The Empire’s Rise Continues Strongly On Its Sophomore Album

Courtesy: Rise Records

Today is May the fourth.  For most of us non-Star Wars fans, that doesn’t really mean much.  However, for those devout (some perhaps a bit overly devout), it means a bit more.  It is a day for those fans to publicly celebrate their love of Star Wars.  Of course, that is just because May the Fourth is a sound-a-like for the noted franchise’s famed quote, “May The Force Be With You.”  A clear vision leaves one wondering why Star Wars fans would make such a big deal over it all.  Either way, Rise Records is celebrating, too with the release of Galactic Empire’s sophomore album Episode II.  The 11-song collection of amped up alternate takes of John Williams’ compositions is a good way for those overly devout fans to celebrate their love of Star Wars not only today, but any day.  That is due in part to the album’s song list.  It will be discussed shortly.  The collected arrangements within those songs are just as important to the record’s whole as the songs, and will be discussed a little later. The album’s sequencing puts the final touch on its presentation.  Between that element and the others noted, all three elements collectively make Episode II a record that any Star Wars fan will welcome into his or her music library.

Galactic Empire’s sophomore album Episode II is a compilation that any truly devout Star Wars devotee will welcome in his or her music library regardless of May the Fourth or any other day.  That is due in no small part to the record’s featured songs.  The 11 songs featured in this recording, cover a respectable amount of the Star Wars franchise.  While maybe not as extensive as the representation presented in the band’s self-titled 2017 debut, it still at least makes an effort to not alienate audiences.  The Force Awakens is the most heavily represented of the Star Wars movies in this collection, with a total of four of its songs featured.  The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi each get two nods while Episode I and Episode II each get one nod alongside A New Hope, which also got only one nod.  Considering that so far nine full-length Star Wars movies have been released, and at least a 10th (Solo: A Star Wars Story) is on the way, one cannot deny the importance of the movies covered here.  The only movies not represented in this collection are Episode III, The Last Jedi and Rogue One.  Other than that, this compilation once again reaches back into Star Wars’ original trilogy, its prequel trilogy and even The Force Awakens.  Keeping this in mind, the record’s featured songs prove to be critical to its presentation as they pay homage to such a wide swath of the Star Wars canon.  This is something that any Star Wars devotee will appreciate about this record just as much as Galactic Empire’s 2017 self-titled debut.  It is of course only one of the album’s important elements.  The songs’ collective arrangements are critical in their own right to the album’s presentation.

Much as with Galactic Empire’s debut album, the arrangements featured here stay mostly true to their source material in their own presentations.  However, there are obviously some differences, considering that they are all amped up takes on the original compositions.  Case in point is the band’s take of ‘The Emperor.’  The original, which was included in the soundtrack of Return of the Jedi, is an impressively ominous composition that expertly sets the scene for the really big introduction of Emperor Palpatine to Luke.  Galactic Empire’s take on the song presents its own ominous tone, except in a much different fashion.  The band’s take on the song is a rather, death metal-esque arrangement complete with the blast beats, shredding and ominous overtones.  At the same time that it displays that death metal sound in its arrangement, it also still maintains that power metal sound which made Galactic Empire a fan favorite on the band’s debut album.  ‘Hyperspace’ is another interesting addition to the album.  Originally included in the Empire Strikes Back soundtrack, this take on the song offers an arrangement that is just as energetic as its predecessor.  At the same time, though, there are obviously some elements added to GE’s version not included in the original tune.  Even with that in mind, it is still an interesting addition to the album.  ‘Love Pledge and The Arena’ is yet another example of the importance of the arrangements presented here.  Unlike the original song, this version opens with the arena and never even addresses the Love Theme movement.  Rather, it sticks solely to The Arena.  Considering this, it is somewhat mis-titled.  Even keeping this in mind though, the band does a respectable job of reproducing the energy exhibited in its source material, even if the softer side of the movement is missing.  One could prattle on from here.  Suffice it to say that comparing the arrangements of these songs to their source material overall, the arrangements are still an interesting and important part of the compilation’s whole that don’t disappoint.  Considering this along with the songs themselves, the two elements do plenty to make this compilation another enjoyable collection for any truly devoted Star Wars fan.  Of course, even as important as they are to the album’s whole, they are not its only important elements.  The record’s sequencing puts the final touch to its presentation.

