a l b u m r e v i e w s


EMPIRE / THE POWER
LABEL: ESCAPE MUSIC ESM038
OVERALL: 80%
Produced by: Steve Simmons & John Villani
  1. Head
  2. Squeeze
  3. Feel
  4. There's A Time
  5. All I Want
  6. Cry
  7. Falling
  8. On My Mind
  9. Slipping Away
  10. Detroit Rock City
Empire are some local Aussie lads and had quite a building reputation before splitting a little while back.
Their first album was rated very highly and has become a hard to find cult classic of sorts.
This is their second album, record before the split that sees the band heading out of traditional waters into a more commercially 90's friendly release and touching on a few different styles.
It was curious to see why Escape would actually release this. Not because it was not good, but because it does not conform to the style of their last several releases. It is actually their most contemporary sounding release, which is I guess the reason for it's release. A little diversity doesn't hurt once and a while!
Head opens the album with a blast and is immediately into 90's melodic punk rock. But the chorus turns more melodic and is rather cool. A heavy punkish rocker with lots of attitude and a great melodic chorus.
Squeeze is even more alternative in it's feel and the chorus is rawer than Head. Not a bad track, but certainly hard hitting.
Two tracks down and one can certainly feel the Australian rock influence over the album. Some bands try to work around it, others just record what they feel in their hearts, like Empire have done. But unmistakably it is Australian, like European bands have their styles and like Canadian bands tend to have their own feel.
Track 3 is feel and possible is the killer track of the album. It is certainly the most AOR track of the album. A big power ballad with some smoother vocals and a moody verse that leads to a anthem chorus that rises up big time. First a bridge and then the chorus. Great power ballad vocals.
There's A Time is an acoustic ballad and keeps things relaxed until Stand hits and raises the temperature back to near boiling point.
Cool fast vocals over a fairly modern track. Heavy and the chorus is good 90's hard rock.
These guys remind me a little of fellow defunct Aussie hard rockers the Candy Harlots. just rawer and a little more alternative and definitely heavier.
All I Want is fast paced more commercial melodic number with a chorus that comes and goes fairly quickly.
Cry is a heavy number again that mixes commercial melodic rock with a modern 90's feel. The verse is laid back and ballady while the chorus rises and rocks big time. One of the best tracks of the album.
Falling is a mid paced modern rocker. Cool chorus.
On My Mind rocks similarly, but has a bit of a sing a long chorus and some backing vocals included. Still pretty modern.
Slipping Away is an uptempo rocker with a chorus that is purely Australian rock.
The album ends with a heavy and classy tribute to Kiss in Detroit Rock City. Good modern version and a great party track.
So this is a good solid album with a real contemporary feel, but still enough hooks to keep any melodic fan happy. Fans of Australian and heavy more modern records would be well served to listen to this.
PRODUCTION: 78%SONGS: 79%VIBE: 83%ATTITUDE: 82%
ESSENTIAL FOR: Australian rock and modern hard rock fans.

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