The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world









Eye Empire is a new name to this reviewer, and as a result of listening to ‘Evolve’ I will be stepping into the back catalogue as soon as I can. Starting out with the hard hitting ‘One Day’ Evolve is an album that manages to harness the sneer of punk and apply it to aggressive stuttering guitars and Metal sentiments, strong melodies and a rock solid backline. Where the album makes most impact is the heavier sound of songs like ‘The War isn’t Over’ which in retrospect would seem like a better opener and it’s our favourite and probably the heaviest here.


Its power and sheer relentlessness that Eye Empire do so well, so it’s interesting that the rest of the album is more subtly built on dynamics, that at times almost have you thinking of bands like Shinedown, but heavier. At other times such as on songs like ‘Beyond the Stars’ you almost feel like you are listening to a different band, with its emotive alt-radio-rock vibe and different vocal deliver. It’s bound to confuse some, sounding more like Vegas’ Imagine Dragons than anything metallic…


And that is pretty much the story here: what starts off solidly Metal takes a turn into Indie-land. I find myself loving half the record and completely nonplussed by the rest. ‘Within’ that follows is similarly Indie rock and from thereon in the album gets skipped through rather swiftly. Sure ‘Within’ has a bit of a growl to it but rather than discovering a great fusion of Indie-Rock and Metal this sounds rather clumsily bolted together. But kudos for trying to do something different.


Elsewhere it’s a mixed bag: ‘Weakness’ is heavy, powerful and so much better than the lighter material and certainly one of the songs that attracted us to this album. ‘Bleed’ is even better and along with ‘Head High’ hopefully the way the band is headed. Odd man out ‘The Man I am’ is fine hard rock – different for the band but very competent and enjoyable. Conversely ‘I Can’t Forget’ and ‘Don’t Look Back’ seem a little like ‘filler’ and ‘Live Loud’ is an uncharacteristic, atmospheric stab at radio that sounds like a cross between Matchbox 20 and Shinedown – you can make your own minds up on that one! Closer ‘I Don’t Want to Leave’ is even lighter and as a result makes the whole album even more confusion – as it is nothing at all like the opening salvo. It’s a decent but not outstanding piano and strings led power ballad…


There’s a good album here in parts, but sometimes stabbing at so many different vibes is just confusing. I for example have no idea what a live show would sound like? There’s definitely something here but something tells me a decision needs to be made on direction and more cohesion is called for on this very schizophrenic release.  When you put this on you thought you were getting Metal when it ended you wondered if you’d been listening to light Modern Rock.



Mark Diggins