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The Spectre of Ballantre

As long as there are bands playing Metal from all over the world, rehearsing in garages and saving money for the recording of a demo or self-financed CD, the underground basis for Metal music will carry on showing the honest path for bands to preserve the Metal ideals. Esthonia’s EMPYROS is one of these bands, thankfully.

Hailing from Tallinn, the quartet was founded in 2002. Their taste lies towards the Heavy/Speed side of Metal music, with some Thrash elements and a good doze of dual leads reminding of IRON MAIDEN or METALLICA in their prime times(s). Alesko’s vocals are harsh, primitive enough yet in-tune and rather persuasive. He spits out every word, while he seems lunatic in faster parts. The guitar riffs are full of anger, whereas at times they become quite melodic - based on the 80s ’stuff’ - and it should be mentioned that the work done in the solos is impressive. The songwriting base is also notable. There’s variety in grooves, you will not get bored at any track, and EMPYROS seems they have put a lot of effort in this album.

The drums/bass lines are not something to get excited listening to, but I feel this is better since - this way - the listener can take a closer look to the ’trademark’ guitar work. The leads do also sound more ’fine’ than the rest of the instruments/vocals. Still, for a demo release the production would be described as more than convincing. The cover artwork, not to forget, initially brought to mind something familiar to METAL CHURCH or MORGANA LEFAY, which is not out of the band’s scope, to tell you the truth.

The ongoing six-string melodies will probably make juvenile Metal fans think EMPYROS’ music would resemble to some of the NWOSDM likes. Well, this is not the case here, I suppose, since "The Spectre Of Ballantre" (really, is it a concept album?) mainly focuses on more ’pure’ Metal material. I really hope some labels will probably listen to this 8-track CD and the band gets a contract offer (if they wish so, of course). If you are familiar with the ’exotic Metal’ term, then EMPYROS is on this side of the stream.

Author: Grigoris
Zine: Metal Temple

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