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EMPYRIA

Progressive Metal • Canada


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Empyria biography
EMPYRIA is a progressive metal act formed in Vancouver B.C., Canada in 1991 by guitarist Mike Kischnick, bassist/ Vocalist Paul Falcon and drummer Simon Adam. The band released a couple of demos and played local gigs before signing to T&T ( a subsidiary of NOISE Records). EMPYRIA released their debut full-length studio album "Behind Closed Doors" in 1996. Bassist/ Vocalist Paul Falcon left EMPYRIA in 1997 and was replaced by vocalist Phil Leite and bassist Ken Firomski. The band independently released their second full-length studio album "Changing Currents" in 1997.

EMPYRIA signed a deal with the Lance King (AVIAN/ BALANCE OF POWER etc...) led record company Nightmare Records for the release of their third full-length studio album "The Legacy" which was released in 2000. The band´s fourth full-length studio album "Sense of Mind" was released in 2002 by Scrape Records.

After an almost seven year long break, which was mostly due to guitarist Mike Kischnick´s involvement in the heavy metal/ power metal act THOR, EMPYRIA returned in June 2009 with their fifth full-length studio album "The Long Road Home". bassist Ken Firomski and drummer Simon Adam had left the band for the recording of "The Long Road Home". They were replaced by a returning Paul Falcon on bass and new drummer Scott Gamble.

EMPYRIA should appeal to fans of eighties releases by acts such as QUEENSRYCHE, FATES WARNING, HEIR APPARENT and CRIMSON GLORY.

EMPYRIA´s inclusion in the Prog Archives database was approved by the Progressive Metal Team.

( Biography written by UMUR)

Empyria official website

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Buy EMPYRIA Music


The Long Road HomeThe Long Road Home
Nightmare Records 2009
Audio CD$5.66
$5.67 (used)
Changing CurrentsChanging Currents
Import
Empyria Productions
Audio CD$29.00 (used)
Sense of MindSense of Mind
Import
Scrape Records
Audio CD$6.01 (used)
The LegacyThe Legacy
Nightmare Records 2001
Audio CD$1.83
$5.99 (used)
Behind Closed DoorsBehind Closed Doors
Audio CD$49.95
$19.95 (used)
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EMPYRIA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

EMPYRIA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Behind Closed Doors
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Changing Currents
1997
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Legacy
2000
3.00 | 1 ratings
Sense of Mind
2002
2.98 | 5 ratings
The Long Road Home
2009

EMPYRIA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

EMPYRIA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

EMPYRIA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

EMPYRIA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo 1994
1994
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ornamental Ironworks
1994
0.00 | 0 ratings
3 Song Sampler
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Beyond the Doors
2014

EMPYRIA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Long Road Home by EMPYRIA album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.98 | 5 ratings

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The Long Road Home
Empyria Progressive Metal

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Empyria takes us back to the 1980s with this album, which I guess is their fifth album. I won it in one of the PA prize draws and I know very little about this band.

The sound is as I stated very much the 1980s with Judas Priest, Queensryche and in particular Fates Warning as the references. Those and tonnes of other US heavy metal bands from that time. Progressive ? Well, not in my opinion. But the songs are catchy and melodic though. Very melodic in fact.

I normally detest the 1980s heavy metal with a burning passion. Too much hairspray, in my view. But I conceed that there is some good quality on this album. There is no great tracks though. Neither is it any bad tracks. Even the ballads are good here. Good, but not great. Anyway, I have had a cosy time with this album and I am not complaining or slagging it off. It this is your cup of tea; get this album. Others may go somewhere else.

3 stars

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 The Long Road Home by EMPYRIA album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.98 | 5 ratings

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The Long Road Home
Empyria Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. EMPYRIA are a Prog-Metal band out of British Columbia, Canada and they sound like the Metal bands I grew up listening to in the eighties. I'm sure they listened to the same bands I did like IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST etc. but there is also a FATES WARNING flavour, my favourite Metal band. In the liner notes they say "Some of the material on this record appeared on the "Ornamental Ironworks" demo back in 1993, but was never commercially available. Reunited with original bassist / vocalist Paul Falcon, we re-recorded them to show the band's earlier Prog-Rock & Metal influences.This record also contains some new tracks and some others played live by EMPYRIA but never properly recorded or released". Also "In keeping with our beliefs, all tracks were performed as full takes, each in their entirety by humans not machines".

"Intro" is a countdown by Nassau then a transmission by them before it kicks into "The Endless Circle" quite heavily. Here we go ! This is heavy and catchy with vocals. Nice guitar solo 2 minutes in. "False Witness" opens with synths rolling in as crunchy guitars and drums follow. Nice bass too as the vocals arrive. I like the calm before a minute then it kicks back in hard the rest of the way. "No Other Way" has a relaxed sound as reserved vocals join in. It picks up each time on the chorus. Again some great prominant bass and it turns heavier before 3 minutes. "Lonely People" is catchy and uptempo with vocals.This is one of my favourites. Just an excellent vocal performance here. "Last Rites" is mellow to start with vocals then it turns heavy.This reminds me of FATES WARNING a lot.

