The Empire Shall Fall - Awaken
Rhody's own Empire Shall Fall occupy a precarious space with their music: they draw from some generic forms of metal and prog rock and attempt to avoid the obvious traps inherent therein. The band's debut "Awaken" shows the band to have mostly conquered that self-imposed mountain, their humor and sharp lyrics winning the day when the music tacks toward the predictable.
Killswitch Engage vocalist Jesse David Leach is the force behind this new band, though it is often the riffs (and tight production) of guitarist Marcus De Lisle that stick in the memory, particularly on "Voices Forming Weapons," a great thrash track, and "The Kingdom," which features the best riff of the set.
"Choir of Angels" nicely mixes harsh thrash with melodic yet impassioned passages, a song that showcases all the band's modes in one whack; the spoken word part even works. "Our Own" is a solid prog-based track that shows the band knows how to pull some soul from that oft-misused genre.
"Lords of War," "We The People" and "These Colors Bleed" are more or less generic metal songs, Leach's strong vocals not able to overcome some trite lyrics and riffs. The title track is a great party tune, a sure sing-along anthem in concert, and an example of the band taking generic metal motifs and remaking them into something powerful.As a debut, "Awaken" has enough solid tracks to offer hope for better things. Apparently the band is a great draw live, in Rhode Island and elsewhere. The Empire Shall Fall is still finding its sea legs, but it has enough on board to be a band well worth keeping tabs on.
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