Let's start with two bold statements:
Empire is a project comprising some of the luminaries of metal. See below for the lineup, but suffice it to say these guys represent a who's who in metal with resumes including Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Electric Light Orchestra, Whitesnake, Malmsteen, Hammerfall, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Rainbow – and there is even some good progressive background courtesy of National Health and Gilgamesh.
- "Supergroups" are the music industry's equivalent of the sports world's "Dream Teams".
- Empire is to metal as the American basketball "Dream Team" was to the Olympics.
The 16 tracks on this hour long CD feature some stellar performances, excellent production, and solid songwriting. You won't find a fault worth mentioning on this CD. It is 1980s style metal with excellent execution, excellent guitarwork, excellent vocals and excellent … you're getting the idea. If this album had come out in the 1980s we'd still be talking about it. But it came out in 2001, and like the 2004 US Olympic basketball team, it lacks inspiration and creativity.
If old school metal is your bag, you will have to go a long way to beat Hypnotica. But if you've become used to the creativity of the '90s and the '00s, you are advised to click here, and try before you buy.
Neil Murray (Bass - Black Sabbath, National Health, Whitesnake, Gilgamesh, Warumpi Band, Company of Snakes, Gary Moore…)
Lance King (Vocals - Balance of Power, Mattsson…)
Rolf Munkes(Guitar, bass - Condition Red)
Gerald Kloos (Drums - Condition Red)
Mark Boals (Vocals - Savoy Brown, Yngwie Malmsteen, Ring of Fire…)
Anders Johansson (Drums - Hammerfall, Yngwie Malmsteen, Narnia)
Don Airey (Keyboards - Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Jethro Tull, Rainbow, Ozzy, ELO, Metallium)
2. Fool In Love
3. Into The Light
4. You're All That I'm Looking For
5. Spread My Wings
6. Bad Bad Boy
7. Here I Am
8. I Will Always Be There
9. A Different Sign
11. Back To Me
12. Another Place Another Time
13. Take A Look Around (Bonus Track)
14. Dogtown Shuffle (Bonus Track)
15. Spread My Wings (Acoustic - Bonus Track)