Sound — 8
Burning Empires is a new hardcore/punk group from Milwaukee featuring three musicians from Misery Signals with Ryan on vocals, Andy the drummer from Fall Out Boy, and a newcomer named Matt Mixon. Being a big Misery Signals fan, I had to give them a listen. The songs on this feature a very broad range of melody, which is something that really draws me in. They stay true to the more hardcore punk style by keeping things very fast paced for the most part. The riffs are extremely catchy and well composed. Even though I was never a fan of Fall Out Boy, I always kept in mind that Andy was a solid drummer, only now to be amazed by his skill in this band. Ryan's vocals are very throaty and raw, which adds even more to the hardcore punk style. All and all, this LP was quite the surprise.
Lyrics — 9
From the name, "Burning Empire", I had a notion that the band's message was going to be a bit more political. In the song "Disavowal", towards the middle of the song, he says, "...kept in a cage. And hoping, pacing, waiting, we're running out of excuses and we know it's true." The lyrics seem very straight to the point with its message, which actually suits the music very well. They're very angry, volatile, and all the more speculating lyrics that seem to probe questions about the government and who's running it. Ryan's vocals, as said before, are very raw and in the throat; therefore they most certainly empower the lyrics and match up with the style of music more than say a more diaphragm approach like Karl Schubacher from Misery Signals. In that same song, he sings "...and solidarity to those who give resistance, and we are right behind you because we are Legion". Ryan exhibits very empowering and solid writing, as well as very good execution. And the crowd vocals in "Heart First Into Hell" are freakin' great and are very full sounding.
Overall Impression — 9
The songs definitely have a Misery Signals vibe to them with their melody and more technical riffs, but they also have the grooves of Twelve Tribes which is pretty sick in my opinion. I love the aggression and the speed in these songs. I watched the footage of their first show and I must say that the stage presence was great. They have some other songs on the video which are not included on the LP that exhibit some really nice two-steps and mosh riffs; I definitely can't wait to hear those recorded. Other than that, this LP kicks ass, and I'm looking forward to hearing more from them. And no one can steal it from me because I got it on ITunes :). Suckaaaaaazzzz Here's the video I was talking about. Watch and see what you think!