Empire - Hypnotica
Lion Music
Melodic Rock
15 songs (57'34)
Release year: 2003
Lion Music
Reviewed by Ben
Archive review

Call this a little late but considering Lance himself considers this album one of his favorite projects I think it’s only fair that it should be reviewed. Hypnotica is pure 80’s styled hard rock and this is right up my alley. Rolf Munkes is the main man here on the guitar and he lays down some highly infectious chops and hooks galore. Lance delivers vocals on the majority of the tracks but I can’t neglect Mark Boals performance on Into the Light and I Will Always Be There. He gives the best performance on Into the Light which is a rollicking good tune even if for some reason I think of Top Gun every time I hear it. Manic guitar licks and an uplifting energy this has a tremendous chorus, I blast it at full volume speeding down the highway every time this cd finds it’s way into my truck’s stereo. Opener Fool in Love is just as terrific though and it solidifies the fact that Lance King is one of the genre’s most versatile singers. Pure 80’s hair metal that drips of lighthearted fun, the soaring high vocals make this a perfect summer listening song. These two cuts are the best on the whole cd and while the rest of the album doesn’t quite match up to these examples of hard rock majesty it still contains quite a few gems.

You’re All That I’m Looking For gives off a Skid Row vibe and hey, I’m not complaining. Lance’s voice literally soars into the stratosphere here in the bridge, I don’t think I’ve ever heard him hit these notes before. Spread My Wings slows the pace down as it’s time for an arena styled Power Ballad when this track rolls around. A decent song although a bit too long this isn’t the best example of what Empire has to offer. Bad Bad Boy is three and a half minutes of simplistic rock n roll fun that is highly enjoyable despite the silly title. Since I Will Always Be There is Mark’s second and last appearance on the album his performance goes out on an extremely high note. His lower and raspier voice gives this particular track a more street feel, it sounds like it could have been a lost Ratt song.

When you open an album with all guns blazing in the form of the two monsters Fool in Love and Into the Light you risk having a lull in quality and I’m afraid that’s what happens near the album’s end. Songs like Here I Am and Back to Me just don’t live up to the insanely high standards of the aforementioned openers like Bad Bad Boy do. All in all Hypnotica is what it is which is a simple, fun, and highly enjoyable hard rock album. Nothing groundbreaking that has changed the face of music yet it is quite suiting for those times when you want to strap on your black bandanas and rock out in front of the stereo flailing your air guitar.

Killing Songs :
Fool in Love, Into the Light, You're All That I'm Looking For
Ben quoted 75 /100
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There are 1 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:48 pm
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