Empire – Chasing Shadows
Metal Heaven Records – 2007
By Adam McAuley
A traditional metal work that has some strong ties to the some strong ties to Dio
’s excellent solo material is found with Empire
. They play pure, melodic and memorable music that has a decided throwback to the classics. Tracks like “Sail Away” are pure metal magic that make a great impression on the listener. This song in particular puts forth an effort to sound distinctive and separates itself with crisp riffs and tuneful vocal melodies.
The songs don’t sound contrived, but rather authentic hymns to the glory of heavy metal. What would a traditional styled metal disc be without strong guitar work? There is certainly a great backbone given to the tunes by means of the guitar work to be found, which is clean and catchy. The songs are almost too glistening at times, however, and come off sounding a tad too sweet. This is complemented by charming vocals from Doogie White that recall both the aforementioned Ronnie James Dio as well as Chris Cornell from Soundgarden
. The latter comparison is odd for a metal band, but appropriate with the tone the singing takes at times.
The material here is of solid quality, but never transcends into anything phenomenal. The tracks are classy in a manner similar to Rainbow
, though not quite as memorable as some of that outfit’s greatest material. The songs are undeniably pleasant, but don’t do quite enough to reach out into more inventive territories. The lack of the same distinctive quality that a lot of quality heavy metal albums have means Chasing Shadows
will always be doing just that, chasing after the shadows of the greats of the past. Though this album is undeniably very good and creates a niche for itself in the heavy metal genre, it will always lack the little extra it takes to make it a classic.
Official Empire Band Website
Official Empire My Space
Official Metal Heaven Records Website