Armory - Empyrean Realms
Metavania Music
Melodic Power Metal
9 songs (50:00)
Release year: 2013
Reviewed by Joel
Archive review
Eternal Mind opens things up for Armory, a Massachuttes, USA based band who previously were reviewed here back in 2007. A classic European inspired melodic power metal sound that also has elements of progressive metal as well. The song is faster pace with a heavy dose of melody as well. The song is highlighted by the solid vocals of Adam Kurland and the twin guitar attack of Joe Kurland and Chad Fisher. The interlude mid song definitely shows the musical chops of all the band members involved. The progressive part of their power-prog sound can be heard throughout the song Dreamstate, with great musicianship (a bassist you can hear!) and majestic chorus to go along with Adam Kurland's ability to use all of his range (Think Marc Hudson (Dragonforce) or Todd La Torre (Queensryche). Beyond the Horizon and Reflection Divine both are faster melodic power metal songs, the latter has some great keyboard fills/leads. The instrumental Horologium definitely solidifies the band's talent. This is one of those instrumentals that retains the bands sense of melody, and the musicians themselves don't go out of their way to show us how “technical” they can be, which is a refreshing thing with this style of song.

I really like Elements of Creation, something about it made it sound different than the other songs that came before it. I can't put my finger(or ears on it) but something about this song, draws me to it. The heavily melodic and mid-paced Inner Sanctum has an almost 80s power metal feel with a modern day production. An infectious lead guitar melody in the beginning, followed by a healthy slab of melodic metal to go with it. With a headbanging worthy intro, Fate Seeker actually “slows” down momentarily before the band returns to its faster ways. Listen for a cool keyboard lead melody behind the layer of guitars and vocals. The guitar playing during the verses are more straight-forward though the song retains the bands technical prowess as well. The mythological influenced Quest for the Fleece is also the final song on the disc. With a synth intro and huge strings section, Armory set out to make their last song on the disc, their most epic, or at least as epic as a seven minute plus song can be. The song again brings back a classic eighties feel. Reminds me of another band from the Northeast USA that I like, Twisted Tower Dire. Definitely not a “Let's make one more song, because we need to fill up the disc,” this song is definitely a highlight and worthy of multiple listens.

Speaking of multiple listens, the whole disc deserves it. I can see myself enjoying this for a long time, and coming back to it when I need some melodic power metal. Sure there are a lot of bigger name bands out there, but Armory has proven with Empyrean Realms that they deserve to be mentioned along with the giants of the genre. melodic power metal, that is both melodic and powerful, progressive metal, that does not have to remind you how crazy talented the band is, every few minutes of each song. If this disc did not come out at the end of 2013, I would have easily given it my album of the month.

Killing Songs :
Joel quoted 91 / 100
Other albums by Armory that we have reviewed:
Armory - Dawn Of Enlightenment reviewed by Marty and quoted 90 / 100
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