EMPYROS - The Spectre Of Ballantre

Empyros - The Spectre Of Ballantre

8 songs
38:06 minutes


Estonian bands rarely make it to Western Europe, and I had a hard time coming up with other artists from this Baltic country when I held Empyros’ promo CD in my hands. Although the band has been active since 2002, they have hardly stirred any waves outside their native country. Despite six years of band history, The Spectre Of Ballantre is only the band’s debut.

The band comes across rather retro and plays a competent mix between heavy and thrash metal, as it was popular about twenty years ago. They change quite often the pace, add a couple of aggressive riffs without neglecting the melodic component though, and there’s even a fair share of guitar solos. It seems as if Empyros have thought of everything.

Unfortunately this is not the case. The Spectre Of Ballantre is quite harmless from beginning to end. My first complaint is that there are no new ideas, something many young bands are suffering from, but here it is too rampant. Worse is the fact that the band doesn’t seem to be able to write gripping material. Their structures are not only quite repetitive, they also come across rather bumpily. Not a single riffs sticks, and the guitar solos are too long and don’t feel integrated into the song writing. The mediocre vocals don’t help either. Add to this a thin production, but I am not judging them too harshly on this, as we are only in the presence of a debut.

I always like listening to old-fashioned thrash metal album, but Empyros don’t have the punch of many new thrash revivalists. They still have a long way ahead of themselves, and instead of spending too much time with the classics, they had better stay longer in the rehearsal room and try to write stronger songs.

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