From Avantasia to Ayreon and beyond, collaborations in metal typically prove to be more than the sum of their parts. This has been never been more true than in the case of Empires of Eden, a melodic metal project originating from Sydney, Australia and spanning the entire
globe in its unprecedented scope. Masterminded by former Dungeon guitarist and ESP clinician Stu Marshall,
Empires of Eden is characterised by a massive power metal sound, 30-piece orchestral score, and guest
performances from some of the most celebrated musicians in the industry. Proving that neither oceans nor
national boundaries are capable of stopping this explosive onslaught, Marshall has enlisted the participation
of artists from all corners of the globe to assemble an army of veteran talent like no other.
The debut release Songs of War and Vengeance raised the bar across the board in several categories of metal:
symphonic, collaborative, progressive, melodic and generally groundbreaking. Empires of Eden's sophomore effort,
Reborn in Fire, brought even higher acclaim, consistently scoring 9/10 or higher in reviews worldwide.
In addition to Marshall's uncompromising compositional skills and technical guitar wizardry, the album was
reinforced by vocalists who have earned their place in history, such as Mike Vescera
(Yngwie Malmsteen / Loudness), Zak Stevens (Savatage / Circle II Circle) and Steve Grimmett
(Grim Reaper / Lionsheart) to name just three. Compared to other collaborative projects of this kind,
Empires of Eden is unique in the extent to which the guest vocalists are involved with the writing of the
songs themselves. According to Marshall, although he tailors the instrumental backing to each singer's
individual style and preferred range, "They are completely at liberty to write any lyrics they want, and
they pen the vocal melodies themselves, too." Having so much artistic freedom not only increases the vocalists'
enthusiasm for the project, but also enables them to deliver their best possible performances, unbounded
by the usual constraints of the 'guest musician' format.
Although the details of which world-wrecking stars will be featured on the third album are shrouded in
contractual secrecy, one name has been revealed so far: Ronny Munroe of Metal Church fame. Considering
that Munroe has enlisted Marshall's cooperation in writing and producing his own forthcoming record,
there really wasn't any way to keep this one quiet.
With lush, picturesque orchestral arrangements, bone-crushing riffs, kaleidoscopic soloing and spectacular
vocal performances, Empires of Eden has developed a trademark sound that redefines the concept of epic.

Snaki *Band Score 7.0/10*
For BeRock Radio MiniZine (2011)

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