Melbourne band The Empire have just put out their debut EP Secrets, and for fans of metalcore and bands like Trivium and As I Lay Dying it’s sure to go down as a solid first release. “Halfway Dead” breaks from a restrained intro straight into a furious guitar and drum assault, before opening out into an epic mid-tempo chorus.

Their singer spits a vaguely threatening “I know exactly who you are” in the first line of “God Favours the Brave”, which actually reminded me of now-defunct local act Ammadu, with plenty of thick riffs set to pummeling drum beat. “Let Me Live” is followed by “Severed Ties”, a power metal intro right out of the Devin Townshend playbook leading into the breakdown/chorus that’s sure to see the kids smashing the vodka-red bulls down at Bang throwing a few windmills. Title track “Secrets” closes out the five-song EP and has all the hallmarks of a signature live track; Parkway Drive even at times sound like an influence.

Secrets is a solid debut effort for The Empire. Clocking in at just over twenty minutes, at times some of the songs seem to run a little long but overall it maintains its energy. As a counterbalance they give their densely layered melodies room to breathe, lending the tracks a certain space and ambience that’s rarely found in bands like this. They definitely live up to the claim in their bio to sound like ‘a fusion of the last three decades of metal’. Although elements of early power metal and thrash are surely in the mix, it’s a safer bet that a large part of their influences are in the last ten years and the rise and rise of Australian metalcore bands, following in the wake of Parkway Drive’s unrivaled position as top dog. It’ll be interesting to see how these talented musicians follow up this release and continue to develop their sound, and with their sights set on a US tour we’re sure to here more of them in the future.

Secrets is available now on iTunes 

The Empire on Facebook

Rating: 20/28 Days




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