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Ancient Empire – Eternal Soldier Award winner

Ancient Empire
Eternal Soldier
by Dave Nowels at 21 August 2018, 10:55 AM

“Eternal Soldier” is one of those releases that grabs hold of you, shakes you up and doesn’t let go. I’m seriously shocked at how great this album is. Completely unexpected, and I’m now on a mission to check out the rest of their catalog. “Eternal Soldier” is ANCIENT EMPIRE’s fourth album and comes quickly on the heels of their previous release “The Tower” which dropped at the end of 2017. From the Bay Area of California, these guys are alumni of HELLHOUND and D-TRAIN. Described as Classic Metal, they definitely touch on Progressive Metal as well.

The lead track is also the title track, “Eternal Soldier”, and right off the bat it becomes obvious that this is something special. Galloping drums, distinct bass lines and melodic guitar. Lyrically, Rich Pelletier presents an engaging tale throughout.
Not just the first track, but track after track, the whole damn album. The music laid down by Joe Liszt, Steve Pelletier and a handful of special guests, accentuates the lyrical tales exceptionally well. There’s definitely substance to what you’re hearing. And you can’t wait to see what’s coming next. “War Without End” and “For The One I Lost” continue to impress, and quite honestly had me smiling and shaking my head at how much I was enjoying this album. “Shadows From The Past” capitalizes on catchy choruses and background vocals, more than any track so far.

“Time Itself” continues the galloping break-neck pace as well as the standout choruses. “Upon This Withered Earth” begins a bit more mellow than it’s predecessors. With some un-credited synth and acoustic guitar, it’s an interesting change of pace, but one that sets up another fabulous track.  “I, Alone” continues this mercenary themed tale with still more standout choruses and melodic guitar solos. A lot of times, bands seem to use these as hooks to disguise other inadequacies. Nothing could be further from the case with ANCIENT EMPIRE. Instead, they seeming know how to use them as a special secret weapon just to reinforce that they mean business here.

Closing out this album is “The Fifth Column” and it has a bit more of an edge to it than the other tracks. Heavier and more Thrash inspired, particularly its pace.  These guys definitely know how to keep things interesting, and keep the listener entertained. Again, this album completely surprised me. It’s one of those rare albums that keep you seeking out new music because it’s just so great to discover one like it. I can’t point out one thing that I would change. It’s just that good. This will be an album and band I will definitely recommend going forward.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Eternal Soldier
2. War Without End
3. For The One I Lost
4. Shadow Of The Past
5. Time Itself
6. Upon This Withered Earth
7. I, Alone
8. The Fifth Column
Joe Liszt – Vocals, Guitar, and Bass
Steve Pelletier – Drums
Rich Pelletier - Lyricist
Record Label: Stormspell Records


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Edited 03 June 2023

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