Empires Of Eden – Channelling The Infinite – Review

Generally I don’t like surprises, that is unless they involve someone buying me a beer or similar, but when a CD arrives unexpectedly in the mail and it is an outstanding metal CD, then I am firmly in the ”like surprises” camp. So re-winding a couple of weeks, I find a padded envelope in the mail and with a puzzled look, because I have no recollection of ordering anything, open it up to find an “Empires Of Eden” CD looking at me. Still no light bulbs… what have we here? “Channelling The Infinite” is the title and still no “Ah ha!” moment. Well, how bad could it be – off to the CD player to crank it up. Whoo-hooo! Slam! Ears immediately wake up.

The opening track (“Cry Out”) breaks open with an early-Queensryche-like twin-harmony guitar melody that lulls you into a sense of expectation, which is dully satisfied as the verse kicks in with a decidedly power-metal, guitar and drum fueled riff-fest. Then the vocals grab you… I look up and say a quiet thank you to the metal gods – surely this must have been sent to me by a higher metal power? And I haven’t mentioned the shred-tastic guitar work yet have I?

OK, so after my brain woke up, I vaguely recall someone referring me to the FB page for Empires Of Eden and signing up for a pre-order copy of this CD, but it was entirely “sight unseen”. What a smart move! Let me set the scene here. Empires Of Eden is a project entirely led by Stu Marshall formerly of the band “Dungeon” and ESP guitar clinician. This is actually the third CD release from “Empires Of Eden” and all are characterized having a massive power metal sound, orchestral score, and guest performances from some of the most metal vocalists (and the odd guitarist) in the business. Whew, even writing that down seems epic.

So the idea here is that Stu masterminds the concept but writes tracks with the vocalists who are collaborating on the record. So each track has a spirit imparted by the character of the particular vocalist. It’s an interesting concept and gives a theme-related feel to each track, but allows the personality of the vocalist to carry the song. It certainly works for me. So whom do we have delivering the vocals? How about Bob Rock, Udo, and Steve Grimmett for starters? In fact a total of 10 different vocalists contribute to the thirteen tracks included on the release – check out the Empires Of Eden website – http://www.empiresofeden.com/ for full details.

Can pick out my favorite tracks? Actually this is kind of hard since the overall standard is right up there across the entire record – no there isn’t a lame duck to be seen anywhere here. I guess the opening track “Cry Out:” (vocals by Bob Rock), “Hammer Down” featuring a classically Germanic performance by Udo, “This Time” featuring Steve Grimmett and “Born A King” (vocals by Danny Cecati) are the four that spring to mind, but I guarantee any other selection would be hard to argue with.

So who will like this CD? According to other things I have read online this would be most likely characterized as “power metal” and that’s fine – if you know what that is go for it, but in my opinion this record is more like supercharged Iron Maiden/early-Queensryche sort of deal. If you know who “Shaman” as a band is then they are in the same ball-park for me (and that is one I really like). I’m not trying to say this is for everyone mind you, because I can certainly see some finding the orchestral backing on some of the tracks being a little over-the-top and I’m certainly not trying to sell this as classic 80’s metal (if that’s your thing), but it is a damn fine record and well worth the $20 it goes for. Oh, yes, you won’t find this on Amazon (at least not unless through a third-party), since it ONLY being sold direct through the Empires Of Evil website – the direct link is this > http://www.empiresofeden.com/channelling.htm

So what do I score this? For me this is great release and a perfect example of this genre of metal, it’s good > 9/10

Channelling The Infinite

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