Armory – Empyrean Realms Review

armory_review Armory - Empyrean Realms Review

Released By : Metavania Music

Release Date : November 2013

Link : http://www.armorymetal.com

 

Line Up:

Adam Kurland: Vocals

Joe Kurland: Guitars, Drums

Chad Fisher: Guitars

Thomas Preziosi: Bass

Peter Rutcho: Keyboards

Tom Vieira: Live Drums

 

Tracklist;

1. Eternal Mind

2. Dreamstate

3. Beyond the Horizon

4. Reflection Divine

5. Horologium

6. Elements of Creation

7. Inner Sanctum

8. Fate Seeker

9. Quest for the Fleece

 

For a band that is only just now releasing their second full-length album, ARMORY have gathered quite the devoted following. While still not a massive name in the overall metal scene, Power Metal and Traditional Metal die-hards all generally know who these guys are, and judging from the overall response to their 2007 debut album THE DAWN OF ENLIGHTENMENT, it’s clear that these guys definitely have their fans. I was a little later to the punch than some I must admit, and only found out about these guys in 2010, when their debut album was re-released with a couple of bonus tracks and re-promoted. I reviewed that album and gave it top scoring and have waited what seems like forever to finally get some more material from these guys, I can’t even imagine how fans that discovered ARMORY earlier than me must have felt waiting six years for this album.

In many ways, EMPYREAN REALMS takes up right where it’s predecessor left things. With long, prominent keyboard sections, dual guitar attacks and soaring vocals, but in other ways it’s a more mature record than the last one and shows that the band are still growing and challenging themselves even after all this time. The amazing vocals of Adam Kurland are even better this time around, and his more traditional metal voice will easily satisfy fans of Bruce Dickinson and HELLOWEEN-era Michael Kiske. The musical members of the band are in a hot pocket right now too, blending American Power Metal with Traditional Heavy Metal and saying “no thanks” to the little trends that most current Power Metal acts feel forced to incorporate into their sound. It should be noted too though, that there are quick little sections here and there that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Progressive Metal album, but it never amounts to wankery, or just being tricky for the sake of it.

The most notable difference from album to album is in the more articulate and mature lyrics. While the last album certainly showed touches of the band’s interest in the more cosmic side of things, in general the lyrics themselves were aimed more toward the swords and sorcery style fantasy. This time around though, the lyrics are based more in the cosmic Science-Fiction landscape, creationism and destiny, also represented in the fantastic artwork that dons the front cover and follows throughout the lyrics booklet too. If you look up the lyrics to the song BEYOND THE HORIZON, it’s a perfect example of what sort of theme the entire album follows.

I won’t attempt to pick out any highlights, because really EMPYREAN REALMS kicks complete ass from start to finish. I can’t really decide whether it’s better than the previous album or not… I guess looking at it overall it’s a more complete and concise effort. There is a reason that the greater Power Metal community keeps on singing the praises of ARMORY, and you should definitely believe the hype. These guys, in my opinion, are one of the most exciting bands in the Power Metal scene right now, and EMPYREAN REALMS is easily the best album released in the genre this year.

 

 

Written by Zeezee

Ratings    Zeezee    10/10

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