Force of Evil Unleashes Debut CD

By Sefany Jones, Contributing Editor
Monday, February 9, 2004 @ 10:36 AM

Force of Evil -- Featuring Mer

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For Immediate Release:

Force of Evil, Featuring Legendary Mercyful Fate Alumni, Releases Debut Effort

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In a time when the hard rock scene has become convoluted, confused and dull, it takes a true originator to re-hone rock’s edge. Enter legendary Mercyful Fate guitarist Hank Shermann, who has pulled together some familiar friends to create the scorching powerhouse outfit Force of Evil. The band’s self-titled debut is being released through Escapi Music in coordination with Navarre Distribution.

Having set the standard for menacing yet intricate heavy metal for over 20 years (Metallica openly cites Mercyful Fate as a major influence and even recorded a cover medley of their songs on 1998’s Garage, Inc.), Hank Shermann celebrates the crux of searing metal music on Force Of Evil. He elaborates, “Compared to my previous projects, this one is closest to my roots in Metal. This band stays very true to what I enjoy the most and what I feel I’m best at doing. It probably closely resembles Mercyful Fate in that it’s based in the same background and influences.”

Couple that ideal with the reunion of Shermann with his Mercyful Fate partner-in-crime, the one-time retired Michael Denner, and a fire is destined to ignite. Shermann & Denner forged a metal paradigm with such classic albums as Melissa, Don’t Break The Oath, In The Shadows, Time, and Into The Unknown. Rounding out the Force of Evil lineup are drummer Bjarne Holm (who joined Mercyful Fate in 1995), bassist Hal Patino (who gained notoriety for his work on the King Diamond classics Them, Conspiracy, The Eye, as well as recent albums Abigail II & The Puppet Master), and vocalist Martin Steene (from the cult European metal act Ironfire). Shermann offers a bit of background, “The seeds for this band date back to 1999, when Mercyful Fate went on a little hiatus. Since King was so busy doing his solo thing, it was actually nice to put Force of Evil together. Where the Mercyful Fate band members are scattered across 5 different cities & countries, everyone in Force of Evil is based in one place, Copenhagen, Denmark. We can rehearse on a weekly basis, and communication is very easy.”

The album, an eleven-track odyssey of pure metal fury, compiles a new chapter in the influential book of Hank Shermann. The songs erupt with archetypal twin guitar harmonies of Shermann/Denner, encompassed with raw riffing, piercing guitar solos in a climactic emotional maelstrom, accentuated with sinister and soul-searing vocals. The full tracklisting for Force Of Evil includes:

Dawn of Dominion
Hell On Earth
Eye of the Storm
Misery Man
The Calling
Fountain of Grace
Under the Blade

MP3s of “Hell On Earth”, “Eye Of The Storm” and “The Calling” are available for download at www.forceofevil.net.

But have no apprehensions of a one-off release, as Shermann is quick to point out, “Force of Evil is definitely a band, not a side project. We are all writing together a lot and we are planning a bunch of shows for the summer. We’ve already got a number of songs prepared for the next album! We’d like to get into the studio at the end of April and prepare to release the follow-up at the close of 2004.” The band played their debut performance at the 2003 inaugural BW&BK 6-Pack Weekend Festival in Cleveland, OH. In November 2003, the band performed their first European show in Stockholm, Sweden alongside doom metal pioneers Candlemass and Trouble. That performance was captured on film to be released on DVD this spring.

With such an impressive resume behind him, Shermann could have had his pick of labels to release the debut, however, he chose to sign with the up-and-coming Escapi Music, a label primarily known for licensing, production and distributing DVD and VHS programming in such diverse categories as Documentaries, Children's programs, Music, Animation, Travel, Fashion and Sports. He explains, “We really like Escapi, because it’s a label not really known for CDs, so we became a major priority in a new field for them. We are actually the first CD release for the label, and they are working really hard to promote us.”

So where does this leave Mercyful Fate, one might ask? According to Shermann, “If King calls this year to do another Mercyful Fate album, we’ll have to work around the Force of Evil schedule.”

www.forceofevil.net * www.escapi.com

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