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Empires of Eden - Channelling the infinite 4/5

Reviewed: 7-1-12


1. Cry out
2. Hammer down
3. This time
4. Channelling the infinite
5. Lions for lambs
6. Cyborg
7. World on fire
8. Your eyes
9. Born a king
10. As flames scorch the ground
11. White wings
12. Hammer down (all-star version)
13. Born a king (Sean Peck version)

Australia’s legendary axeman, Stu Marshall and his current project band Empires of Eden have kept fans heads banging over the last 4-5 years since the band’s inception. With 2 releases under their belts (‘Songs of war and vengeance’, ‘Reborn in fire’), Mr. Marshall has returned for CD number 3, entitled ‘Channelling the infinite’. Once again, Stu has brought on a folly of guest vocalists, some of whom were also on the previous CD, and are back to rock your world for a 2nd time.

Having the weight to invite star guest vocalists to sing on Stu’s band is quite impressive indeed and goes to show how far Australia has come along in the metal scene. With that said, a plethora of vocalists grace ‘Channelling the infinite’, starting with the ones returning from ‘Reborn in fire’ to sing on the new CD: Sean Peck (Cage), Steve Grimmett (Grimmstine/Grim Reaper/ex-Onslaught), Carlos Zema (ex-David Shankle Group/ex-Heaven’s Guardian) and Louie Gorgievski (Crimsonfire). Rejoining Stu for ‘Channelling the infinite’ is permanent member, drummer Jason Manewell, who also played on the previous release ‘Reborn in fire’.

Making their first appearance on an Empires of Eden release includes Aussie vocalists Steven “Vo” Simpson (Darker Half) and Danny Cecati (Eyefear), while showcasing international stars including Alessandro Del Vecchio (Eden’s Curse/Edge of Forever), Udo Dirkschneider (U.D.O), Ronny Munroe (Ronny Munroe/ex-Metal Church), Mike Dimeo (Creation’s End/Ilium/ex-Masterplan/ex-Riot) and Rob Rock (Impellitteri/Driver/Fires of Babylon/Bob Rock/ex-Warrior). Now that is an all-star line-up that should raise the eyebrow of any melodic/power metal fan, myself included. I also might add that these vocalists are personal favourites of Stu’s, and really wanted them for the new CD and actually wrote the music for every song and allowed each singer to write the lyrics/melodies to their particular song. Once the tracks were done by the vocalists, Stu did all the production and mixing at his own studio in Sydney (Frontiers Studio).

With all releases that contain more than one guest vocalist, in this case we are talking about 11 individuals, you can hear that juke-box feel of so many different vocals styles on the one CD, all with vastly different methods but with the same levels of passion, energy and exuberance. Of course the person leading the charge throughout the release is Stu Marshall, who is arguably one of Australia best and most dynamic and versatile guitarists in quite some time. Within the CD Stu goes above and beyond, filling each song with killer riffs, killer hooks, killer shredding and killer solos; in short – your air guitar will get a massive workout.

There would be a ton of interest surrounding the vocalists lending their talented voices on ‘Channelling the infinite’, and probably none bigger than both Udo Dirkschneider and Rob Rock. Both legends put up a blistering performance, as does each and every other singer on the CD. Steve Grimmett shows that despite his age he still has the pipes to be in this business, while Mike Dimeo proves why people love his AOR styled vocals from back in his Riot days and also the ‘MK II’ release with Masterplan. Last but certainly not least is the brilliant screaming vocals of Cage frontman, Sean Peck, and lastly the wonderful performances of the Aussie singers (Vo Simpson, Louie Gorgievski and Danny Cecati).

Just that bit more polished overall than the previous release (‘Reborn in fire’), the new CD ‘Channelling the infinite’ boasts powerful and catchy well-written tracks, written specifically for the guest vocalist, in which I would think is a difficult thing to do, but Stu Marshall is a man of many talents and our hats need to be taken off to him for his huge efforts he put into this project. Looking for high quality, high octane tracks, then look no further as ‘Channelling the infinite’ has what you’re after. One of the best of the bunch has to be the ball-busting “Hammer down” which features Udo Dirkschneider at his gravel-gargling best, followed by the scorching “World on fire”, which features Louie Gorgievksi, and the mighty title track “Channelling the infinite”, which features Sean Peck.

The pace changer on the release is with the track “Your eyes”, which features Mike Dimeo and contains some nice chunky AOR licks and melodies from Stu. One of the most pummelling and melodic tracks on the CD is “Born a king”, which features Aussie vocalist Danny Cecati (who has long hair down to his feet!), who manages to sing his lungs out on the track. This is also a reminder to let you know about the 2 bonus tracks on the release; the first is an all-star version of “Hammer down” and the 2nd is Sean Peck singing “Born a king”, as it was Sean who originally wrote the song as Danny didn’t come into the project until quite late and time was of the essence. It’s a great idea then that Sean Peck gets to sing the song he wrote and grew attached to.

If you’re looking for melodic power metal, and if you have or like any of the guest vocalists or the bands they have been a part of, then Empires of Eden should be a band that you need to seriously check out. Stu Marshall’s project is worth your time and his latest CD is the best of the 3. It’s with releases like these that prove without a shadow of a doubt, that Australia has the goods when it comes to heavy metal music.




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