Empyria - The Legacy

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Nightmare Records
Catalog Number: NMR00012
Format: CD
Total Time: 37:38:00

Canadian band Empirya's The Legacy is concept album based around four tracks that originally appeared on their first two albums. "The Lighter Side Of Darkness (Part 1)" appeared on 1996's Behind Closed Doors, "The Grand Illusion (Another Side Of Darkness - Part II" and " Silent Rage - The Darkness Still Remains - Part III" appeared on 1998's Changing Currents. Changing Currents saw a change in vocalists, as Phil Leite took over from Paul Falcon. In 1999, with a new bassist on board, they re-recorded these tracks, added "The Legacy (Of Final Darkness)," a cover of the Police's "Synchronicity II" and a bonus acoustic track, and packaged all of it together (there is also a hidden, unnamed track at the end).

Leite sounds a lot like Axel Rose, only less annoying most of the time. Musically however, they are mix of Metallica and Rush with a bit of blues thrown in here and there. There are bits that are very AORish, but for the most part Empirya are a metal band. And that also means we must mention Dream Theater, especially in the first segment of "Silent Rage"?the second segment is Metallica-era Metallica-cum-Crimson Glory (or least my impression of Crimson Glory). There's guitar part that begins "The Legacy" that seems lifted from "Sweet Child O' Mine," but soon leads into a dark, gloomy, Queensryche-like passage, before chugging its way into generic metal territory.

Overall, this is fairly decent metal, though parts of "Silent Rage" seem to exemplify all that I don't care for in metal - high pitched vocals over a power-chorus (as in choir). And I'm not totally thrilled with the Police cover,. They don't do a faithful rendition, though that isn't my problem with it. Perhaps I'm too hung up on the original, but it just doesn't work for me. Anyway, Empirya are otherwise a pretty good band. The album opens with the gentle "Solace" a short, pastoral intro that includes birds chirping. From this intro, we get the first part of the suite, which isolated wouldn't sound out of place on a prog rock album, though Rush comes to mind ("The Trees" perhaps). With in a short period of time, the bank kicks into a higher gear. They aren't speed metal, as you might have guess by my earlier comparisons. Leite does have a tendency towards full-throated high pitched screams. The more I think of Rush, the more I hear the influence?or is it that "they're Canadian so it must be Rush" kinda thing? I don't think so, since, as I've mentioned, it's not just Rush. Mike Kischnick plays many spirited solos, he being another one of those fleet-fingered guitarists who make it seem all so easy.

Empirya aren't too different from the dozens of progressively minded metal bands out there. They are appealing, are mostly very tight, and seem to know what it is they want to have in their sound. They aren't any more deserving of recognition than some of their brethren, but they aren't any less either.

Solace (Intro) (0:57) / The Lighter Side Of Darkness (Part I) (5:35) / The Grand Illusion (Another Side Of Darkness - Part II) / Silent Rage (The Darkness Still Remains - Part III) (4:53) / The Legacy (Of Final Darkness - Part IV) (7:37) / Synchronicity II (5:54) / Years Behind (Bonus Acoustic Track) (2:57) / (Extra track ~ 4:46)

Phil Leite - vocals
Mike Kischnick - guitars, guitar synth, and backing vocals
Ken Firomski - bass and backing vocals
Simon Adams - drums

Behind Closed Doors (1996)
Changing Currents (1998)
The Legacy (2000)
Sense Of Mind (2002)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin CA

Added: June 13th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.empyriaproductions.com
Hits: 1008
Language: english


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