Empires Of Eden - Architect of Hope

Empires Of Eden Architect of Hope cover
Empires Of Eden
Architect of Hope
Melodic Rock Records
Empires Of Eden, the multi-singer fronted project, by guitarist, composer & producer Stu Marshall (Dungeon, Paindivision) returns with another album (I think it’s their fourth?). Stu, handles guitars and bass on the album and has a drummer in Jason Manewell, to handle the battery. There are nine different guest vocalists, all of them well known or at least talented enough to be included. The many guests tend to fragment the style a bit, with slight deviations from song to song, but a good number of them are of the “wailers” category, without that being a “law”.
The style of most of the songs is screaming power metal, with Priest, Maiden, Helloween influences, but a bit more symphonic in approach. Most of the singers do a decent job, or are even phenomenal in their deliveries, but the quality of the songs, tends to vary a bit.
Opener “Vanish in the Light” features Rick Altzi, the newest singer of Masterplan who does his best to sound like Jorn/Dio. It’s a nice enough, majestic mid-tempo that however is not something completely astounding.
“Architect of Hope” has Ralf Scheepers, doing his trademark, Halfordesque screaming and is high octane as you might expect, even if it’s a little “by the numbers”.
“Push the Limits” came as a bit of a surprise as Tony Webster of pretty awesome American metallers Archetype is the vocalist here and he does a fairly good job singing, but the song, itself, is unfortunately not as impressive as the previous one, the riff’s OK and the extended chorus ain’t all that bad, but...
“Taken” features George Call of Aska, who manages to put in an ok performance, with more grit, but sounds a little more struggling than some other guys... but his darker, more screaming vocals, are a bit of a welcome change.
In “Weaponize” it’s the turn of former Vougan/Outworld singer Carlos Zema to do his thing. He sings a somewhat more interesting song and actually tries to sing parts of it, instead of screaming the hell out of it, which is fine, but his insistence to often linger on his top notes makes him sound a bit strained in places. Not bad though.
“Six Feet Under”, (no not the band) brings Jeff Martin of Racer X, into the mix. I was expecting something quite cool, but unfortunately, his performance, is quite reserved and sounds quite out of place, in the midst of all this scream-fest.
“Killing As One” introduces Mike Cotoia an American, the singer of Fate Breaks Dawn, who’s another scream-demon and for a relative unknown, puts in quite an impressive performance, with lots of guts, the song too, is more “epic” and powerful, which helps it stand out from the rest a bit.
“Silent Hell” (yes a word play on Silent Hill, the spelling is correct) features Raphael Dantas another relative unknown – his band is.Perc3ption and he puts in a quite OK performance, even if he seems to be pushing himself on the very high-stuff. He also does some growling that make this song, sound a bit more modern. Unfortunately, the song itself ain’t much to talk about, since it’s quite average.
Last by not least, Mike Dimeo formerly of Riot/Ilium etc is the singer for “Holy Pharoah” the mid-tempo, atmospheric closer of the album. He quite pushes himself to match the style of the other vocalists quite closely, doing his best to sound “grittier” than he is, in something that comes across like a Dokken with polyps, with a bit of Dio thrown in. Trust me it’s not as bad, as I just made it sound, but I guess the tempo and style, is indeed a bit anticlimactic for a finisher, which is quite a shame really, as it’s not that bad of a track.
Somewhat above average power metal, with a bunch of different vocalists, that’s not stronger than the sum of its parts. I must also say that I enjoyed the previous album by Empires quite a bit more so...