“Satan’s Tomb” by Denner/Shermann

Artist: Denner/Shermann
Title: “Satan’s Tomb”
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 10/2/2015
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

Denner/Shermann is the latest Metal project that comes care of the creative energies of Michael Denner and Hank Shermann who you probably know as the twin lead guitar fire of the legendary Mercyful Fate. Upon Fate’s second hiatus the pair joined forces and delivered two excellent Metal albums under the moniker of Force Of Evil and the band seemed to be everyone in Fate except The King. It was really great stuff and if you have never heard that band yet please do yourself a favor and seek it out as you should be able to find it in bins somewhere or on Amazon.com but I digress. This new band finds Denner and Shermann once again handling the guitar assault and the incredible sonic vocal register of Sean Peck who worked with the band Cage from 1992 on. The rhythms come care of the great Snowy Shaw who is playing drums on this one with the bottom end held up nicely by Marc Grabowski. “Satan’s Tomb” while only an EP is a powerful introduction of the good things to come from the band (or is that “bad things” based on the context of the writings?).

Since this is an EP and only gives us four songs it has to catch us from the beginning and fortunately “Satan’s Tomb” just that as the album kicks right into it with the title track and sings of how evil is coming for us and that victory seems pretty locked in for the forces of darkness. That’s how I took this one at least. There are thundering drums by Snowy on this and Peck shows how powerful his voice is to those who might only be hearing him for the first time on this EP. I must admit that I myself do not have a lot of background on Cage as a band and will be looking them up as well for future reviews. Conceptually speaking, all of the songs on the EP keep to the premise that we found happening in Force Of Evil and Fate with a very traditional Heavy Metal drive to them and lyrical content that deal with evil topics and the minions of the Underworld. One should expect no less from a band that titles an album “Satan’s Tomb” but one has to wonder why this was not used as the band name or even to revisit Force Of Evil as the brand instead of their surnames. “War Witch” has a furious start and a relentless pattern throughout and finds Peck experimenting with numerous vocal styles across the tune. One has to think the guitarists had envisioned their Fate years with this as I could even see King Diamond giving this one a go. With “New Gods” Peck is keeping the sonics on a high level and there is a nice amount of musical changes in temp here with the larger part of the tune chugging along slow and steady. The closing tune reminded me a little bit of Beyond Fear for some reason and I think that this was due to Peck hitting some notes and inflections that made me think of Tim “Ripper” Owens. A very driving closer of a tune for sure and while I have not really discussed the guitar work, both Denner and Shermann are tearing it up on riff after riff and lead break after lead break. If you are a fan of Heavy Metal guitar, then there is nothing but awesome to be found here. Good stuff for sure and an EP that completely leaves you wanting more from the band so let’s hope that a full-length is in the planning stages or ready to be delivered at this point.

I realize that many Metal fans are clamoring for a reunion of Denner and Shermann with the mighty King Diamond and while I would also love to see this historical happening, I don’t think that it is anything we can count on soon based on King’s own semi-recent return and his continual selling out of venue after venue on his tours. The King and Company have just finished a US tour for “Abigail” and these shows broke house attendance records on many stops. New York City had to put on three shows to serve the Metal needs and that is impressive. I would love to see Denner/Shermann bring this band to the live stage on a proper package with similar bands and let it enjoy some life before focusing on their now legendary original works. This EP is a must for one’s collection.

Track Listing:
1. Satan’s Tomb
2. War Witch
3. New Gods
4. Seven Skulls

Official Website: http://dennershermann.com/

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