Review Summary: Dark Empire tears down musical barriers and molds various styles together in a very compelling listen.
Dark Empire is a somewhat complicated group. The band is obviously a metal band; however they fuse musical styles together in a rather unconventional way. On this album the listener will be taken through energy driven power metal choruses, aggressive thrash metal riffs, and death metal shrieks all in one listen. As if all that wasn’t enough, the band also displays progressive instrumentation and intricate and melodic solos that undeniably make the music even more varied and intricate. With many different musical styles such as thrash, power metal and even progressive elements present, this album offer a truly volatile mix of metal that will keep you interested and listening for hours.
The vocalist is extremely talented, with incredible range displayed in his clean singing and rougher metal vocals. The vocals are complimented even more from the guitarist, who contributes death metal screams that, while out of place on a primarily power metal album, mold well with the instrumentals making it even harder to label this band’s sound. Despite taking various elements from various metal genres, the band has managed to make this sound their own, while remaining efficient in presenting each genre on this release.
While there are plenty of musical styles present, this record is for the most part a power metal record. In the past, power metal has largely received a bad rep. It is well known that the cheesy subject matter and sound of some power metal bands reaches epic proportions. However Dark Empire takes all the intense and powerful aspects from power metal and leaves all the cheese behind. Gone is the corny subject matter, as it is replaced by more personalized and meaningful lyrics backed by infectious instrumentation.
While I wouldn’t go so far as to label this a classic release, this album certainly has its merits. Even after a dozen or so spins, the material still manages to sound fresh and interesting with each listen. There is never a dull moment, and the band is careful to never lose their momentum. Certainly heavy enough for the thrashers and death metal fans, and melodic and hook driven enough for the power metal fans, there is something for nearly every metal head to be found within this record. That in itself is quite rare these days.