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DouglasT Profile
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Vocalist Par Excellance!

Registered: 02-2004
Posts: 318
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Dont Take My Word For It




Anyone who has had any experience with these guys from their previous three releases know that they put out top notch melodic metal. For those of you that are not aware of this I suggest you get acquainted with them real quick because there are few if any bands out there doing it better these days. This is simply a stunning release that has already secured a spot in my end of the year favorites.

The band is built around a solid foundation of veteran musicians that manage to bring their "A" game again here. The key to the band would have to be guitarist Ralph Munkes (VANIZE). He is slinging blues riffs and tasty solos all over the place here. He is backed up by equally impressive efforts from bassist Neil Murray (WHITESNAKE), drummer Mike Terrana (RAGE) and vocalist Doogie White (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN). It is White that really took me by surprise here though. I never paid him much attention, considering him just another passerby in the Malmsteen assembly line, but combined with the strength of the song writing on Chasing Shadows he brings a performance that reminds me a lot of Glenn Hughes' work last year with Tony Iommi, which I consider one of the great performances I had ever heard. So you can tell I was quite impressed with White here to mention him in that breath.

The songs are easily the match of the talent involved. Again, the best comparison I can come up with is that aforementioned Iommi-Hughes album. Just solid hard rock in its purest form. Songs that are smart, memorable, but without selling out to the almighty dollar. I can't help but get instant flashbacks to great bands like UFO, WHITESNAKE, MSG and Rainbow. The kind of bands and albums that can be timeless when they hit all components just right. I dare you to find the pooch amongst these tracks, as they nail each and every song home, from rockers to ballads. This is never more evident than on the opening three tracks. The title track, "The Altar" and "Mother, Father and the Holy Ghost". These three will combine to hook you in for the ride, I know they did with me. After slowing it down for a couple of impressive plodders, they crank the pace back up for "Tahigwan Nights", a track that had Graham Bonnett written all over it. I could also see David Coverdale belting out "Angel and the Gambler". No kidding you I liked every track, each providing immense pleasure on a different level.

PITRIFF RATING - 10/10 - In what would have to considered a fairly dreadful year for heavy metal, EMPIRE has provided me with a bright shining example of what an album can sound like when all parties are at the top of their game. This could very well end the year atop my list of best albums of 2007. With all the other albums that are flooding in to close out the year it is Chasing Shadows that I continually find myself being drawn back to.



31/10/2007, 15:36 Link to this post Send Email to DouglasT   Send PM to DouglasT
 
DouglasT Profile
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Vocalist Par Excellance!

Registered: 02-2004
Posts: 318
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Re: Dont Take My Word For It


A fair few changes in the Empire camp since their last album with a new record label, new vocalist in Doogie White (Cornerstone/Yngwie Malmsteen) who replaces Tony Martin and provides a more metal edge to their sound. Obviously with Doogie White at the mic you’re going to have a top notch vocal performance and listening to the title track and ‘Manic Messiah’ amply demonstrates this.
As stated earlier the overall sound sees Rolf Munkes guitar playing more to the forefront of the mix with some searing soloing on ‘Mother Father Holy Ghost’ (there is a religious theme running through much of the album but fear not it is not Stryper like!). ‘Angel And The Gambler’ is a cracking tune – big guitars underpinned by the rhythm section of Neil Murray and Mike Terrana (Masterplan) and topped off with White’s powerful vocal. Unlike previous Empire albums there are fewer slower numbers or ballads which although they did with style previously you don’t really miss them as the music on here is so powerful and enjoyable.
Empire always deliver on their albums and they have done it again. A must if you enjoy hard rock/metal in the style of Cornerstone, Astral Doors, Masterplan et al.
4/5
31/10/2007, 15:38 Link to this post Send Email to DouglasT   Send PM to DouglasT
 
KillerBananas Profile
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Banned user

Registered: 11-2003
Posts: 5439
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Re: Dont Take My Word For It


 emoticon

A little promotion have never hurt anyone...

---
"It can't be hemmoroids! Everybody knows he's a perfect asshole!" Ian Gillan commenting on Blackmore's mystery illness causing show cancelations...a long time ago!
31/10/2007, 16:28 Link to this post Send Email to KillerBananas   Send PM to KillerBananas
 
Boulder Bolin Profile
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Purple fan

Registered: 04-2007
Posts: 402
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Re: Dont Take My Word For It


It's better than someone knocking at your door on a Saturday morning selling Jesus,but not by much! emoticon Long Live Capitalism!!CHEERS
1/11/2007, 19:11 Link to this post Send Email to Boulder Bolin   Send PM to Boulder Bolin
 


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