Ancient Empire – The Tower

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Reviewed: February, 2018
Released: 2017, Stormspell Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

It was another banner year for the American record label, Stormspell Records so I’ve decided to do a quick round-up of what this respected True Metal label was up to in 2017. I’m reviewing the following ten bands in this feature.

Ancient Empire
Blazon Stone
Detest
Fire Strike
Numenor
Outer Limits
Palantir
Raging Fate
Volcana
Yuri Fulone

Feel free to check out all the reviews. If you are like me, if you like one of these albums on this consistent and focused theme label you’ll probably like ‘em all!

It’s good to see Ancient Empire still making music. Following up from last years album OTHER WORLD, the band have returned fairly quickly with album number three, THE TOWER.

To the best of my knowledge the line-up is still the same, the San Francisco based power trio sticking together. It’s nice to see that the characters featured on the cover art of the debut have made a return. Classic USPM is the order of the day. The band writes their now familiar standard Heavy Metal songs but are not afraid to stretch out a bit with any number of songs hitting the six or seven minute mark. The warm production is very appealing, with a superb mix. Highlights for me are the ambitious and speedy title track and the more straight-ahead, ‘Darker Side of Midnight’. Joe Liszt still has the quintessential USPM vocal style, not too high with lots of grit, tome and personality.

I felt the songs were quite an improvement on THE TOWER. I’m going to have to go back and maybe re-evaluate the last one. These soldiers of Metal are quite rapidly building a very respectable catalogue that will appeal to the truest of the true.


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Track Listing:
1. The Tower
2. Endless Curse
3. View From Up Here
4. In the Land of the Damned
5. The Battle of Stirling Bridge
6. Darker Side of Midnight
7. Yesterday’s Hero
8. Dawn of Forever
9. The Last Sunset

Lineup:
Joe Liszt Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Steve Pelletier Drums

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