Tag Archives: When Empires Fall

2014 Albums of the Year – Part Two

Part two of the end-of-year album rundown, here’s the other half of the alphabetically-sorted albums ranked between 11 and 25, going from H to Z.

Halo BlindOccupying Forces

Halo Blind Occupying Forces smHalo Blind is the project that used to be called Parade, led by York-based singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Chris Johnson, currently part of Mostly Autumn. The long-awaited follow-up to 2009′s The Fabric is a little less eclectically-varied than it’s predecessor, but hangs together far more strongly as a coherent album. The blend of indie-rock guitars and progressive rock textures combined with strong songwriting ought to have a wide crossover appeal.

IQThe Road of Bones

IQ: The Road of BonesThe neo-prog veterans have never been prolific, but never disappoint. This double album sees them not afraid to experiment, with an abrasive industrial-metal edge alongside the more traditional neo-prog sounds. There is still plenty of what ought to be expected from any IQ album; lengthy kaleidoscopic songs, dark and melodramatic vocals and climactic guitar and keyboard solos.

Morpheus RisingEximus Humanus

Eximus HumanusThe York twin-guitar rockers raise their game significantly with their second album. It’s an old-school hard rock album recalling the early days of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, with a focus on songwriting and melody. Si Wright comes into his own as a lead singer with material written to take full advantage of his vocal range.

Robert PlantLullaby … and the Ceaseless Roar

Robert Plant Lullaby and the Ceaseless RoarThe veteran former Led Zeppelin frontman returns with his strongest record for many years. It’s a mix of English rock and folk with African and Middle Eastern sounds, and even the occasional blast of hard rock guitar, but there’s a fire to it that’s been missing from his last few records. It’s still a long way from the swaggering blues-rock of his early career, but like much of his recent output it’s music that suits an artist in his 60s rather than his 20s.

Polar BearIn Each and Every One

Polar Bear In Each and Every OneIt’s jazz, Jim, but not as we know it. Twin saxophones meet electronic soundscapes, with shades of Miles Davis meets Pink Floyd. One moment it’s melodic and atmospheric, the next it’s squawking cacophony. It can be a challenging listen at times; this is a record than imports elements of rock into jazz, but takes things in an altogether different direction from jazz-fusion.

Matt StevensLucid

Matt Stevens - LucidHaving taken his acoustic looping guitar thing as far as could go, Matt has made something far more eclectic, combining his loves of post-punk, progressive rock and extreme metal. While there are some delicate acoustic numbers, much of the album is electric, with a full band and and interesting array of guest performers. Proof that you can make an all-instrumental guitar album without it becoming a vehicle for endless soloing.

When Empires Fall

When Empires FallThe new project from former Breathing Space and Stolen Earth bassist Paul Teasdale is a very interesting blend of progressive rock atmospherics and Britpop-style songwriting. There are strong guest vocal performances by Aleksandra Koziol and Joanne Wallis, but Paul handles the majority of the lead vocals himself, and the soaring melodies prove him to be a fine vocalist as well as a songwriter.

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When Empires Fall

When Empires FallWhen Empires Fall is the latest addition to the incestuous York-based progressive rock scene. It’s the new project from former Stolen Earth and Breathing Space bassist Paul Teasdale. A sample track, “Call To The Night Watch” with vocalist Aleksandra Koziol appeared something like a year ago, but since then we’ve had a long wait for the album.

When Empires Fall consists of guitarists Stew King and Dave Hunt, and Paul Teasdale on everything else. Paul handles the majority of the lead vocals himself, with Aleksandra Koziol and Joanne Wallis appearing as guest vocalists, each singing lead vocals on one song. There is also an appearance from Paul Teasdale’s one time Breathing Space bandmate, guitarist Mark Rowen.

The two opening tracks set the tone. “Intro” with it’s birdsong, doomladen keys and Floydian guitar flourishes leads into the bass groove-driven rocker “Hurt”. The album is an interesting and very varied mix of indie-rock and progressive rock, uptempo rockers with trebly guitars sit alongside atmospheric keyboard-led ballads. There are certainly a few songs that would not have sounded out of place on a Stolen Earth album had the original lineup of that band stayed together. But other material, especially on the first half of the album have a strong Britpop flavour. A strong sense of melody that owes a debt to The Beatles is the glue holding it all together, and the album as a whole has something of the feel of mid-period Porcupine Tree.

