Who are EMPIRES OF EDEN? Apparently the band consists of Stu Marshall (guitar/bass/orchestration), Louie Gorgievski, vocals, and Jasix, drums, according to the info sheet. More interesting seems the number of guest vocalists. Participating here are; Mike Vescera (ex LOUDNESS, ex. YNGWIE MALMSTEEN), ZAK STEVENS (SAVATAGE, CIRCLE II CIRCLE) and Steve Grimmett (ex. GRIM REAPER, ex ONSLAUGHT, ex. LIONSHEART, GRIMMSTINE). Besides them there are Sean Peck (CAGE), Mike Zolos (DUNE), Carlos Zema (OUTWORLD) and session vocalist Chris Ninni.
Opener “Of Light and Shadows” is augmented by Mike Vescera. If you have a past in the bands he´s sung for, there must be a reason. Stu´s guitar work impress and the orchestrations create a pompous sound which accompanies the heaviness in fine fashion. Sean Peck overdoes the heavy “Total Devastation”, I think Louie would have been a better choice. It is as after all a good track. Then Zak has a go at the raunchy “Prognatus Ut Obscurum” and he rarely makes a fool of himself. The song may not be among the better ones but he lifts the proceedings. I´m curious about the title track. Partly because it´s normally one of the better songs on offer, partly because they describe Chris Ninni as a mix of JOE LYNN TURNER and JOHN FARNHAM. The song slows things down but works ok. The arrangement is neat and the guitar solo displays Stu´s versatility. Steve Grimmett handles the mike in the excellent “Beyond Daybreak”, a real hit and a powerful voice. It is easy to forget EMPIRES OF EDEN amongst all the vocal stars. They do a fine job with “Death Machine” and “Reach Out” follows suit. It is mostly Stu that impresses me, not least with the song structures. Because when the last chord has rung out the things I will remember are mostly about songs and structures.
Of Light and Shadows
Enter the Storm
Prognatus ut Obscurum
Reborn in Fire