It’s a rarity these days to find a debut album that has you fully immersed and engaged from the word go. Upcoming Rock quartet EMPYRE prove that this is a possible feat to do, the evidence lies within their upcoming debut album Self Aware.
To say opener My Bad hits you like a tonne of bricks would be a huge understatement. It gives you the first taste of their intense sound and engaging lyrics. BBC Introducing described their sound as “triumphant, chest beating rock” and judging from the sounds from Self Aware, it’s safe to say this statement rings true.
It states in press information that this album contains no fillers, it contains eleven outstanding tracks. From listening to the album, this statement is spot on. Each track contains solid talent from the profound lyrical content to the fiery vocals. You can hear this passion and talent in all eleven tracks, even the ballads Only Way Out and Homegrown showcase this raw and fiery talent.
When listening to an album, you tend to pick a few tracks that become firm favourites. That’s difficult to do when every single track is outstanding and tells their own unique story. Below are just a few examples of what Self Aware contains.
To mark the release of the upcoming debut, they released the single New Republic. Upon first hearing this, the bold guitar work and prevailing vocals draw you in right away. When you scratch the surface of the song, there is a poignant message to be heard. New Republic tells an urgent, current and sadly unbearable truth about the world live in now. Lyrics such as “duty bound by ignorance” and “hope is lost while missiles fly” stick out when listening to this track.
Drive will be that perfect song for every road trip. As well as the title being more than appropriate for the occasion, it sounds upbeat and chilled at the same time. Chilled from the melodies on the guitars and upbeat from the chorus that everyone in the car will sing along to.
Only Way Out is mainly acoustic with some mind-blowing electric guitar solos. An arena or festival ground with lights amongst the audience comes to mind when listening to this song. The song is empowering and encourages you to find the inner strength to leave something that is toxic to you. The lyric “You’re the only way out” will resonate with listeners whether they are going through a situation itself or know someone that is.
The other ballad is the closing track Homegrown. This song stops you in their tracks and allows you to take a step back to reflect. There is array of elements that work well together from the dominant guitar work to the prevailing vocal work. It has the ability to close the album on a ground-breaking note and leave you wanting more. The perfect closer.
To achieve a signature sound from the first album is a huge achievement and EMPYRE have managed to do just that. They are the band that everyone needs to hear right now and the upcoming debut is solid proof of this. This record is not suitable for background noise, it requires your undivided attention.
Words: Lotty Whittingham
Self Aware is due for release 5th July 2019.