November 25, 2013 Eye Empire – Evolve (Album Review)
Eye Empire is a name that has become very well known in the hard rock scene since their debut album Moment of Impact (2010). With their powerful song writing abilities, in your face stage presence, and their endless positive messages of love, respect, support. With all that they always put a tremendous amount of effort in returning their thanks to the fans for their unwavering support for coming out to shows, interacting throughout the set, and helping spread the word of their music. After the success of their debut album Impact (2010) it is time for Eye Empire to reward fans with new material. With so much time on the road the band found the time to put together their sophomore album Evolve.
Evolve opens up with the track “One Day”. If you had the pleasure of seeing the band perform in 2013, you will recognize this heavy hitter. The track is an excellent way to start things off as it really gets you pumped right off the bat with hardcore bass provided by Corey Lowery, hard hitting drumming of Ryan Bennett, and the stellar guitar work of B.C. Kochmit. “The War Isn’t Over Yet” is a song for the troops of the past, present, and future. Soldiers who fight for our freedom come back so scarred we couldn’t even begin to know how war has changed them. This song brings a bit of that haunting quality to life in a positive way. The music itself sends you into a labyrinth as you listen, and the lyrics will be stuck in your head for days. On “Rise”, Donald Carpenter’s vocals are given a bit of a rest from the full throttle delivery of many Eye Empire’s tunes. Lowery and Kochmit’s presence is felt with a strong rhythm section. When listening to the lyrics you can tell the band is attempting to target a generation lost in war, hate, destruction, and rebellion. The lyrics convey that there is a lighter path to follow. “Beyond The Stars” take things down a notch creating a very embracing track. One almost would not even recognize it to be Eye Empire if it weren’t for Carpenter’s distinctive voice, which is certainly not a bad thing, as it shows the band’s diversity. Not fraying away from their signature sound, Eye Empire brings you right back up with “Within”. Just when you think you have figured Eye Empire out they hit you with this song. The track is a combination of melodic vocals and traditional Carpenter screams with consistent throbbing bass, drums, and guitar. You are left feeling like you want to pump your fist in the air while moshing away. Keeping the pace going they lead you into “Weakness”, which has a bit of “Bull In A China Shop” quality to it. The track is a great liberation of emotion, releasing frustration, anger, and everything in between while delivering a statement of strength. Next you are given perhaps the biggest blast in the face with “Bleed”. The track is heavy and intense musically. Carpenter’s voice moves through the verse like a collected man only to become a mad man during the chorus. After keeping the tracks heavy for a while Eye Empire give the fans a rest with “The Man I Am”. A track like this is a signature sound Eye Empire has crafted over the years which will make many of their fans proud, and bound to bring in some new fans as well.
Eye Empire have shown you their ability to be emotional and aggressive, but on “Live Loud” you are shown a completely different side of the band. Laced with string instruments and Carpenter crooning at a high level, you are left with a feeling of tranquility. Lyrically positive and musically strong, the guitar solo by Kochmit takes things home, hitting all the right notes. Just when you think the record is complete there is a hidden gem called “I Don’t Want To Leave”. Carpenter shows hints of Jon Bon Jovi here with a stripped down approach of just vocals and piano. The compression on Carpenter’s voice gives us a very up close and personal look into the soul of the artist. The track is charming, emotional, and plain beautiful.
Evolve is an enjoyable listen start to finish. If you were a fan of Impact (2010) you will enjoy this record equally as much. Eye Empire has stayed true to themselves while spreading their wings and progressing in their song writing. Cryptic Rock give this album 5 out of 5 stars.
Written by That Rocker Chik