19 Feb 2018

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Empire To Ashes - Album Review: [in pieces]

26 Jan 2018 // A review by Freecell
Empire to Ashes new album [in pieces] is like a soundtrack of ambient alternative art. The music videos that I have seen are amazing and full of surreal visualisations that tells a story.

The first track of the album, }, starts off with a ECG heart monitor sample with keyboard riff fading in and a wooden flute sound sound that adds to an array of sounds on the build up. It feels like your drawn in to a hospital. The drums and a distorted bass line adds a thick blanket of fuzzy bass. A very different kind of music from the norm. Some vocals or poetry comes in as the song builds, it sounds like the whole song is an experience of a human in hospital on their last hours of living.

The bass line and arpeggio riffs remind of Daft Punk's Tron Soundtrack. The intro of the video of this song starts off with the ECG heart monitor sound effect and a microscopic zoom of an eye. The detail is unreal, there's a lot of smoke with mixed messages and snippets of images. The song eventually fades out with some awkward breathing to the end of the song. This song sounds like it's from a dark alternative cinematic soundtrack.

There's some panning robotic talking in between the songs, it sounds like a doctors explanation of body science.

My Phantom Limb is the second track from the album, and it starts with soft synthesised keys and a bass line that gradually gets louder. Some lyrics or more poetic words fade in and out. The main chorus of the song has a main keyboard riff playing with poetic lyrics and a drumbeat. Wind and element samples and sound effects adding dimension and atmosphere to the song. This song is slow and offbeat. It's full of samples with a positive feel.

The intro of next song titled , has more medical science philosophy and it is filtered so that you can't directly understand it clearly. A huge bass line fades in with an alien sound effects and synthesisers blazing giving you awareness of a UFO and aliens. A very interesting sounding song, filled with lots of sound effects and messages. An alien voice eventually enters the song towards the end. Listening to this track with just the audio it sounds strange and your not too sure whats going on? But when listen to this song with the video it's quite uplifting and it aligns well with the audio.

Asciepius Rising is my favourite track of the album, starts off with the best lightning and thunder sample I have ever heard, very impressive and unique. It's not everyday you hear lightning and thunder in a song. It carries on with synths, keys, bass line and a drumbeat, the full band is playing together as it seems. It reminds me of the Kraftwerk sound. Poetic lyrics fades in and out sounding like the strongest song on the album. Beautiful synth sounds and positive vibes, easily a dancing track with a constant energy to its sound.

More medical philosophy on the intro of Repose fading in and out throughout the song from several different sources. There's a synth bass line holding the whole song together it sounds like a NIN bass line, with a cello sample and keys.

It seems there's a story to this album, and it's deep. The videos that go with every song on the album enhances the experience of visual and sound.

Soft pads of bass synths, glitches, guitar and drum beats enhance the next track, <!-- --!> with lyrics floating in and out, This song has a dark alternative feel to it which makes it very interesting and my second favourite track from the album. The reverse sound effect works perfectly for the sound he's trying to create. A whopping 9 minutes of pure original alternative vibes. This track reminds me of Tool, from the sound and the video. This was awesome.

Eerie bass line on the intro of I. A sharp sounding piano melody comes in and poetic lyrics of "promise you a promise a promise I will never break" An emotional piece of protection and peace. This track sounds full of emotion, but it leaves me unsure who the song is about.

The final track Everlasting (End?) Has a strong awareness of the living, "life is precious and hard to fix if the quality of life is worse". A big eerie bass line holds the song together. The amount of sounds build up getting louder with more poetic lyrics. Soft synths work nicely. The song is sounding full and dark. Another emotional track with an amazing video to match.

Empire to Ashes is former bass player Jamie Denton, from {Poison Skies. Jamie is a multi talented musician based in Auckland.

It's awesome to see and hear a completely new genre of music and visual experience. This won't be everyone's cup of tea, but you can see the hard work that has gone into this very unique album.

Review written by Kerry Kingi

About Empire To Ashes

Empire To Ashes is a New Zealand based dark ambient / alternative / electronica / post-rock project, bearing jagged pieces of a ragged soul for your consumption.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Empire To Ashes


[in pieces]
Year: 2018
Type: Album

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