Metal To Infinity

Empyria, 4 guys that hails us  from Canada… never heard of them in the past but as so many times before, Myspace.com showed us their alley. Shame on me this is my first contact with Empyria because of the cold hard fact these guys offering Metal music for at least 18 years, created several demo’s / albums, travelled many roads to get their kicks on stage,… my apologies to the band for not being in touch more in former days – this time is the right time for me and I’d like to share my thoughts about their latest output “The Long Road Home”. 

Released by the American based, ultimate Progressive Metal label Nightmare Records – the album sounds just awesome! This is a product, actually the evidence / reward of a band being busy making music as decent as possible for such a long time . Maybe the biggest problem of so many upcoming bands is that loads of them to start a band with the most highest expectations… unfortunately, when the results aren’t that well as hoped on,  they give up the fight even the period of existence is minimal. Start a band, play the best you can but don’t give up so fast… good example to this is the band Empyria - almost two decades in Metal music fighting to stay alive and kicking!

“The Long Road Home” shows a band in extremely good condition – stand sharp with full attention and enjoy approximately three quarters of excellent Progressive / Power Metal as it should be. I really do like Progressive Metal but please – reduce the keyboard use to the minimum if it’s possible. Too much keys and I can’t hold up my full attention – Empyria served me entirely on that so who’s the lucky bastard here? 

Great vocals taking me by the throat right on, totally clear voice sometimes taking a somekinda high pitch alley and I just love it! Co-operation between bass and guitar players are real good, pure technical skills with melodic leads that will please shred guitar freaks undoubtedly. Behind the drumkit sits a man who has a tremendous feel for detailed perfection. As a real pro, knocking his skins on the right place and moment!    

Listening to the entire album, I’ve got the intention to hear mainly influences of Queensryche and Fates Warning – at the other hands I’d like to compare with other greats like Pownd, Katagory V and Translucent Existence too and according to myself,  Empyria can take these comparisons as a sincere compliment! 

First smack in the head is the song ‘False Witness’, Phil Leite unique vocals on the foreground, a bit dominating but in perfect harmony with the rest of the used instruments. Early Queensryche influences appear in the beginning of ‘No Other  Way’. This track shows the other side of the band and comes on strong with pure technical full progressive minded. To be honest, I'm feeling much better with next ‘Lonely People’ – more power loaded incl. outstanding guitar duties, Hell Yeah! ‘Last Rites’ starts nice and easy but turns out into a beautiful US Metal song… total satisfaction for my ears, heart and soul.  ‘Of All The Dreams’ brings on catchy melodies and with a song like ‘Without Within’ I'm feeling real good again. Empyria's album “The Long Road Home” ends up in an incredible beautiful way. ‘Returning Home’ is the name and has  a running time of 7 minutes. This one brings me in a comfortable position all over and shows (once again) a band in upper good condition... very important point – Empyria knows how to offer Progressive / Power Metal in a very attractive manner. 

Excellent and powerful production with a futuristic but awesome looking cover / back artwork… honestly and sincere, “The Long Road Home” is a fantastic piece of Prog / Power Metal that should be picked up by both US and Progressive Power Metal addicts. Great vocals, excellent song structures, technical skills, sometimes catchy – sometimes hard to the bone… go check them out and order right on (see this as a good advice!). www.myspace.com/empyria 

MY POINTS: 92 / 100 (Review by Stefan)