“Trading Souls” was the sophomore release from EMPIRE, the super-group project from guitarist Rolf Munkes.
Alongside the German axe slingers skills we have the formidable vocal talents of Tony Martin (ex Black Sabbath), the keyboard wizardry of Don Airey (Deep Purple / ex Rainbow), whilst bass legend Neil Murray (ex Whitesnake) forms a tight rhythmic unit with drummer Gerald Kloos (Winterlong / Condition Red).
There's even a special guest in drummer Anders Johansson (ex Yngwie Malmsteen) who plays on two tracks.
It's always a supreme pleasure to hear Tony Martin.
His performance on the catchy opener "One In A Million" clearly shows why the man is one of the best singers of his generation. A great melodic hard rock track in the tradition of classic Whitesnake.
The same can be said for "Teenage Deadhead", a mellow tune that hints of perhaps Riverdogs, with sweeping melodies and tuneful acoustic guitar work from Mokes.
Fans of heavier music will love "Big World, Little Man", the catchy riff-o-rama of "You" , or the guitar crunch of "Wherever You Go." Munkes proves to be a capable guitarist, not one to overplay, but injects plenty of meaty riffs and wah-wah tinged solos throughout.
His thick chords and harmonic fills are highlighted on the upbeat closer "Back in the Light", a song whose lyrics tells of the desire for this type of music to once again top the charts.
These 10 tracks perfectly showcase the combined decades of experience and talent from this super group. The end result is a melodic hard rock record brimming with catchy anthems and great ensemble playing.
Originally released in 2003, “Trading Souls” saw Empire return after their 2001 debut 'Hypnotica' with an album full of killer songs in a classic late '80s melodious rockin' setting.
Now after a number of years being out of print and almost a decade on from original release, Lion Music presents a new limited edition digipak version of the CD which sees the album sounding as fresh in 2012 as it did in 2003.
01. One In A Million
02. Pay Back Time
03. Teenage Deadhead*
04. Big World, Little Man
06. Perfect Singularity
07. Wherever You Go*
08. Did You Ever Love Me
09. Comin' Home
10. Back In The Light
Tony Martin - Vocals
Rolf Munkes - Guitars
Neil Murray - Bass
Gerald Kloos - Drums
Don Airey - Keyboards
Anders Johansson - Drums *
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