Denner/Shermann – ‘Satan’s Tomb’ EP Review

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What  happens when you put Michael Denner and Hank Shermann, the original guitarists for Meryful Fate’s classic ‘Melissa’ and ‘don’t break the oath’, together in an act simply named Denner/Shermann? The answer, of course, is that you get a ferocious heavy metal EP that simply pisses over the young contenders out there and shows them how it’s done with a power and authority that is impossible to ignore. The ‘Satan’s tomb’ EP is possibly the best trad-metal release you’ll hear all year with four brutal tracks showcasing the very best in heavy metal riffing, not to mention a collection of stinging solos that will leave your jaw hanging low.

Opening with the title track, the riffs hit you squarely between the eyes and it’s clear that Denner and Shermann are ablaze with inspiration, each trying to outdo the other in terms of weighty riffs and stunning fret-work. With Snowy Shaw’s powerhouse drumming behind them, the one thing that was needed was a kick-ass vocalist and this they found in Sean Peck (Cage, Death Dealer) whose lung-bursting efforts help bring Denner / Shermann to new heights. Quite simply it’s a stunning line up of musicians and if your blood is not pumping by the end of the first track you’re clearly not a metal fan! No less impressive is ‘war witch’, a furious track that sees the guitars thrash and burn as Sean unleashes his awesome wail.  Underpinning the whole thing is Marc Grabowski whose bass runs, whilst low in the mix, are an integral part of the music and there is no question that this is a headbanger’s paradise. Recalling the epic majesty of Meryful fate at their best, ‘New gods’ builds from a quiet, tension-building riff to a chrome-plated metal classic that sees the band standing proudly at the gates of hell, one foot on a monitor, the other in a pit as smoke and sulphur pour forth. It’s a huge, heavy metal anthem and it’s easy to imagine this track sending the mosh pit into a frenzy. The EP ends with the multi-tempo assault that is ‘seven skulls’, a surging masterpiece of metal complete with harmony guitars and  complex changes that recalls both Mercyful fate and early Queensryche at their very best. Any way you look at it, it’s a beast of an EP and it kicks a serious amount of ass – you really do have to hear this if you call yourself a metal fan.

Man, what an introduction!!! Legendary names both, Michael Denner and Hank Shermann have put together a project that is brutal, relevant and utterly brilliant. If you have metal loving friends, put this on loud and watch as they spill their pint. This is the sort of record that inspired people to spend their precious hours copying cassettes. This is the sort of record that has people sewing patches on to their cut-off denims. It transcends style and fashion and just is heavy. Fucking. Metal. In short, it’s awesome, you have to buy a copy!

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