EMPIRE – Chasing Shadows

EMPIRE - Chasing Shadows
  • 8/10
    EMPIRE - Chasing Shadows - 8/10


Frontiers Records
Release date: November 23, 2007

User Review
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Chasing Shadows is the 4th release from the multi-national band Empire. Since the 2006 release The Raven Ride fans have seen the departure of vocalist Tony Martin and drummer Andre Hilgers. To replace them came two well-known names in the Metal world: Doogie White (Yngwie Malmsteen, ex-Rainbow) and Mike Terrana (Masterplan, Axel Rudi Pell, ex-Rage). Bassist Neil Murray (ex-Whitesnake, ex-Black Sabbath, ex-Gary Moore) has been with the band since the very beginning in 2000 together with the mastermind himself, Rolf Munkes, who’s handling the guitars. Apart from these musicians, there have also been a lot of guest musicians through the years. The one’s that have appeared on some of the previous records are Mark Boals (vocals) Don Airey (keyboards) and Anders Johanson (drums).

The title track “Chasing Shadows” opens the album with a massive sound lead by pounding drums and screaming guitars. The eminence of drummer Mike Terrana fills the music with great structure and power. The legendary drummer is assisted in his extraordinary rhythms by bassist Neil Murray, and together they make the perfect foundation, steady as a mountain. Guitarist Rolf Munkes lays his screaming guitar lines upon that basic foundation. What he does within the songs is pure perfection! His playing is chimerical, and the overtones he makes during the verses puts the little extra into this amazing song. It’s a shame that the guitar solo becomes a little diffused through the sound because Munkes plays impressively well all the way through. Vocalist Doogie White knows to deliver the very best, as usual. This record is packed with great vocal harmonies and he pushes his singing abilities even further than before.

The music on this record sounds very majestic and massive. It’s a great mix of a more Melodic Rock-a-like sound that meets the fury of Power Metal. “The Alter” is a song that presents you to the fast and heavy side of Empire. A Power Metal cliché indeed, but anyway it’s a great tune. The fast pounding hymn is relieved by another fantastic Melodic Rock tune, called “Mother Father Holy Ghost.” And, as with the previous songs, this one also doesn’t disappoint at all. A slow tempo song called “Sail Away” follows the same path as the other tunes. It’s dark and kind of mysterious as well. From there you go into another amazingly good power ballad, called “Child Of The Light.”

There are quite a few songs on this record that depend on the keyboard melodies. The guitar and the bass make various rhythms on one note while the keyboard explores different melody lines. Chasing Shadows features a lot. It’s a heavy, energy-filled, majestic, and a powerful piece of music. Through songs like the outstanding title track “Chasing Shadows,” the intense “The Alter,” “Angel And The Gambler” with its bluesy Rock ‘N’ Roll riffs, or the up-tempo “Tahigwan Nights,” you’re presented to the fantastic exploration of the great music this album offers. The songs do become a little similar to each other during the album, but they sure are fantastic anyway. Chasing Shadows is an extraordinary Melodic Rock album. It sure is one of the few outstanding Melodic Rock releases this year!


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