"Can't Wait Forever" has this heavy undercurrent then it settles with vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. It kicks back in then settles back as contrasts continue. We get a guitar solo 3 1/2 minutes in. "Of All The Dreams" has some good energy with the focus on the vocals. Some ripping guitar after 2 minutes. Nice. "Without Within" is almost ballad-like to start but it picks up quickly and turns heavier. "Solitude" is a cool track with two acoustic guitars and water sounds. Atmosphere comes in late in this short instrumental. "Returning Home" has some nice deep bass as a poweerful soundscape rolls in. It settles back some as the vocals arrive. How good is this ! It turns instrumental 3 minutes in. This is fantastic ! Vocals are back after 4 1/2 minutes.The music stops and we can hear the waves rolling in at 6 minutes over and over to end it.

I really like the way this band "sounds" and those of you into straight-up Prog Metal should really check them out.

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 The Legacy by EMPYRIA album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.00 | 1 ratings

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The Legacy
Empyria Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars EMPYRIA are a Prog-Metal band from British Columbia, Canada. I must admit that I had never heard of these guys until I received a message from M@X that I had won a free cd from them.They were kind enough to send me their latest cd plus this EP and a cassette of another album. Generous guys. I liked this EP right from the first listen.They reminded me of some of those eighties Metal bands I was so into.The vocals are similar to Bon Scott's singing and the music really rocks with crunchy guitars, prominant bass and impressive drum work. Lots of mood shifts in these songs as well, they certainly belong on this site.This was recorded in July / August of 1999 and released the following year on Nightmare Records.

The album's focus is the almost 25 minute "Darkness Suite" i'll call it. All these songs blend into one another and it's quite the ride.They then cover "Synchronicity II" by THE POLICE and end the EP with their own acoustic track. I'll concentrate on the suite but I do love that POLICE track but must admit the original is far better.

"Solace (Intro)" opens with nature sounds and acoustic guitar. "The Lighter Side Of Darkness (Part I)" contiues in the mellow vein but it's fuller with bass and drums being added. It turns heavy before a minute though and the vocals join in. Great sound ! The mood changes from calm to intense throughout. Nice bass before 3 1/2 minutes and I like the guitar solo late. "The Grand Illusion (Another Side Of Darkness-Part II)" has this heavy guitar and rhythm as vocals join in. It settles back before 2 minutes but not for long. It's almost doom-like 5 minutes in. "Silent Rage (The Darkness Still Remains-Part III)" is laid back with an underlying power. It's picking up before 1 1/2 minutes then a calm arrives a minute later as vocals stop. He's back before 3 1/2 minutes then here we go ! The power is unleashed. "The Legacy (Of Final Darkness-Part IV)" has a great sounding guitar led start then it calms down as vocals arrive. It's picking back up. Some good crunchy guitar here. A tranquil calm settles in before 2 1/2 minutes but not for long. Nature sounds end the song and suite as it ends just as it began. What a ride !

A solid 4 stars.This is my kind of music.

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 The Long Road Home by EMPYRIA album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.98 | 5 ratings

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The Long Road Home
Empyria Progressive Metal

Review by usa prog music

3 stars Quite honestly, I had never heard of Empyria before this album arrived, so I thought it best to conduct a little research regarding the band and found the results to be surprising. Empyria is a Canadian export that has been running strong for nearly 20 years. The band had been silent for the last seven years, however, while guitarist Mike Kischnick finished up commitments with Thor - a separate project. The latest album, The Long Road Home, is a collection of unreleased songs that were taken from a combination of previously played live songs and earlier demos. I sat down with the album, took one look at the terrible cover art, heard the generic intro and all but made up my mind about the band: there was a reason I had never heard of them before. It only took a couple of minutes before the waves of 80s hard rock (think Dio or Ozzy Osbourne) crashed into early prog (think Awaken the Guardian-era Fates Warning and Queensr˙che) and had me backpedaling on my initial conclusion. I found the material here to go down quite smooth and the progressive leanings to be much subtler than I had expected. There are not a lot of prolonged solo sections, abstract song structures or overly dexterous performances. The members are certainly proficient at their respective instruments, particularly so with regards to drummer Scott Gamble, who is new and a good find for the band, but theirs is a more restrained or tasteful proficiency which allows the progressive flavors to come through in more of the nuances of the material rather than outright musicianship. Songs like "The Endless Circle", "False Witness", "Lonely People", "Can't Wait Forever" and "Returning Home" have a slightly greater focus on technicality with quite a few short, tight instrumental runs and solo-filled midsections, but the majority of the material here, including those songs, is incredibly accessible. A lot of these songs display the versatility of Empyria, as they effectively mix clean guitar parts with otherwise distorted, speedy riffage. This type of writing allows guitarist Mike Kisnchnick, who also provides some mild keyboard melodies and atmospherics, to change dynamics and textures throughout the album. Kischnick does this various ways, as "Last Rites" lightly brushes its riffs with sparkling clean strums while "False Witness" has a clean guitar bridge and "Of All the Dreams" has the clean guitar play the rhythm parts at the start of the verses. This causes the original riff to absolutely slam back into the song when it is re- introduced. The Geoff Tate meets Ozzy Osbourne vocal approach of Pete Liete also works well with these songs whether it be the ballad-y "Last Rites" or the more charged effort of "False Witness". I also like the fact the band does not congest the mix with a lot of rhythm guitar parts since this allows bassist Paul Falcon, who was the original bassist and vocalist, to fill in the space with a lot of great bouncing, melodic bass lines. I like what I heard enough on this album to seek out some additional information on their previous album. I am not sure how often I will reach for this album since the style is rather dated, but I know that I enjoyed what the band had to offer on this release. Those of you who really enjoy the Fates Warning/Crimson Glory/Queensr˙che style of prog will find plenty to love here, but those who enjoy and seek out only the more modern progressive approach would probably be well served to look somewhere else.

