Lion Music (2012 - reissue)
Originally issued in 2003, this second album from the hard rock quintet Empire contains legendary musicians in the fold. Guitarist Rolf Munkes corralled vocalist Tony Martin (ex-Black Sabbath), bassist Neil Murray (ex-Whitesnake), keyboardist Don Airey (ex-Rainbow, Deep Purple), as well as drummer Gerald Kloos with 2 guest performances from Hammerfall drummer Anders Johansson for “Trading Souls”.
With no extras, the 10 songs are pretty much what you would expect given the caliber of talent on display- mid 70’s to mid-80’s melodic hard rock, very bluesy oriented and chock full of hooks. “One In A Million”, the softer “Teenage Deadhead” with its acoustic strains as well as the mid-tempo “Perfect Singularity” bring to mind latter day Rainbow and early Whitesnake. Probably worth a second look as the melodic hard rock scene wasn’t as expansive with appreciation 9 years ago- so don’t hesitate to take in “Trading Souls” as this type of act doesn’t fall out of favor when done as well as this.
Rating: 4 / 6
Composed by Matt Coe