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Empire: Chasing Shadows

Empire's previous release 'Raven Ride' was a very impressive piece of work. Now Tony Martin is gone on vocals, only to be released by rocker, Doogie White (Cornerstone, Rainbow, and many others). Empire, however, has not skipped a beat in this transition. This is consistent melodic hard rock with great melodies and hooks wrapped in a hard driving performance. Mr. White appears to have been born to sing these songs. He is clear and passionate. And the rest of the band which includes founder Rolf Munkes (guitar), Neil Murray (bass, Ex Gary Moore, Ex Black Sabbath Ex Whitesnake), and Mike Terrana (drums, Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Axel Rudi Pell, Rage, Metalium among others) easily move through the compositions with enthusiasm and acumen.

There is some brilliant hard rock on this album. The title track pulls you in and pleases with its straight forward and strong rhythm section. 'Mother Father Holy Ghost,' possibly the best song on the album, resonates with melody behind White's power vocals. I found 'Sail Away' and 'Child Of The Light' a bit more plodding then most songs on this album. Yet, on both, Mr. Munkes gives a stand up performance on guitar. If there is any tune that verges on classic metal, it is 'Manic Messiah.' Empire is firing on all cylinders here, playing tight and skillfully. Chalk up another great guitar solo to Munkes. 'The Rulers Of The World' has a nearly foreboding progression and heaviness that reminds me of Dio-era Sabbath. It's a solid hard rock song with some metal nuances.

This is hardly the most remarkable melodic hard rock offering out there these days. However, it is a solid and consistent effort by Empire. I believe longtime fans will be pleased with this work and direction. I really enjoyed it. Very recommended.

In Short

Empire brings a heavy melodic hard rock on their latest release, 'Chasing Shadow.' New singer, Doogie White is exceptional and a perfect fight for Empire's style. There are some noteworthy melodies on this album and some outstanding riffs by Rolf Munkes.

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