Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Force Is Strong For The Empire Shall Fall's New Release

Every now and then an album is released that just demands to be heard by the masses. Now, that’s a pretty bold statement to make, but I do believe that this is one of those albums. The Empire Shall Fall is not a Star Wars reference, but a fairly new metal core band founded by former Killswitch Engage lead singer Jesse Leach. They released their debut album Awaken in 2008 and garnered quite a bit of attention for their non-conventional sound. It was a hybrid of jazz, punk and metal core and definitely caught quite a few people’s attention.

Their new release is entitled Volume 1: Solar Plexus and is being released on 180 gram vinyl and digitally only for the time being. It is the first of three EPs to be released and all three will have a theme that ties them all together. The band has stated in an interview that the album is about “picking up the pieces of your life and starting over.” Once all three of the EPs are released, the band will release an actual CD with all three combined into one. An interesting and bold concept, so let’s take a look at Volume 1.

The album consists of a total of seven tracks with four being complete songs and three being instrumentals. “The Genesis of These Scars” open this journey that the listener is about to take off on and it goes from 0 to 60 in about 2 seconds! Jesse mixes clean vocals and screams in a very effective way. The arrangement on this song is also amazing in the way it mixes up alternating from metal core to a more melodic styling.

“Narrow the Path I Walk Part 1” and “As the City Sleeps” are great songs and show the versatility of the band. On their debut album, the guys really did break down the stereotypical walls established by a genre. They brought so many different elements into the mix and made their sound fresh and new and not just “traditional” metal core. These two songs bring even more of that to the table.

My favorite song on this album is the closing track, “The Final Redemption” which clocks in at an impressive 7:48. The beginning is very slow and has a jazz feel to it, but it builds. It really hits its groove at the 38 second mark. I think this is the bands’ shining moment on this track. It’s heavy, it’s melodic, it’s progressive, and it’s djent and more all rolled up into one. Jesse vocal delivery is stellar on this as well as some amazing guitar work by Jake Davenport and Marcus de Lisle.

The only problem that I have with this album is that it is way too short! I know it’s just an EP, but you just don’t want it to end. The instrumental tracks really work great to connect the songs together and they don’t just seem like throwaway tracks. The guys really have put together something special here and I cannot wait for part 2 to be released. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up and give it a listen. In a genre of so many sound-alike’s, The Empire Shall Fall are carving a niche out for themselves that is going to propel them to the font of this genre. With the way that these guys are going, they may even create an entirely new genre on their own.

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