Highlights include the Hammond-drenched ballad “Barricade”, the angry psychedelic rocker “14 Bullets” and “Under No Illusion” with a superb extended solo from Mark Rowan. “Call To The Night Watch” is the nearest thing on the album to a prog epic, with it’s pastoral opening and a spine-tingling vocal from Aleksandra Koziol. A few of the songs carry a strong political charge,

Never any more than a backing singer in Breathing Space or Stolen Earth, the soaring melodies prove Paul Teasdale more than up to the task of singing lead. His bass playing is as dependably solid as expected, but he also impresses on keys, especially the Hammond organ on “Barricade” and the electric piano on “Sinking Deeper”.

Much like another recent record from the York scene, Halo Blind’s “Occupying Forces” this is a record that has feet in more than camp. It has the depth, atmospherics and musicianship to appeal to progressive rock fans, but the straightforward and direct songwriting should also make this record accessible to more mainstream indie-rock audiences.

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When Empires Fall pre-order

When Empires FallThe debut album from When Empires Fall, the new project from former Stolen Earth and Breathing Space bassust and songwriter Paul Teasdale, is now available for pre-order.

In their own words:

When Empires Fall’ formed in the Winter of 2013. Founded by bass player Paul Teasdale (Stolen Earth, Breathing Space, Sanchez), the debut album brings together musicians from across the UK and further afield to bring you an eclectic, genre-defying collection of songs from a band who refuse to be categorised.

The album contains multi-layered audiofields reminiscent of the greatest eras of classic rock, with obvious nods in the direction of Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, The Black Keys, Editors, Mostly Autumn, Porcupine Tree and The XX.

Described by some as nu-progressive, the sounds stay close to the band’s symphonic and sometimes hard-edged rock heritage, whilst embracing modern styles and sounds. It takes the classic sounds of the rasping Hammond and powerful overdriven guitar-stacks, and adds huge strings and harmonies to create a soundscape you can get lost in.

With an eclectic mix of classic rock and far more contemporary influences this is sounding like a very interesting project whose debut album ought to be well worth the wait.

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When Empires Fall announce new album

News from When Empires Fall, the band put together by former Stolen Earth and Breating Space bassist Paul Teasdale, from their Facebook page.

When Empires Fall are proud to announce that the debut album is now on it’s way to mastering, and will be with you all very shortly. The final play list is as follows:

New World
Almost
On My Skin
Seisemic Vibes
Journey To The Sun
Call To the Night’s Watch (ft Aleksandra Koziol)
Under No Illusion (ft Mark Rowen)
We Are The Future
Rest
Barricade
Moonbeams (ft Joanne Wallis)

A nice playing time of 49 minutes, and a tear for some excellent tracks which unfortunately did not fit the ‘flow’ of the album (coming soon to a soundcloud channel near you!)

Stay tuned!

Paul wrote the bulk of the music for Stolen Earth’s excellent “A Far Cry From Home”, so this album is something to look forward to.

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Free Single from When Empires Fall.

Announcement from When Empires Fall, the new band from York featuring former Breathing Space and Stolen Earth bassist Paul Teasdale.

Hi all, hope you are loving the weather and had a good holiday weekend!

We have great news from the ‘When Empires Fall’ camp – our first “single”, Call To The Night’s Watch, is to be released on Thursday evening!

To receive your FREE copy of the track, simply send a blank email to when.empiresfall@yahoo.co.uk – You will be then receive your own copy of the single (in high quality MP3 format) and a free HD backdrop wallpaper, on Thursday evening

A free single for the price of getting on their mailing list? Sounds good to me.

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When Empires Fall

When Empires Fall is the new project from Paul Teasdale, formerly of Breathing Space and Stolen Earth. They describe themselves as “nu-progressive” and something that ought to appeal to lovers of classic rock.

No word (yet) of the full lineup of the band, but their facebook page (they don’t have a website yet) states that they’re due to release the self-titled debut album in the Spring 2013, with their first download single in February.

Give the promo (above) a listen, and see what you think. It’s an instrumental version of the track “Trial of Theseus” which will be on the album.

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