Eastern Front album review – Empire

British black metallers Eastern Front still in the rebuilding stage with new album

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Suffolk’s Eastern Front haven’t had the easiest of years, with their previous record label, Candlelight being assimilated by the larger entity of Spinefarm Records and their previous vocalist Nagant being given his marching orders.

They’ve since drafted in Daemona’s frontwoman, here billed as Marder, as the band’s latest and fourth voalist. EmpirE is a concept album based on the bloodshed involved in creating empires, and in its layers are numerous harsh diatribes, stunning and often sorrowful guitars and a guest spot on highlight Crimson Mourn from Dani Filth.

EmpirE begins on a spoken word piece to no great effect, before heading full-throttle into Veiled By Blood and the band’s true sound. Harsh screams and fast, pummelling drums drive the song but it’s the flashes of inspiration filtering into the guitars that give EF their biggest selling point. The melodies are gorgeous at times and their ascending beauty does much to detract from the band’s biggest problem – they can feel soulless. Black metal can be cold, but it shouldn’t feel without character. Eastern Front could be a great band, but they need to move on from what they think people want to hear.