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Empires Of Eden: Channelling The Infinite

As the era of the "band" slides ever closer to the era of "projects", so albums like Channelling The Infinite come to the fore and to be fair, become increasingly popular. The brainchild of ex Dungeon guitarist Stu Marshall, who writes the music and provides guitars and bass for Empires In Eden (the impressive Jason "Jasix" Manewell plays drums), Channelling The Infinite is the project's third release of blistering power metal, with a cast of top notch singers. In fact this effort pulls together some of the most recognisable voices in metal. I mean any album featuring the likes of UDO (Accept/UDO), Steve Grimmett (Grim Reaper), Ronny Munroe (Metal Church/TSO), Rob Rock (Impellitteri/Driver) and Mike Dimeo (Riot/Masterplan), has to be worth checking out. And so it proves, although not quite in the bone-crushing, knock-out punch kind of way I'd expected.

The concept is simple, write songs tailored to the individual singer, give them lyrical and vocal freedom and then let rip! On occasion it works to scintillating effect, on others, things can sound a little too predictable and formulaic, although that doesn't stop the whole thing from becoming a power-metal romp that for fans of the genre, will prove too much to resist. The biggest attraction is the inclusion of metal legend UDO and to be fair, the obvious Accept/UDO-isms of "Hammer Down" are what stay with you once the album has finished spinning. Although the excellent bonus version featuring Rock, Munroe, Sean Peck (Cage), Carlos Zema (Outworld) and Vo Simpson (Darker Half) infuses the song with an even bolder shot of energy. Peck also gives a great solo performance on the overtly Judas Priest-like title track, while "Born As A King" featuring Danny Cetani (Eyefear/Pegazus) strays into mid-period Maiden monitor striding bombast.

A more symphonic blast is carved out for Alessandro Del Vechio (Edge Of Forever), through the more melodic "Lions For Lambs", something that can't be said for the head down, fist in the air "World On Fire", where Louie Gorgievski (Crimsonfire) howls and wails till his heart's content, although in truth the song isn't a classic. A fate also suffered by the Carlos Zema fronted "Cyborg", which for all its bravado, is actually rather flaccid. However there are more hits than misses, with the (Rob) Rock solid "Cry Out" introducing the album in convincing Dio era Sabbath style and "White Wings", where the under-rated Munroe outshines many of his more renowned album mates.

It isn't quite plain sailing all the way, but if you are a fan of the vocalists featured on this album, or simply a power metal devotee, Empires Of Eden will once again prove too tasty to resist.

Track Listing
1. Cry Out (feat. Rob Rock)
2. Hammer down (feat. UDO)
3. This Time (feat. Steve Grimmett)
4. Channelling the Infinite (feat. Sean Peck)
5. Lions For Lambs (feat. Alessandro Del Vecchio)
6. Cyborg (feat. Carlos Zema)
7. World on Fire (feat. Louie Gorgievksi)
8. Your eyes (feat. Mike Dimeo)
9. Born a king (feat. Danny Cecati)
10. As flames scorch the ground (feat. Vo Simpson)
11. White wings (feat. Ronny Munroe)
12. Hammer down All star version (Bonus) (feat. UDO, Rob Rock, Sean Peck, Carlos Zema, Vo Simpson, Ronny Munroe)
13. Born a King (bonus) (feat. Sean Peck)

Added: August 26th 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Empires Of Eden Online
Hits: 2433
Language: english

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Empires Of Eden: Channelling The Infinite
Posted by Bartek Paszylk, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-08-26 08:35:42
My Score:

I've got one question for you: are you metal, my friend? No, seriously, it's not one of those stupid rhetorical questions that are a waste of a good question mark. Do tell me: are you truly, honestly METAL? Cause if you are, there's no chance in hell for you not to enjoy this album. Others might laugh at its oh-so-serious approach and the lack of originality, but you and me, brother we are definitely going to enjoy this unapologetic heavy metal ride!

You know what you're in for from the first sounds of Rob Rock-fronted, ultra-energetic "Cry Out", and the following tracks never disappoint too much. Well, make it "almost never" as Udo Dirkschneider's robotic vocals on "Hammer Down" are hardly bearable at times: I love the guy, believe me, but he sounds like Terminator dying of old age here, he really does; thankfully, the "all star" version of the track added as a bonus (featuring, apart from Udo's, the voices of Rob Rock, Ronny Munroe, Sean Peck, Carlos Zema and Vo Simpson) makes up for the vocal mishap of the previous take. And Udo's inhuman screeching aside, this is a fine metal song that, come the chorus, will force you to heroically pound your fist in the air.

The album's stand out tracks are: "This Time" which enchants us with the voice of the one and only Steve Grimmett and drills out brains with some very catchy melodies; atmospheric "White Wings" where Ronny Munroe resurrects the spirit of the great, late Metal Church; biting "World on Fire" with Crimsonfire's talented vocalist Louie Gorgievski; and finally, "Born a King" and the title track (both featuring Sean Peck) which are a bit more complex and varied than the rest of the album. If you are already familiar with Empire of Eden's previous efforts, you can make an educated guess that the musicianship is solid here and Stu Marshall's guitar work perhaps amazes throughout. You'd be right about that. (My personal guitar favorite is to be found on "Your Eyes" you'll recognize it when you hear it.) And while "Channelling the Infinite" isn't really an improvement over the project's thrilling previous album, "Reborn in Fire", it will sure bring huge smiles to the faces of thousands true heavy metal fans around the world.

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