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End of an Empire
Release Date: November 6, 2015
End of an Empire is the follow up to 2012’s ultramega Wish Upon a Blackstar. While Wish… was an overtly dancey, you might even say Pop-edged, gem, End of an Empire keeps the dance and dubstep edges while incorporating some heavier guitars and vocals. This will make longtime fans of Klayton almost as happy as the new Circle of Dust music on the horizon for 2016! End of an Empire also continues Klayton’s borderline (and very cool) obsession with sci-fi themes.
After some introductory narration to set the stage, Klayton rips right into the electronic bounce of “New Elysium” and the heavy and melodic title track. The latter is certainly a highlight among highlights on the album as he navigates through a maze of screaming vocals, heavy guitars, and explosive, melodic choruses. “Lost in Time” is similar during the heavy parts but this time, around the big choruses are replaced with a mid-tempo electro-rock flare that keep it firmly grounded, which allows the heavy parts to seem much heavier than they probably are realistically.
One of the things I love most about Klayton’s work as Celldweller is the dubstep and dance aspects that often dominate the songs. Very few artists do this well but Celldweller excels at it. “Jericho” is a great example of this, with deep, futuristic vocals, marching electronic rhythms, and perfect melodies that drive the song along. The beautiful fluidity of “Just Like You” is another highlight of this aspect for me. Although not really danceable, it’s got a really dynamic approach that forces your body to feel the rhythms he’s created.
Overall, this is an excellent album that you should own if you don’t already. I’m gonna go out on a limb and predict that this is a bridge between the Celldweller of Wish Upon a Blackstar and the upcoming Circle of Dust material, but time will tell. Celldweller always delivers and End of an Empire is certainly no exception. This is probably my favorite work since Disengage.
Reviewed by mark1340