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 The Long Road Home by EMPYRIA album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.98 | 5 ratings

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The Long Road Home
Empyria Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "The Long Road Home" is the 5th full-length studio album by Canadian progressive/ power metal act Empyria. The album was released by Nightmare Records in June 2009. According to the liner notes in the booklet the songs are a mix of demo material, older unreleased material and new material. All songs are specifically recorded for this album though. One other thing I noticed reading the booklet is that Empyria emphasize that all audio tracks on the album are one takes, which in my understanding means, that there are no overdubs on the basic guitar, bass and drums tracks (feel free to correct me if I´m wrong). As they say in the booklet: "In keeping with our beliefs all tracks were performed live as full takes. Each in their entirety. By Humans. Not machines". A philosophy that demands respect in my book. There´s been a couple of lineup changes since their last album as former bassist/ lead vocalist Paul Falcon has returned to the fold to play bass on the album and Scott Gamble is the new drummer in the band.

The last album release by Empyria was "Sense of Mind" from 2002. So it´s been seven years between albums for Empyria but listening to "The Long Road Home" those years have more or less gone by unnoticed if you judge by the music style on the album. In the case of Empyria that´s definitely not a bad thing though as their progressive US power metal is a strong and powerful brew. "The Long Road Home" features several strong tracks and just to mention a few I think the strong album opener "The Endless Circle" (probably my favorite track by the band so far), "False Witness", the closing track "Returning Home" and another favorite of mine "Without Within" are some of the highlights on "The Long Road Home". All tracks on "The Long Road Home" have a consistent high quality level though. The heavy yet melodic guitars, the hard driving rythm section and the powerful and skilled lead vocalist Philip Leite are all defining for the heavy progressive power metal of Empyria.

The sound quality is excellent. A really powerful sound that suits the music well.

In my review of "Sense of Mind" I made comparisons to acts such as Fates Warning, Queensr˙che and Crimson Glory but acts such as Metal Church and Savatage are also valid references IMO. "The Long Road Home" is another great album by Empyria and fans of US influenced power metal with progressive elements are adviced to check out this album. A 3.5 star rating is deserved.

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 Sense of Mind by EMPYRIA album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Sense of Mind
Empyria Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
3 stars "Sense of Mind" is the 4th full-length studio album by Canadian progressive/ power metal act Empyria. I haven´t listened to any of the three albums that came before "Sense of Mind" so this is my first encounter with the band.

The music on the album is in US power metal style with some progressive elements. The US part is important to mention here as the music on "Sense of Mind" has little to do with the whimsical keyboard dominated European power metal style. Comparisons to acts such as Metal Church, Fates Warning, Queensr˙che, Crimson Glory and Heir Apparent are apparent. The music on this album is what my mamma used to call "real" metal. Heavy guitar riffing, a powerful lead vocalist and a great pounding rythm section. There are sporadic use of keyboards and piano on the album, but the dominant instruments are guitar, bass and drums. Lead singer Philip Leite is a real treat IMO. in addition to being a really skilled vocalist he also has a great voice for this kind of music. If I have to make comparisons to one of the better known vocalists in the genre it would be Ray Alder (Fates Warning, Engine, Redemption). The rythm section is as mentioned really strong but in the instrumental department I must admit that I mostly focus on the excellent guitar work by guitarist Mike Kischnick (Thor, Severed Serenity). Heavy, powerful riffs and great melodic solos are played with ease. Most songs on the album flat out rock and there are no better examples of that than "Ties That Blind" and "Heaven´s Cry". The latter mentioned even has an almost thrashy opening riff not far removed from the famous "Symphony of Destruction" main riff by Megadeth. The slightly progressive edge that sometimes occur in the music can be heard on songs like "In God´s Hands", "Prejudice Reigns" and "Forever".

The sound production is good. The guitar is loud and raw, The vocals are high but balanced in the mix and the rythm section sounds powerful too. I appreciate that the production is not too polished, which sometimes kills the power in music like this.

I´ve really enjoyed my first encounter with Empyria and "Sense of Mind" is highly recommendable to fans of old school eighties US power metal/ progressive metal. A 3.5 star rating is warranted.

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Thanks to UMUR for the artist addition.

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