Album review: EMPYRE – Self Aware

Self Release [release date 05.07.19]

This is the debut album from Empyre who hail from Northampton. The band formed in 2016 and have had a run of high profile outings including featuring on ‘BBC Introducing’ and recording a session for the legendary ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris. The band have also toured extensively and built up a loyal following doing so.

This album then is an important one that aims to push the band to the next level and capitalise on the growing momentum. The album opens with ‘My Bad’, a gritty, slow burning number with a strong vocal performance from Henrik Steenholdt. Musically the guys take pointers from Pearl Jam and Disturbed amongst others.

‘Stone’ then carries on the atmospheric theme with a hard hitting chorus cutting through the quieter passages. ‘New Republic’ then ups the pace a little with good guitar work from Did Coles.  Other songs of note include the epic ‘Only Way Out’ which is a classic ballad clocking at over the six minute mark and ‘Cut To The Core’ which is built around a nice jagged riff with a good melodic chorus.

The track of the album for me though is the brooding ‘Something Remains’ with its chunky riff and twin guitar work in the mid-section. The album finishes up with ‘Homegrown’ which builds from a slow start through to a heavy climax that again features some great fret work from Did Coles once more.

This is a well written album which is a solid platform for the band to expand and build a bigger Empyre in the coming years.  ***

Review by Dave Wilson

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