Boston, Massachusetts Metallic Hardcore crew Empire released “From Ash” back in June 2018. Having been signed to Eulogy Recordings, a label with a rich history having launched the careers of Evergreen Terrace, Bury Your Dead, Unearth and Walls of Jericho to name but a few, the band are currently listed as unsigned. The surprise news that Stay Sick Recordings had acquired Eulogy late last year and the appearance of the music video for “My Empire” on their feed maybe simply a plug for an album they’ve acquired or it might signal the bands re-signing. Who knows?
The album gets underway with some Death Metal inspired Beatdown hardcore in the form of “Chaos on the Road to Victory”. It’s a tune that suffers a little in the mix with the unclean vocals being buried somewhat. However the tempo shifts like the gears of a big truck and the gang chanted song title lines are well delivered while sounded by crushing breakdown after crushing breakdown. “Spoiler Alert” comes out swinging though you may struggle to recognise the track title line in the unclean, such its delivery. The vocals struggle in the mix at the start however after a drop off for a spoken word before the final breakdown the mix improves. Recorded by Ryan Stack, he deserves some credit for bringing the instruments to life. “Bleeding Out” is a fist clenching 134 seconds of Beatdown Hardcore that features another tasteful gang chant and plenty of moshable riffs while instrumental album title track “From Ash” is as much the bands anthem as any other on offer here.
“Lost Souls” is a socially aware tune that tells the story of a drug addict amid false promises of new days. The use of a spoken word passage lifts things after the opening circle pit verse and swirling riffage and it sets an ugly tone that continues throughout. Stuccato sections with plays on silence is something that perhaps shows an older Metalcore influence but it’s fun and thought provoking none the less. “The Beast” sees some blast beats come into play with a faster tempo to it and again as with a lot of the material here, it may be a little generic but the band carry it off well and frankly, it’s fun! “My Empire” is probably the best of the bunch so it’s little wonder that it was chosen for a music video. It’s something of a throwback tune that offers a look at the bands influences in the early Metalcore scene. It’s a pile driver of a song with a high energy drive to get the pit going. “Idiocracy” has anti-political and mass media overtones while making the point that society is more divided than ever. It’s lyrically on point and delivered with some pummelling kit work and brutal breakdowns. [6.5/10]
“From Ash” by Empire is out now via Stay Sick Recordings and available over at bandcamp.