Oxford Hard Rock band Broken Empire have just released their fourth EP. Whilst not being able to play live through most of 2020, the band used the spare time to write and record the new EP Noumenal World.
The EP starts with Light Of Day, starting calmly with just the simple picking of guitar before a nice possibly 80’s inspired distorted lead guitar, which helps to build the song before the main guitar riff kicks in. I really like the way the guitar builds through the verses, you can really feel the movement and the progression of the song, kind of stripped back with just one guitar playing a really nice lick before the other guitar kicks in just holding the chords, it really builds towards the chorus.
You can see that this band takes influences from bands such as Alter Bridge, I think the vocals have the same kind of soulful power as Myles Kennedy with the guitars bringing a similar technicality.
There is a big change in Light Of Day which works so well, which is from being a nice alt rock song, we’re suddenly thrown into a wave of aggression. The band say Light Of Day is a reminder that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel, and this sudden aggression really feels like you’re taking the same steps, being knocked down along the way before making it through the mud to the light. I get a bit of a Bullet for My Valentine vibe from much of the song and this aggression only cements that thought.
The second track on Noumenal World is My Only Enemy. Another strong showing, straight away though you see a much more aggressive side to Broken Empire. I sort of get an Iron Maiden feel from the simplicity but real power of the riffs. The song feels a real powerful track, big loud heavy guitars matched with a fantastic solo midway through which really stands out.
The End Of Us is the final track of the EP. From opening Noumenal World with a real classic alt rock track in Light Of Day, Broken Empire are leaving now stone unturned by the end of the EP. The End Of Us just grabs you by the collar, it’s a lot heavier than the other tracks and yet you still hear the Alter Bridge influences and under fairly simple yet powerful riffs you get a more intricate guitar that just really brings the song to the forefront.
If you’ve not listened to Broken Empire before, then Noumenal World is an incredible introduction to the band. It shows you a band that’s able to twist your emotions from the happy optimistic Light Of Day all the way through to the aggression behind The End Of Us. Although some of the influences are very clear in these tracks, the likes of … as I already mentioned Alter Bridge, Bullet for My Valentine and even Metallica (through moments in the final track), Broken Empire manage to really stand out. They are all brilliant musicians and are able to show that they can write great, emotionally powerful songs.
– Chris Brain