Drummer Antony “Antton” Lant has quit M-PIRE OF EVIL (formerly PRIMEVIL) — the band he formed in 2010 with fellow ex-VENOM members Jeff “Mantas” Dunn (guitar) and Tony “The Demolition Man” Dolan (bass, vocals). Antton, who is the brother of VENOM frontman Conrad “Cronos” Lant, tells BLABBERMOUTH.NET, “[It is] a new year and a time to get my priorities right and everything in order. Too much stuff. As from today, I will NO LONGER be playing drums in M-PIRE OF EVIL. My family life and DEF-CON-ONEare more important to me. And something’s got to give.”

M-PIRE OF EVIL released its debut mini-album, “Creatures Of The Black”, on October 21 via Scarlet Records. The CD features cover versions of four songs that influenced the members of M-PIRE OF EVIL (“Exciter” by JUDAS PRIEST, “God Of Thunder” by KISS, “Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be” by AC/DC and “Motörhead” by MOTÖRHEAD), plus two new songs, “Hellspawn” and “Reptile”, which are available for streaming on the group’s Facebook page.

In a 2010 interview with Metality, Dolan stated about the formation of M-PIRE OF EVIL,”Well, I think it came about as Mantas and Antton who were both doing separate music projects (DRYLL and DEF-CON-ONE) came together in DRYLL. Mantas needed a drummer and Antton offered his services. People kept wondering what it would be like if Mantas and Antton played with me and it was kind of, ‘Oh, yeah that would be fun perhaps,’ but then DRYLL played a show and performed the VENOM track ‘Black Metal’ [with Antton] and that was kind of it. People started saying I had to come in and play, too. So I got a phone call and had a few chats with Mantas and that was that; we decided we’d see if it worked. It does, very well, but then again myself and Mantas have always been friends and played well together. The addition of a drummer as good as Antton was something too cool to pass up! [M-PIRE OF EVIL] is old school, I guess, melodic, heavy, powerful. [As to how MPIRE OF EVIL is] different from VENOM, [I’m] not sure. We will inevitably be compared, as we are all ex-VENOM [members] and, of course, Mantas was the main songwriter for VENOM, so… But I feel we are more like classic metal. MOTÖRHEAD, BLACK SABBATH…. PRIEST and VENOM.”