Editor's Rating

Have a listen to "Duel of the Fates"

Rating out of 10

Galactic Empire – Galactic Empire

Release Date: 3rd February 2017
Rise Records
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/galactic-empire/id1178245989

Fans of Star Wars and metal can rejoice, there is now a collaboration of your favourite Star Wars themes in a melodic metal format. Five musicians have formed under the punniest of names; Boba Sett on drums, Bass Commander on bass, Dark Vader as lead guitarist with Shadow Ranger and Red Guard as rhythm guitarists.

The way Galactic Empire has turned the likes of the ‘Main Theme’ and ‘The Imperial March’ into metal compositions is quite remarkable; the lead melodies capture your attention like before, pulling on your nostalgic heartstrings, especially during ‘The Force Theme’. But they are backed by crushing riffage and a barrage of intricate drum techniques. These aren’t meant to be pit starters, these tracks take you on a theatrical journey, one of great musicianship.

Certain tracks will be go-to favourites, like the incredibly hilarious take on ‘Cantina Band’. It’s fun and bouncy just like the iconic tune. Occasionally the songs drift off into proggy-tech metal segments with incredibly fiddly guitar licks. ‘Duel of the Fates’ is by far the best song on the album, though, this is the music during the Episode I battle where Darth Maul fights both Obi-wan and Qui-Gon. The original is epic as it is, but the added frantic riffage and mind blowing drum work – we even have the choir-like chants – make for a masterpiece track.

There is a sense of repetitiveness in play – reused iconic melodies in songs. ‘Bens Death/Tie Fighter Attack’, for one, blends the iconic melody in ‘The Force Theme’ making it slightly sombre in places, then creates a frantic take on some of the main theme. Whereas ‘The Asteroid Field’ is a techier version of the famous ‘The Imperial March’ with more intricate musicianship and solo segments.

As an initial listen, this album is pure genius. Musically this album is phenomenal with impeccable instrumentation. But I see the popularity of it being short lived. After all, Austrian Death Machine was a great fad while it lasted, like most gimmicks. How much music can you make off metal Star Wars covers? Galactic Empire has already covered the most iconic of themes on this album, is it worth making a follow-up? How long can a band tour on this material before people get bored of it? I like the idea and the covers, but I’m hoping these are purely for fun and to show off how technical these musicians can be.

For fans of: Star Wars, Dragonforce

For more Galactic Empire