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Review: Knights of the Fallen Empire - The Awakening - Chapter One
Knights of the Fallen Empire
The Awakening - Chapter One

Label: Independent
Year released: 2010
Duration: 50:16
Tracks: 9
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 2/5

Review online: May 24, 2010
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
The Awakening - Chapter One

Rated 3.11/5 (62.22%) (9 Votes)

Now there are few things I love more than fantasy-themed True Metal, so I was pleased to get this promo as well as surprised I had never heard of this band before. Knights of the Fallen Empire are from California, and this disc is touted as "Pure Power Metal and Heavy Metal Mayhem!" I was pretty excited to see what this band could do, always ready to discover a new fave. Sadly, this band does not live up to their own hype.

There are so many things wrong with this that it's hard to pin them all down. First and foremost is the production, which is just poor. I expect and enjoy a certain roughness in self-released works, but this is just weak, muffled, and generally embarrassing. It's a shame, as some of the leadwork in particular is pretty damned good, but the soft, feeble recording just kind of mulches the sound into a big shapeless pile without drama or presence.

The second big problem is 'singer' San Man, who pretty much sucks completely. His voice is weak, lacks conviction or charisma, and is unforgivably off-key a great deal of the time. He'll build up to a big crescendo and you just wince, as he can't pull it off. Dude, learn to sing on a pitch and stay there, seriously. You sound awful.

The sad part is some of these tunes could be pretty badass if they were recorded decently and had a good singer on them. Some of them would still be bad, as this band has a tendency to take a single musical idea and just run it into the ground. These songs all go on too long for no reason, and they tend to drag on at the same kind of boring midpace without even any real tempo changes to break up the monotony.

This band has big ambitions, they reach for the stars and fall flat on their faces. Does no one have standards anymore? Just because you can put together an album on your home computer and release it through iTunes doesn't mean you necessarily should. Some bands are unsigned and it's a mystery – other bands it is painfully obvious why they have no record label interest: they are not ready for the big time, or the small time even.

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