Review: The Empire Shall Fall – Awaken [2010]

Ex-Killswitch Engage frontman, Jesse Leach, leads a new and brutal unit called The Empire Shall Fall on the blistering debut effort Awaken.

Right off the bat it is highly apparent that Leach can carry one hell of a melody, displaying tremendous vocal power and emotion. Throughout the album, Leach also offers smooth and clever transitions from melodic eloquence to intense screamage.

An extra credit point rightfully goes to the dexterous drums of Jeff Pitts. He wails away on the skins while launching impressive kick patterns and sludgy grooves.

The Empire Shall Fall can thrash out as demonstrated in the face pummeling “Choir of Angels” where lead guitarist Jake Davenport delivers stellar licks in the verses.  “These Colors Bleed” is another prime thrash track which sounds as if the band is paying direct homage to Slayer.

On the other end of the metal spectrum “Our Own” could fool the untrained ear into thinking it is hearing a classic Korn track. One of the album’s best moments is the lonely tom fill before the first verse.

Davenport lays down howling pinch harmonics on “Lords of War” and also shows off his versatility, along with Marcus de Lisle, by implementing relaxing jazz riffs on “We The People.”

The beginning vocals of “We The People” sound nearly identical to the title track’s opening lines, but the spoken word-screaming technique makes for a good contrast over the clean guitars.

Awaken is a metal hit. Perhaps representing Leach’s best material to date. This is the right group of musicians to muscle onward to take down an empire.

The Empire Shall Fall is Jesse Leach (Vocals), Jake Davenport (Lead Guitar), Marcus de Lisle (Guitar), Nick Sollecito (Bass), & Jeff Pitts (Drums).

Track Listing:

  1. “Awaken”
  2. “Lords of War”
  3. “Voices Forming Weapons”
  4. “Choir of Angels”
  5. “We The People”
  6. “These Colors Bleed”
  7. “Our Own”
  8. “The Kingdom”

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