What a bloody great cover.
Empires of Eden is basically one man, an Australian shredding maestro called Stu Marshall. He pretty much orchestrated and conceived the entire 'Channelling The Infinite' project. Marshall must have a hell of a contact list because here he leads an all-star cast of players and writers who have proven to be some of the most exciting performers in modern Metal.
Contributors include Udo Dirkschneider (Accept, U.D.O.), Rob Rock (Impellitteri, Driver), Steve Grimmett (Grim Reaper, Lionsheart), Mike Dimeo (Masterplan/Riot), Sean Peck (Cage), Carlos Zema (Outworld, Vougan), Ronny Munroe (TSO, Metal Church), Alessandro Del Vecchio (Edge Of Forever), Danny Cecati (Eyefear, Pegazus), Louie Gorgievski (Crimsonfire) and Vo Simpson (Darker Half). That's a pretty heady gathering of Metal's alumni.
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There are at least eleven vocalists and apparently each track has been "carefully crafted specifically to suit the singer involved" but unfortunately he must have been thinking of someone other than Sean Peck when he wrote the title track because it doesn't sound right at all, with Peck really straining up in the top octaves despite his apparent freedom to work with the song.
In fact to be truthful, with its comical spoken word intro the track is bloody awful; the album's low point.
Elsewhere things don't seem nowhere near as bad with the best track being the bonus 'Hammer Down All Star Mix' with several of the above shouters getting involved. It must be said that throughout the album all the vocalists are in no mood to take prisoners and if they do happen to find themselves in a quiet moment of reflection, they scramble like hell to get back into belter mode as fast as possible.
'Channelling The Infinite' is Australian speed Metal done, unusually, in the European style. It's relentless and crushing. Think Priest, Accept and Helloween; real balls to the wall, full tilt high velocity stuff.
Some have suggested it is melodic but it's far too Metal to be melodic but could have done with just a smidge to give it a bit of light and shade.
Though not the best speed Metal album that is likely to drop in your lap, for the Metal fan who likes to be pummelled until nearly dead, 'Channelling The Infinite' will prove just the thing.
Without the killer songs though, for the rest of us it will just prove another exercise in exceptional musicianship executing good but unexceptional Metal ditties.
Great cover though.