One aspect which never gets old
for me in the metal genre is the sinister ambience the music creates. Sprinkle on
some groovy hooks and thrashy rhythms, and it’s metal utopia for me. If you too
share the same palate as mine, then Terror
Empire’s second full length album ‘The
Empire Strikes Black’ will satiate that incorrigible appetite. After releasing
their debut album ‘Face The Terror’ in
2012, they serve us an eclectic mix of Metal on their second full length album, that
has the essence of Thrash Metal peppered with some skilful harmonies and backed
by intensely chaotic drum-work.
us with the instrumental title track “The
Empire Strikes”. It pays homage to that classic heavy metal tritone that seduced
us into worshipping the genre. Sufficiently teasing the listener with its
infernal rhythms, it explodes into “Black”
which will make you bang your head mercilessly to its groovy rhythms and raise
those metal horns up as the barrage of frantic blast beats demolish your ear
drums. As you listen to the track, you know one thing for sure; Terror Empire
will not bore you with the stereotypical elements associated with Thrash Metal.
They inject enough variations into the rhythms and melody to keep you
thoroughly interested. Both Rui
Alexandre and Sergio Alves craft
supremely melodic guitar lines which intertwine to sugarcoat the aggressive
riffage in the background. Throughout the album, you witness their wizardry on
the frets as they team up to create impeccable harmonies and constrict you with
lightning-fast shredding and tremolo riffs.
Apart from the exquisite
melodies, they also insert some bite-sized wackiness in-between the thrash
metal mayhem which elevates the aural experience to newer levels, like in “Revolution Now”. It has a brief
harmonic section in the chorus which would make a silly grin appear on your
face; the one that you get upon encountering an unexpected surprise. They
alternate well between the thrashy groove-laden rhythms and the meticulously
crafted melodies, creating a perfect amalgamation of both aspects. Their
prowess is equally matched by João
Dourado’s drum-work as he pounds away relentlessly, delivering a fierce performance
behind the kit. He switches regularly between the quintessential thrash drum
beats to ferocious blast beats and double bass whenever necessary, mirroring
the variety that is found in the guitar sections. He works with finesse on
tracks like “Reality Check”, “Good Friends Make The Best Enemies”
and “Man Made Of Sand”, matching the
technicality on display by the guitarists at every step. Similarly, Rui Puga on bass keeps things supremely
tight at the lower end and displays his skills boisterously on tracks like “The Servant” and “Skinned Alive”, competing with the percussive mayhem note by note.
his lungs out and keeps it corrosive with his angst-filled shouts and manic screams.
His vocal delivery is powerful and unrelenting on tracks like “Revolution Now” and exhibits variety
in vocal styles on tracks like “Skinned Alive” and “The Servant”.
the base of Thrash Metal, but they manage to keep things fresh by varying their
pace and introducing many surprising twists in their compositions. The final
track “Break The Cycle” touches the
hems of Progressive Thrash with its meandering guitar lines and intricate drum
work. The length of the album clocks a crisp 43 minutes with 12 tracks. The
tracks vary in length with the shortest one being less than 2 minutes and the
longest crossing 5 minutes.
released a strong album which is beautifully dark and massively
addictive. ‘The Empire Strikes Black’
delivers a thrash metal sound which sits perfectly between the old-school aggression
that we love and that sinister ambience that we crave from the music.
“Revolution Now”, “Break The Cycle”