Jesus H Tapdancin’ Christ, this is some album we have here folks. For those not in the know (I was a non-believer until now), Empires of Eden represents a powerful voice in aggressive contemporary power metal. With a list of collaborators spanning several countries and a wide range of musical disciplines, this studio project is a veritable dream team of uncompromising artists cooperating in a framework which allows them to bring their finest talents to the table. While Empires of Eden has been created as a labour of love by virtuoso Stu Marshall - of Paindivision and Dungeon fame - the central philosophy is to give all the musicians as much freedom as they need to produce the best work they are able to. Drawing on influences as diverse as Helloween, Gammaray, Iron Maiden through to Cacophony and Arch Enemy, “Empires’” is a no compromise shred laden metal-wankery adventure that will excite guitar heads and metal fans alike.
Marshall either has good blackmail material on all singers concerned or he’s just a really nice bloke with an excellent little black address book! He leads an all-star cast of players, singers and writers who over the years have proven themselves to be some of the most exciting performers in modern 21st Century Metal. Including stars of the heavy metal scene like.....
Zak Stevens (Savatage / Circle II circle) , Mike Vescera (Yngwie Malmsteen / Loudness), Steve Grimmett (Grim Reaper / Lionshart), Sean Peck (Cage), Carlos Zema (Outworld), Zak Stevens (Savatage/Circle II Circle), Louie Gorgievski (Crimson Fire), Mike Zoias (Dune / Transcending Mortality), and Chriss Ninni who up until now is a decent session singer but with surely more to come from him.
While the initial framework for the songs has been created by Marshall, all singers have been instrumental in creating their own lyrics and melodies. This provides a wide ranging smorgasbord of vocal delights to Empires of Eden and again highlights the collaborative spirit that the project is built upon.
You take a huge chance in letting go of the reins in favour of this artistic approach, but its very clear from the off that all concerned share a collective disciplined and visionary approach all resulting in the same goal - quality metal, with soaring, melodic melodies, with excellent crafted choruses being the main artery running thru this excellent album
‘Of Light and Shadows’ pretty much sets the tone for the whole album, soaring and piercing vocals fill the space, or whats left of it after the technical wizardry of Marshalls playing an composition, Michael Vescera letting rip good and proper, you get the feeling that this is a band effort, after all the vocalists are singing their own written lyrics. This is the difference that makes Reborn In Fire really stand above its competition
The ‘Wall of Sound’ reverberates through the album, with Marshalls playing rages from neo-classical to full on power metal. ‘Total Devastation’ featuring Cage’s Sean peck, has never been so aptly named!
Highlights include the title track ‘Reborn In Fire’, ‘Of Light and Shadows’, ‘Total Devastation’ ‘Death machine’ and ‘Beyond Daybreak’. What the Hell, its all good!
'RIF' has a crisp clean and polished sound which Marshall can be very proud of. So not only a very accomplished musician, and has a good ear for his own production (talented bastard!!). Dont waste time listening to me, go out and buy the bloody thing, its one of the best albums you’ll hear this year