We Could Build An Empire – In This Place album review

Gloom and grunge from Swedes expanding their kingdom.

we could build an empire

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This second album from Swedish alternative/prog trio We Could Build An Empire has been a long time coming. They released their debut in 2011 although their sound has stayed consistent over the years, still touching upon influences that include King’s X, QOTSA, At The Drive In and a dash of the gloomy musings of Alice In Chains. Drummer Michael Ohlsson likes to be busy, battering his way through On The Run and the manic race to the finish of Red III. The Worry Of The Heart packs a heavy wallop with Marcus Pehrsson’s bassline pulsing beneath Pontus Wallin’s grungy riff. The guitarist brings a spacey, psychedelic feel to On The Run while the trio prove their prog credentials exploring odd time signatures in the album’s title track. The production and mixing, shared between Zed Smon and Jens Bogren, aren’t particularly warm and the guitar tone is often lean and slightly abrasive, not unlike Josh Homme’s sound. The Rise And The Fall offers a proggier take on the 90s Seattle vibe with its sombre mood and stumbling, rolling groove. With In This Place, the Swedish power trio have crafted an album of dark textures, post-hardcore angst and turbulent energy.

David West

After starting his writing career covering the unforgiving world of MMA, David moved into music journalism at Rhythm magazine, interviewing legends of the drum kit including Ginger Baker and Neil Peart. A regular contributor to Prog, he’s written for Metal Hammer, The Blues, Country Music Magazine and more. The author of Chasing Dragons: An Introduction To The Martial Arts Film, David shares his thoughts on kung fu movies in essays and videos for 88 Films, Arrow Films, and Eureka Entertainment. He firmly believes Steely Dan’s Reelin’ In The Years is the tuniest tune ever tuned.