One In A Million...
Genre: hard rock / melodic metal
Originally released in 2003, Empire's "Trading Souls" was rereleased in June on Lion Music, making it one of the many releases being reissued on that label. And a look at the line-up, which features Tony Martin, Don Airey, Rolf Munkes and the less prolific but no less skilled Gerald Kloos should make a lot of metal and hard rock fans ecstatic with excitement about this reissue.
And, yes, it looks good on paper. And, well, it sounds good on CD, too, but, while there are a lot of good songs on the album, and a lot of nice details (especially Rolf Munkes' solos), the overall impression of this album is that it is a bit lackluster, and it seems as if all the musicians involved are generally holding back - especially Tony Martin whose voice is otherwise extremely powerful and clear seems only a shadow of himself on this album.
But, when it all comes down, there is a lot of melody and a lot of catchy choruses and, as mentioned, awesome guitar solos on this album. Most of the tracks are solid and, while not a masterpiece in any sense, "Trading Souls" is nonetheless an enjoyable album which fans of melodic metal and 80s-informed AOR-tinged hard rock should be able to appreciate.