Force Of Evil - ST 2003 Diamond Records - Reviewed by: EC
1. Dawn Of Dominion 2. Hell On Earth 3. Mindbreaker 4. Eye Of The Storm 5. Misery Man 6. Samhain 7. Calling, The 8. Fountain Of Grace 9. Demonized 10. Under The Blade 11. Eternity
I really loved Martin Steene's vocal performance on the debut record from Iron Fire, "Thunderstorm". Steene embodied all the characteristics I loved from power metal, soaring highs, smooth deliver, and a true pashion and sense of traditionlism for the genre. Steen followed that performance with Iron Fire's sophomore album, "On The Edge", which in my opinion was a huge improvement, possible being in my top ten for vocal newcomers. After that record, Steene and Iron Fire just disappeared from the planet, a soon to be Where Are You column for yours truly.
Now, Steene is back, singing for Mercyful Fate. Well sort of. Let me see if I get this straight. Force Of Evil is a supergroup put together by current Mercyful Fate guitarist Hank Shermann, featuring Iron Fire vocalist Martin Steene, on again-off again King Diamond bass player Hal Patino, ex-Mercyful Fate guitarist Michael Denner, current King Diamond bassist Hal Patino, and Mercyful Fate drummer Bjarne Holm. Its a King Diamond/Mercyful Fate all-star fest, that in my opinion really works well.
I've always been a fan of old Fate, and a huge fan of King Diamond, but I'm one of those fans that can only take King's vocals for a short period of time. Every year I will go on a King Diamond kick for a good month or two, before my ears just tune out the high falsetto vocals, instead going the opposite way and normally rolling into my Swedish death metal mode shortly after that stint. Steene really helps out my ears here, soothing my hearing with a much more acceptable means of delivering the metal goods. Force Of Evil is basically a lost Mercyful Fate record, with Steene showcasing a more power metal sound instead of Diamond's sadistic new wave shriek.
Tracks like blazing opener "Hell On Earth" showcase that classic Fate sound, with Steene hitting a few falsetto highs, but mostly staying mid range throughout. Denner and Shermann hook up for some killer guitar harmony, with tons of soaring leads. Just check out the string work on "Samhain" and "Under The Blade" for a high voltage assault, with the lead combos sounding like early 80s fate. This is just awesome stuff really.
Favorite cuts here are the grinding "Misery Man", with its rock-solid groove rolling with the signature punches of drummer Bjarne Holm, and the pleasant offering of "Mindbreaker".
Check out Force Of Evil if you are in the same boat with me, the fact being that I can't handle King Diamond for long periods of time. Martin Steene certainly isn't as innovative as Diamond, but he sure makes the music more easy to digest. This is a stellar debut and I would love to hear more from these guys!
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.
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