stream: sharp riffs, anthemic fist raisers, and virtuosic vocals in empire’s debut mini-album #soundcheck

October 18, 2013

The boys in EMPIRE are back with their long-awaited (by me) debut album. Calling it a mini-album, Where the World Begins clocks in at a mere 30 minutes, but densely packed with sharp riffs, anthemic fist raisers, and of course, the virtuosic vocals of lead singer Joe Green.

Review by Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK Contributor

On lead single “Black Hearts” the band twists and turns while Green pitches his voice to the stratosphere. It ends up coming off a little like alt-metal/post-hardcore pioneers Cave In as fronted by Rush’s Getty Lee. If it sounds like it shouldn’t work, that’s because it shouldn’t. But it does. Gloriously. It’s rare to hear a singer in a band this heavy with such vocal chops. There is an alternate universe in which Joe Green pursued a career in opera. (Voltaire might have been wrong about ours being the best of all possible worlds, but at least it’s better than that one…)

“All The Rage” (a highlight from their debut EP) is here too, of course. But it’s flanked by other bangers like “My Colour Optimistic” and the epic “Smart Boy Regime.” It can be tough to find new room for individuality in the overpopulated world of post-hardcore, but time and again EMPIRE has shown themselves up for the challenge.

Where the World Begins is out today, and lead single “Black Hearts” is available as a free download from the Bandcamp player below. Album available HERE.