Empire: Hypnotica (+3)
Originally released in 2001, the band Empire lead by Founder and Guitarist Rolf Munkes, have had there debut album Hypnotica re-issued under the moniker of Hypnotica (+3) and now features 15 tracks in all. The original Hypnotica release featured special guest performances from Hard Rock and Heavy Metal veterans like Mark Boals (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen) and Lance King (ex Nightmare) on vocals, Neil Murray (Whitesnake, Black Sabbath etc.) on bass, Gerald Klos and Anders Johansson on drums, and Don Airey (ex Rainbow, Deep Purple) on keyboards.
Empire's music falls into the 80's AOR Pop Metal genre with some Hard Rock roots with high soprano ranged vocals (ala TNT or Steelheart) and a generous amount of shreddie melodic/Neo Classical guitar tomfoolery. Lance King handles the lion share of the vocals, while Mark Boals shows up on "Into the Light" and "I Will Always Be There". Songs have a melodic overtone with 80's styled hooks and sugary sweet choruses that would might have been in the running with the MTV "Hair Metal" bands of that era.
Fans of Mr. Big, Poison and Tuff will most likely enjoy this German styled 80's re-do that is Empire's Hypnotica (+3). I found the material to be rather listless and uninspired, technical performances aside. Rolf Munkes can obviously play, but his playing doesn't save the otherwise flat material.
Pride & Joy Music will be re-issuing all four of Empire's albums during the course of 2017
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 Spread My Wings (Acoustic)
14 Take A Look Around
15 Dogtown Shuffle
Added: February 18th 2017
Reviewer: Butch Jones
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
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