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States And Empires – Freedom | Album Review

Welsh trio States And Empires have just released their debut album. See why we think you should listen to it here!

Credit: Album Artwork

States And Empires are a Welsh band, risen from the ashes of Attack! Attack!. Freedom, their debut album, really showcases what this band are all about; keeping rock music alive. The opening track ‘Revolution‘ kicks in hard and fast with a  few bars of drumming before the guitar riff joins building up into a relentless, fast track, accompanied by Neil Starr’s powerful vocal. As with most good rock bands, his voice just contains a natural rough quality, making fronting a rock band his true calling. The lone grainy vocal of ‘Lead us to the revolution‘ at the end of the track just goes to prove the talent that Neil has.

It’s a relief to hear such guitar led rock coming from a new band when its such a huge sound. Every instrument exudes power and passion, as true guitar driven music should. The second track ‘Suicide‘ showcases a slightly distorted guitar solo as things slow into a quieter middle bridge, before picking up into one last chorus as expected. This is all played out by a brief instrumental with a brilliantly abrupt ending.

There is a confidence in States And Empires that Attack! Attack! never had; it might be something that comes hand in hand with this being the second band of both Neil Starr and bassist Will Davies, or just the fact that they’ve been in the industry for around 10 years now. Even when things slow down a little in ‘This Isn’t Love‘ and the first minute of ‘Is This The End?‘, there is a decisiveness that seemed to be lacking from their previous band.

As well as these slow tracks, they’ve thrown in a track played on the ukelele, titled ‘Murder On Neville Street‘. The best way to describe this track, is that it is comparable to Paramore‘s ‘Interlude‘ tracks on their self-titled album.

When we interviewed them earlier this year they cited 90s grunge as their main influence, and that definitely shines through in this album. The track after ‘Murder On Neville Street‘ takes on a very rough, distorted edge bringing through the dirty sound associated with grunge to truly contrast the soft, folk like tones of the previous track. Tracks such as this and ‘Paralysed‘, which starts with a dark bass line, make it easy to visualise this band on a tour with Seether.

There is enough variety in the tracks to keep the listener interested but it still sounds similar enough to create a truly complete and flowing album. A successful debut album from the Welsh trio.

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