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Released: 2003, Indie
This is really cool. It warms my heart to see true power metal with balls and flair coming out of places like Oregon. The band was kind enough to send a copy of their CD.
The bands debut is an indie job with some obvious budget limitations but it looks and sounds pro and passes the test, barely. We get a full colour cover (an awesome battle scene) but no lyrics and very little in the way of liner notes. No fan-club, no contact info and done very blurry photo of the band. A little more effort in shameless self-promotion would benefit the band, it can’t even refer you to a website or phone the band! The logo needs refinement and there are little tiny extras that the band could have/should have done to put the CD from the realm of ‘good’ to great’. For example, listing the times of the songs on the disc, more credits, (both personally and professionally) more technical info, photos and the aforementioned lyrics. I know nothing about this band and they don’t make it easy. A band have to make it easy for people to hear and talk about their music to get MORE people to hear and talk about their music, so they can continue make more music. It’s quite simple.
Those minor technical comments aside the band truly kicks-ass in the realm of music which is really where it counts at the end of the day. The band wastes no time and dives right into a 23 minute long epic called the Trilogy of The Unicorn. Let me reassure you; This isn’t no wimpy, pink & white unicorn with ribbons in it’s hair! This is a full-on, raging war-unicorn with battle-armour, and sharpend hooves for crushing posers and a horn for impaling the weak!
Seriously, with song titles like ‘Wings of Dragons’, Stormbringer’, and the aforementioned ‘Trilogy of The Unicorn’, it would be too easy to surmise that this is another entry into the melodic, neo-classical power metal pack. Not so. Last Empire are a far more blackened variant of power metal, no keyboards, no soaring multi-layered vocals with big harmonized choruses…this guys mean business.
Heavy as hell, like Maiden and Priest on crack these guys fall into a rarely inhabited realm of power metal with actual power, hints of thrash and even shades of death in the vocal delivery at times. The songs and arrangements are interesting, a multitude of speeds and tempos with a stop-start feel. The songs have an epic quality without droning on and on. LE remind me a bit of what Suidakra, Omega Crom and Three Inches of Blood are trying to achieve; dark & heavy and not reliant on speed and clean sounds.
They are a cool band, metal to the core and with a bit of luck, a bit better production they hopefully will have a long future. I’m on board and hope they get signed soon because there are bands out there in this specific genre with deals that in my opinion aren’t as good, interesting or innovative as Last Empire.
1. Trilogy of The Unicorn
2. Fall From Grace
3. Gods Of Fire And Steel
4. Wings of Dragons
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