I have been an avid supporter of the Northampton band Empyre for about the last 18 months, ever since I heard their debut album Self Aware. To me Self Aware was an album that could definitely put this band on the way to being stadium fillers in the years ahead. Having seen them live and met them, both in the flesh and by zoom, this view has become even more rooted in my thinking.
So did lockdown hamper that progress? The answer to that is not really, because they continued work on their newest album The Other Side. I say continued because way before lockdown the boys had made a decision to record and release an acoustic album to show “the other side” of their music. The aim was to release an almost full acoustic version of Self Aware.
It has become quite trendy over recent years for many bands and artists to release an acoustic album but this album bucks the trend because this is not just an album of acoustic recordings of the original songs. This is an album that re-imagines the songs from the Self Aware album and presents them as new atmospheric songs which stand together as a new album in themselves and not merely an acoustic copy of Self Aware. From the opening chords of the Only Way Out to the closing notes of the orchestrated Only Way Out this is an album that delivers many spine tingling moments.
The re-imagining of songs such as Homegrown, Stone, My Bad and Too Close is spell binding and insists that you give the album your full concentration. In my view this is an album where you settle down with your headphones on and lose yourself in the atmospheric environment that Empyre have created with this release.
I know I love the band and I may be biased but to me this album is a cut above most other acoustic albums because it is meant to do just what it does…..stand alone and take you to The Other Side of Empyre.
Empyre will be on tour across the summer with Mason Hill and Hollowstar as well as appearing at several festivals. Whether you catch them in electric or acoustic mode just make sure you catch them!
Henrik Steenholdt – Vocals and Guitar
Did Coles – Lead Guitar and Vocals
Grant Hockley – Bass
Elliot Bale – Drums
You can find out more about them at www.empyre.co.uk