And The Rest Is Silence
posted on 7/2007 By:
This is impressive stuff from these Italian boys on their label debut for Burning Star. Empyrios are a solid modern metal act incorporating elements of power, progressive and cyber/nu-metal into their potent sound. Don’t let the mention of ‘nu’ be taken as a criticism or drawback though, as this is a band firmly rooted in the best traditions of classic metal. There are some mid-90’ touches though that are mixed in well and completely devoid of the stupidity a lot of the popular MTV metal of the time was notorious for. The ‘cyber’ feel is created by the use of futuristic-sounding keys, used mainly in intros and bridges to good effect. Musically the band is very tight with regard to both the playing and the arrangements, and the vocal styling is classic metal all the way in the Bruce Dickinson mold. Topping off the impressive musicianship and song craft is an excellent production which brings out the vibrancy of the songs with every sing-a-long moment resonating with clarity and punch.
A lot of the tracks on And The Rest Is Silence kick off with a heavy, potent groove which really get the head bobbing, before launching into big choruses with hooks and soaring melodies aplenty. The frequent solos are particularly impressive too, and really punctuate the power of these songs. I can imagine fans of Dragonforce appreciating this disc, and while Empyrios may not quite compare in terms of speed and technicality, they certainly do in terms of their energy levels and ability to run with a good hook.
After the bombastic, instrumental opener “Wreckage” prepares the listener for exactly that, “Tort” tells you just about everything you need to know about Empyrios’ sound. With a powerful opening riff, rousing chorus and tasty solo to boot, it’s one of the album’s best tracks. The vocals of Silvio Mancini are just glorious too. “The Ruiner” keeps the momentum moving forward, with its keyboard-dominated intro reminding me of bands like Spineshank and Static-X (briefly), before launching into another upbeat stomper with more excellent soloing courtesy of Simone Mularoni. The grandiose, orchestrated ending lends the song a cinematic quality as well. And two thirds of the way in on And The Rest Is Silence up pops up a surprise - a big, ballsy ballad that won’t have you reaching for the skip button. That song is “Eal” - a spacey, acoustic-and-strings number in which Mancini’s vocals adopt a deeper, Patton-esque tone which really works. It’s the longest track on the album too, yet doesn’t disrupt the flow at all despite how very different it sounds to most of it. That’s a real indication of how solid this album is.
It’s really hard to pick holes in an album from a band that has talent, drive and sincerity in plentiful supply. On their bio Empyrios claim their sound to be in a similar vein to (among others) Devin Townsend and Symphony X, and I’d have to recommend this disc to fans of those two artists as well as anyone looking for a fix of metal with all the traditional boxes ticked, yet displaying a firm desire for pushing our beloved genre onward and upward. Nice work guys.
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