Album Review: Empire Warning – Unite and Die

Album Review: Empire Warning - Unite and Die
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings

You’d have thought that winning the London Metal 2 The Masses would have set you on the road to glory and riches. Apparently not and although Empire Warning did indeed win that coveted spot at the New Blood Stage in August 2019, I was only vaguely aware of them. Now, I’m not sure if this EP is a long-delayed release or not as some of the blurb suggested it was due for release in October 2019. However, elsewhere, I’m assured that it’s due out on 20th February so I’m in time!

A reflection of the instability we face in our daily lives, Empire Warning immediately draw comparisons with the gnarly groove of Lamb of god but with an industrial stomp. A bit of Rob Zombie crossed with Fear Factory for starters. ‘Heil to the Rat King’ opens the EP and it’s a tub-thumping beast, snarling vocals and heavy melodic riffs combined with some crushing drums and bass all combine nicely. ‘Stuck’ follows, another track dripping with groove, the vocals of Elsio rougher than a dockers hands but doing the job with every roar. It’s enough to get the foot tapping and the head nodding, which I think classes as success with an old fart like me.

If you like your riffs thick and heavy, then ‘Take From Me’ with its massive chugging feel is for you. This is a rip-roaring route march and whilst it isn’t the most original track in the world, there’s certainly enough here to get things warmed up. Live, I would imagine that this track like the two which preceded it would be well placed to warm things up with a bit of movement on the floor. A bit of additional melody is welcome, but this is not a substitute for heaviness. At times, this track ebbs towards the current sound that a certain Parkway Drive deliver, and it is certainly no poor comparison to be matched with the Australian behemoths. The EP closes with ‘Verge of Sanity’, the shortest song on the EP and a real head down rager which should entice much head banging. A definitive LOG undercurrent here, the charging rhythm driven by Jordan’s thunderous drumming. Overall, ‘Unite or Die’ is a solid EP which promises much for their forthcoming debut album.

Recorded by Ben Stratford and Paul Visser (Black Orchid Empire), produced by Ben Stratford & co-produced by Paul Visser. The EP was recorded at The Recording Studio in London and mixed & mastered by Paul Visser and is released on 20th February.

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