and the Ripper.” “Who They Are” is one of the band’s heaviest songs with an intro that sounds like 80’s METALLICA trying to sound like 80’s SLAYER with perhaps a dash of CANNIBAL CORPSE. Lead single, “Fallen,” is a memorable song with a big chorus, showing the pop-ier side to the band. “7 Shots” features the legendary Michael Denner and Mille Petrozza and is the song is 100% metal in spirit as a result. Denner’s guitar solos are absolutely exquisite and add the kind of flavor not found on VOLBEAT’s other songs. Mille’s distinct vocal bite on the song’s chorus sound great.
Like any VOLBEAT album, there are some definite monster songs that stand out from the rest. This time around “A New Day” plays that role to perfection. The song has plenty of soul and hooks. “16 Dollars” gets right down to it with its rockabilly/50’s rock n’ roll stylings complete with upright bass. “Evelyn” may be VOLBEAT’s heaviest song as the majority of the song is grindcore madness featuring NAPALM DEATH’s Barney Greenway. When you compare and contrast vocalist/guitarist Michael Poulsen and Barney’s vocals, Barney completely overpowers Michael’s vocals with his ferocity. Given the band’s commercial success thus far, VOLBEAT take time out to thank their fans via album closer, “Thanks.”
At the end of the day, Beyond Hell/Above Heaven is another high quality, solid offering of fine songs from these Danish gods. (Mascot Records)
Nothing beats good, memorable songs and Copenhagen, Denmark’s VOLBEAT specialize in them. Their rise to fame in Europe is quite impressive as the band have earned multiple platinum and gold records, and several hit songs. In contrast, the band have only recently begun making their presence known in U.S. beginning with their tour earlier this year with fans, METALLICA. But make no mistake, the band have a very loyal underground following in the States that is only growing larger. APESHIT met up with guitarist Thomas Bredahl and drummer Jon Larsen before their sold out show in Anaheim, CA to speak with the new Danish gods about the secrets to their success.