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EMPIRE Chasing Shadows Metal Heaven (2007)

Empire

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 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.

****

Review by Jason Ritchie


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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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