Writing a review on a Star Wars inspired heavy metal group is somewhat pointless, because by this point in the review, any sane person would already be listening to the sci-fi rock group on youtube. It isn’t a question of if they are good, the question is how good are they. Very, to keep it short.
Galactic Empire is a quintet, made up of nerdy musicians from the greatest hive of scum and villainy; Earth. Each band member has a Star Wars inspired name and dresses like said character, so you have Boba Sett on the drums, Bass Commander on bass, and a whopping three guitarists. Shadow Ranger and Red Guard play accompanying guitar meanwhile the one and only Dark Vader plays lead, because who else would you expect to lead such a group?
The band play heavy metal covers of the John Williams orchestral original soundtrack, which is a fairly daunting task when you think of the impressive legacy of Williams and his Star Wars theme in particular. The transition is pretty fantastic however and the group work so well together. The way that the tracks sound is almost as if the music was written to be a harmonious guitar-fest.
A personal favourite from the self-titled album could be “Duel of the Fates”, which is probably the only good thing to come out of The Phantom Menace. The way Galactic Empire play is so technically brilliant; a beat is never missed, a note is never not right, and in “Duel of the Fates”, it becomes a duel of guitar riffs, with alternating riffs challenging each other for dominance. A better fight scene than any in the entirety of the prequel trilogy, all you have to do is listen to it and you are transported in to an epic battle.
The track-listing mainly draws from the original trilogy, which is in no way a bad thing, and for the most part, the group stays very loyal to the original recording. However, just like any good group of musicians, Galactic Empire manage to put their own spin on some of the songs. Probably the best example of this would be “Ben’s Death: Tie Fighter Attack”, which brings out a sense of chaos and madness with the track being jam-packed with overlaying guitars, a chunky sounding bass, and some pretty ferocious drums. This is perfect because it captures the essence of the scene it’s taken from, where Obi-Wan is struck down by Vader and Luke and the gang are being chased by the empire. This rendition of the song gives a real feeling of rushing and panic, which is exactly what the characters would be feeling. Would this song be better in place of the original in A New Hope? It would be impossible to say, but maybe.
Galactic Empire take one of cinema’s best loved film series, and pits it up against one of music’s most notorious genres; and it works fantastically. It needs to be heard to be believed, so wrap your ears around some of the most heavy sci-fi metal you will have ever heard (perhaps the only sci-fi metal too). Search your feelings, you know it to be true!
Good news for all you readers, Galactic Empire is touring the UK soon and The Moshville Times is giving away tickets to see them live in either Glasgow or Edinburgh. Follow this link to get involved in the competition while you still can, as winners will be picked THIS SUNDAY (Jan 29th)!