White Empress - Rise Of The Empress
Peaceville Records
Symphonic Death Metal
12 songs (55:00)
Release year: 2014
Peaceville Records
Reviewed by Joel
Surprise of the month

White Empress is the new band, featuring Paul Allender(ex-Cradle of Filth) and Mary Zimmer(Luna Mortis). Playing a dynamic and epic version of Symphonic Death Metal. Rise of the White Empress is a conceptual album with Zimmer taking on the role of the title character. If you never heard her vocals before, she is equal parts growler as she is a potent operatic vocalist. Her vocal styles run the gamut of melodic to extreme metal.

A prelude track opens the disc up and immediately draws you in, before the sonic madness of The Congregation. Brutal yet melodic, powerful yet varied in its song structure. The following three tracks follow in a similar style, each connecting the story without repeating themselves musically. The choirs in the song, Sven's Tower adds an epic feel to the otherwise brutality of the song. Erased and Rewritten has some great riffing from Allender and company, while The Ecstatic And The Sorrow has a great melodic section highlighting the more melodic side of Zimmer's dynamic voice. For some reason to me, she sounds a lot like Kobra Paige(Kobra And The Locust) during these more melodic sections. I have always liked her clean vocals(Being from my state(Wisconsin), I have her seen her former band more than a few times).

Right around the time of the track, Dethroned, the story reaches its climax. Another great melodic section with equal parts passion and dynamic vocals. This song is definitely more straight ahead guitars then symphonic. Obsession With The Empress(Human To Divine) is one frentic and varied song, in song structure and vocal delivery. A definite highlight at the latter part of the disc. Ours To Burn has a very cool almost Industrial Metal intro before it switches back to what has been heard throughout the disc. The disc closes out with two very aggressive songs, Exile(The Empress Returns) and Fall Of The Old Guard, while first uses the choirs again, the latter is just a brutal song that ends the disc in a similar way The Congregation got it going.

I hope this is not a one-off project, and that White Empress continues to build on this solid debut. With Allender solid axe skills and Zimmer's obvious talent behind the mic, and a supporting band of solid musicians(see below), White Empress could give the metal world something new that is equal parts brutal, melodic, and definitely EPIC!

Watch the video for the song Darkness Encroaching HERE

White Empress is:
Chela Harper - Bass
Paul Allender - Guitars
Will Graney - Keyboards
White Empress - Vocals
Zac Morris - Drums
Jeremy Kohnmann - Guitars

Killing Songs :
ALL IF listened as a whole.
Joel quoted 88 / 100
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