Somewhere in a distant celestial sphere, relentless guitar riffs, complex rhythms and heartfelt harmonies are stirring; these sounds are probably coming from a song or two off of the latest effort from Armory.
On Empyrean Realms, melodic power metal welcomes progressive elements, reaching the nearly unfathomable in subject matter. The lyrics toss out hints of cosmology and mythology, and the record’s enticing artwork predicts the music’s magnetism. Each song conjures otherworldly images, voyaging through the limitless possibilities of power metal.
With melodious outbursts, stampeding percussion and passionate vocals, “Eternal Mind” foreshadows the foundation of the following songs. An infectious chorus dominates “Dreamstate” amid sharp guitar riffs and keyboard snippets. “Beyond the Horizon” dabbles in different moods by venturing into triumph, donning a veil of uncertainty and returning to a boastful chorus near its closing.
The introduction of “Reflection Divine” ticks with unpredictable rhythms, but the remaining track unfurls an amorphous atmosphere. After “Horologium,” a dazzling instrumental, “Elements of Creation” releases a dichotomy of puncturing drum patter and fluid guitar work. On “Inner Sanctum,” vocal harmonies make fleeting appearances and grooves are detected. “Fate Seeker” sneaks in varietal percussive approaches. “Quest for the Fleece,” a lively ditty about the Greek myth of “Jason and the Golden Fleece,” begins and ends with breathtaking instrumental compositions.
What Armory have created is a stunning interpretation of the power metal formula on Empyrean Realms. To make the work more impressive, Armory are responsible for the record’s superb quality as the sole engineers and producers.
Impeccable tunes are found along the way; the vigorous opener, “Eternal Mind,” explodes with intensity. An irresistible bass pads the victorious feel of “Beyond the Horizon,” and Armory even challenges ears with the intricacies of progressive elements on “Reflection Drive.” Songs are effective without being showy, and the underlying idea is that Empyrean Realms never surrenders to the doldrums. Empyrean Realms dares to reach a celestial experience that should not be missed.