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Released: 2016, Stormspell Records
Another first for Metal-Rules.com; a new (ish) band and a debut review! We are pleased to introduce Ancient Empire from San Francisco.
It seems that the Stormspell Records family/roster of bands is a close-knit Metal community. Pretty much every member of Ancient Empire is an ex (or current) member of another Stormspell band!
Founded by the Pelletier brothers, Rich and Steve, both guys are formerly or currently with Hellhound and both ex-Rapid Fire. They brought in Joe Liszt (vocals, guitar) who has a pretty long CV. Or it could be that Joe brought in those guys, who knows? After their debut in 2014 the band have returned to battle with their second album, OTHER WORLD which by a glance at the cover art is taking the band into more of a science-fiction realm.
One of many advantages of a band being signed to Stormspell you can be guaranteed quality and assured that the band is going to be a straight-up Metal band. This holds up as OTHER WORLD is an eight track, 48-minute trip into the heart of Iron Maiden/Judas Priest inspired Metalness. The band likes to write slightly more dynamic songs, many of them in the 6-7 minute range, although I would not quantify them as ‘progressive’. This true Metal trio presents some tried and true Metal riffs and song construction. The album doesn’t have really any frills, just admirable, straight-up songs that don’t get too heavy, nor fast. A good driving pace and crunchy guitar keep things lively. Oddly enough, for a guy who worships speed, I really enjoyed the slower tune, ‘The Forsaken’ with an excellent vocal performance by Liszt and a couple of abrupt tempo-changes in the middle that work well.
OTHER WORLD is solid, above average even, but unremarkable. That may sound like a negative, but it is not necessarily a bad thing. When it comes to Metal not all bands have to go off the reservation all the time and get all experimental and loaded with descriptive hyphens. Someone has to stay home and guard the fort, be true, defend the faith and pay tribute to the principles of the core of Metal. Ancient Empire fills this role admirably and your enjoyment of the album will be likely based on how tolerant you are of bands who stick to the roots and just play Metal.
1. Fight Another Day
2. Dark Before the Dawn
3. Embrace the Horror
5. Other World
6. Shadows of War
7. The Forsaken
8. Empire of Man
Joe Liszt Vocals, guitar
Rich Pelletier Bass
Steve Pelletier Drums
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