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WLM Reviews: Armory – Empyrean Realms

December 19, 2013
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Armory - Empyrean Realms - coverI was referred to Armory, from one of the other writers here at WeLoveMetal. I always have an open ear, literally, when it comes to metal. When I went on the band’s website, I was very much pleased to read that they have a Power Metal and Progressive influence. Armory, is a six-man outfit hailing from Townsend, Massachusetts, USA. Formed in 2001, the band has recently released their sophomore album titled, Empyrean Realms. If you are a fan of legendary bands like Helloween and/or Iron Maiden and also enjoy that Power Metal/Progressive tone, I would highly recommend this album. Fueled also by 80’s traditional heavy metal, the album takes us on a near one hour journey that comprises of headbanging rhythms and riffs and memorable melodies. The music and album cover go hand in hand to deliver their talents to the listener. The album was also self produced, self engineered and recorded all in their home studio in Massachusetts as well as being released through guitar player, Joe Kurland’s, own record label, Metavania Music. 

We start the album off with track one, Eternal Mind. This progressive anthem really gave me high hopes that this album would be up my alley. The clean powerful vocals, the sweeping guitar licks and arpeggios, the double bass….”Wow”, is all I can say, an explosive opener. Track two, Dreamstate, really did a superb way to take me to a “Dream State” per say. The melodic solo and eargasmic keyboard solo really took me to a different state of thought. The chorus is also very catchy. Beyond The Horizon, is in my opinion, Dream Theater mixed with Power Metal. The familiar keyboards made me think of Dream Theater for a few moments, but at the same still keep me on the same thought of Armory. The fading outro really gave that final push towards an uplifting ending. Reflection Divine, could been seen among the ranks of Technical Metal in a way. The beginning time signature changes certainly threw me off, especially for a band in the genre of power metal. If you know my metal taste very well, I can never get enough of amazing and astounding guitar solos. It’s been a constant mention in pretty much all my reviews thus far, and when you first hear a solo for a song, that is, when I believe, makes the most impact on you. The song keeps the constant headbanging rhythm, and boy that near minute and a half guitar solo kept my ears glued to my headphones. The duel guitar harmonization only adds to the sheer epicness the album has brought thus far. Horologium, is a four-minute instrumental song kept with the Armory style. What else can I say. Elements Of Creation, features a lot of double bass and harder riffs than a few of the other tracks. Not a bad track at all. Inner Sanctum, is more on their catchier side. I really enjoyed the simple chorus, at the same time keeping the Power Metal sound, without sacrificing anything. Fateseeker, really comes at you with swiftness and a punch. The very toneful harmonius melodies and instrumentals are perfectly balance and yet still keep the listener listening, not one boring moment in the song at all. Singer, Adam Kurland, energetically vocalizes his best efforts towards the end of this song. Quest For The Fleece, is a perfect way to end such an epic, satisfying and powerful album. My personal favorite bits off the song were the keys, and I could not see another more fitting ending than the eargasmic piano bit that leaves us at a slow fade, ending Empyrean Realms. 

Overall I would rate the album an 8.5 out of 10. The majority of the album did not disappoint. There were some slight points I tuned out and got used to the same sound, but as a whole album, the variety and metal mix that made this conglomerate of a masterpiece is undoubtedly noted. One thing that really stuck out is that you can clearly hear each instrument if you really focus on listening. Many metal albums tend to shun out the bass, and Empyrean Realms, really let the bass stick out with the other instruments, and the keys also were easy to take note of. I cannot say that about many artists. The cover is also a very creative piece of art that the music does a superb job in representing, another quality not seen in many bands. The band is currently preparing for a tour, so no tour dates have been announced yet. For a band from the US, I was very much surprised to hear how influenced from Europe this album was. After listening to this album, I think its safe to say that Power Metal will always be one of my favorite genres. You can really tell that this album was crafted with time and care, it definitely shows. While I have been a fan of the genre for a few years now, Empyrean Realms made my beliefs in Power Metal only stronger. Stay Metal \m/

More Information can be found on their Official Website, Facebook and Twitter Page as well as their Official YouTube Channel.

ArmoryBand



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4 Responses to WLM Reviews: Armory – Empyrean Realms

  1. Oscar on December 20, 2013 at 12:29 am

    Thanks for taking the time to check them out Fernando. Knew you would really enjoy this.

  2. Harley on December 20, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Listening to it now. Review is right on. I’m digging it for sure.

  3. Fernando on December 21, 2013 at 12:24 am

    Definitely one of my favorite albums for 2013, thanks for sharing this!

  4. Susan on August 10, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Thanks for this review! I’ve just purchased it through iTunes and it is fantastic! Love this site!

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