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Acid Empire is a project founded by contemporary composer Mike Bridge (Season's End). It is aimed as an expression of originality in song form, compositional style, instrumentation and lyrical content, trying to come up with something completely unique. The style includes sections of orchestral motifs, gripping dissonances and powerful resolutions. Underlying this is the compositional style of someone who is obviously influenced by the Metal genre. The songs do away with traditional layout (i.e. verse chorus verse chorus) in favor of trying something new, there are still verse and chorus involved, but the songs resemble something more like a piece of classical music where the main melodies progress into new melodies throughout. The first Single release, 'Only The Weak/Denial' were two songs written for the upcoming album which is currently in the recording process. The second single 'Would You Do It Again', which follows in the orchestral/metal style, was released summer 2010. read more...
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ACID EMPIRE Acid Empire album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Acid Empire
Symphonic Metal 2011

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.. Album Cover
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Only the Weak​/​Denial
Symphonic Metal 2010
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Would You Do It Again
Symphonic Metal 2010

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Album · 2011 · Symphonic Metal
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Conor Fynes
'Acid Empire' - Acid Empire (8/10)

It may seem like a heavy handed task in today's metal scene to create something truly 'unique', but all the same, this is the mission in which UK act Acid Empire was founded upon, and continues to strive toward. Months off the release of this self-titled debut, Acid Empire haven't yet reached the ears of the metal masses, but they have caused something of an underground stir, and for good reason. While Acid Empire's bold take on symphonic metal is not entirely groundbreaking, I have rarely heard the style played with such conviction this year. Acid Empire is a fairly new name in metal so far, but I am convinced of the great potential that lays in store of this band.

To be perfectly fair, the term 'symphonic metal' seems to have garnered something of a negative backlash, at least for me. I too often associate it with X female-fronted, keyboard-driven metal bands that boast plenty of flashy music videos and sparkling production, but ultimately appears to default on the perceived sexual attractiveness of their vocalists. The female voice has plenty of potential working within metal- and there are bands that do wonderous things with it- but it should never be allowed to be an excuse to sacrifice attention to songwriting and instrumental quality. Those two things, incidentally, are two things that Acid Empire has plenty of. Only this year have I heard Fleshgod Apocalypse and Septic Flesh incorporate the orchestral sound so well into a metal tapestry. Acid Empire takes a more melodic, traditional approach towards symphonic metal, but the sound here is fresh and exciting.

'Acid Empire' is chock full of classically-influenced riffs and epic rhythms. The highlight of this spectacle are the orchestrations led by Mike Bridge; while only simulating the sound of an orchestra, the sound is authentic, and more importantly, well arranged. Bridge's budget orchestra swells and ebbs perfectly in touch with the dramatic metal. With many of these tracks flowing into each other naturally, 'Acid Empire' almost achieves the impression of a seamless metal symphony. The operatic aspect that I associate with the best that symphonic metal has to offer is brought forth with multiple vocalists, including one of my favourite metal singers Damian Wilson, best known for his work with Threshold and Ayreon. Wilson's voice is only heard on the song 'Into The Void', but his signature delivery is incorporated very well into the music, and it would be great to hear Wilson and Bridge collaborate again.

As far as the other two vocalists on the album go, I have never had the opportunity to hear the vocals of Jack Lipinski or Hannah Bridge before, but both deliver grand performances. Vocally speaking, Lipinski leads the band for the most part, with a strong vibrato to his voice that is not all that dissimilar from Damian Wilson. Hannah Bridge is also very impressive, particularly for the fact that the female vocals aren't used in the typical bombastic sense, but rather as a more laid-back contrast to Lipinski.

The sound of Acid Empire is well fleshed out, and with great orchestrations to match, you can expect to hear a grand, epic sound here. The songwriting is strong, but I did notice that melodies and hooks were not the music's strong suit. While dramatic choruses are aplenty here, the melodies used felt among the least original aspects of Acid Empire's sound, and at times downright predictable. When taken into consideration that the rest of what Acid Empire offers is top notch however, I have no problem saying that 'Acid Empire' is an excellent album, and proof that my beliefs about symphonic metal may thankfully stand as misconceptions.

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