M:Pire Of Evil: Crucified

Lucifer-‘supported’ black-metal vets make good.

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Featuring Venom’s founding guitarist Jeff ‘Mantas’ Dunn and his sometime black-metal cohort Tony ‘Demolition Man’ Dolan on vocals and bass, together with self-styled ‘drumming sensation’ JXN, M:Pire Of Evil’s second album is rooted in the sordid end of 80s thrash (think prime-time Exodus and/or Dark Angel, then multiply by six billion).

With Dunn at the top of his unwholesome game, you’re unlikely to hear a more deliciously brutal record all year. You can tell you’re on to a winner by the track titles alone: Parasite, Blackened Are The Priests, Black Legions… this is exactly what we want.

Like Dunn’s previous project, Dryll, there’s also an underlying sense of humour. Yes, they might be (quote) “painting aural pictures of evil and destruction”, but they’re doing so in a curious shade of magnolia. The standout song is, of course, the masticatingly malevolent Carnivorous, which contains lyrical references to ‘steel razored teeth’ and ‘our Satanic truss’. We refuse to go into further detail.