Episode II’s sequencing is critical to its presentation because it does just as much as the songs and their arrangements to keep listeners engaged.  From start to end, the album keeps its energy up thanks to the thought and effort put into its sequencing.  From the high-energy opener that is ‘March of the Resistance’ to the tense energy of ‘Hyperspace’ to the authoritative energy of ‘The Droid Invasion and Appearance of Darth Maul’ and beyond, the album’s energy never lets up too much at any given point.  That’s the case even as Rey is first introduced to audiences in ‘Rey’s Theme’ from The Force Awakens.  There’s a certain tense energy there, too, that is certain to keep listeners engaged thanks to the band’s take on the song.  Of course, the death metal approach of ‘The Emperor’ is more proof of the album’s continued energy.  Even if one isn’t a Star Wars devotee, this one will certainly have one’s head banging like the purest, black and death metal fan.  Even as the album comes to a close with its djent style riffs at the end of ‘The Battle of Yavin,’ it still doesn’t let up, only allowing the album to let off in its final few seconds.  Keeping this in mind, it should be clear just how much thought and effort was put into assembling Episode II’s sequence.  That thought and effort, Star Wars fans will agree, paid off just as much as the effort put into assembling the songs’ arrangements and picking the songs themselves.  Keeping all of this in mind, all three elements in whole prove to make Episode II another fan favorite among any Star Wars fan.

Galactic Empire’s sophomore album, aptly titled Episode II in tribute to the Star Wars franchise’s history, is another entry from the musical cosplay collective that is certain to impress the most devoted Star Wars fan.  That is evidenced in part through the songs selected for the record.  They cover a healthy amount of the Star Wars franchise.  The arrangements largely stay true to their source material while giving each original an interestingly amped up new take.  The sequencing of the whole puts the finishing touch to the album’s presentation.  Each element is important in its own way in showing why this 11-song record will impress Star Wars purists.  All things considered, they make Episode II a record that those purists will happily add to their music libraries.  It is available now in stores and online courtesy of Rise Records.  More information on Episode II is available now along with all of Galactic Empire’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.galacticempireofficial.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/galacticempireofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/galacticempireofficial

 

 

 

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Galactic Empire Debuts Second Single From Forthcoming Album ‘Episode II’

Courtesy: Rise Records

Galactic Empire is giving audiences another preview of its new album.

The band, today, premiered ‘Rey’s Theme.’  The song is the second single from the band’s sophomore album, aptly-titled Episode II, which is due out May 4 via Rise Records.  It follows the recent release of the album’s lead single ‘Scherzo For X-Wing.’

‘Rey’s Theme’ stylistically is very similar to the songs exhibited in Galactic Empire’s self-titled debut and to ‘Scherzo For X-Wing.’  It is a very progressive metal style arrangement that once again bears quite the similarity to works from Powerglove and other similar acts, yet also stays true to its source material.

Pre-orders for Episode II are open now. The album’s full track listing is noted below.  More information on Episode II is available now along with all of Galactic Empire’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.galacticempireofficial.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/galacticempireofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/galacticempireofficial

 

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Galactic Empire Announces ‘Episode II’ Release Date; Releases Album’s Lead Single

Courtesy: Rise Records

The Empire is rising again!

Galactic Empire announced Friday that it is working on its sophomore album, aptly titled Episode II.  The album is currently scheduled to be released on May 4, 2018 via Rise Records. Pre-orders are open now.

In anticipation of its release, the band has debuted the album’s lead single ‘Scherzo For X-Wing’ via Rise Records’ official YouTube channel. The song takes the band’s familiar Powerglove-esque sound made popular on its debut self-titled album and used it for a familiar sound in a brand new arrangement.

The band said in a collective statement that it is highly anticipating the release of Episode II.

“While our debut allowed us to bring a new perspective to much-loved anthems, our latest technological terror is a darker, heavier and far more epic testament to the true power of the Dark Side of the Force,” the band said.  “We are confident that any rebel strongholds that remain after the last cycle will will soon bow before the empire.  There will be no one to stop us this time.”

The full track listing for Episode II is noted below.

EPISODE II TRACK LISTING:
“March of the Resistance”
“Scherzo for X-Wings”
“Hyperspace”
“The Droid Invasion and the Appearance of Darth Maul”
“Kylo Ren Arrives at the Battle”
“Love Pledge and The Arena”
“Rey’s Theme”
“The Departure of Boba Fett”
“The Emperor”
“Into The Trap”
“The Battle of Yavin (Launch from the Fourth Moon)”

More information on Galactic Empire’s new album, single and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.galacticempireofficial.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/galacticempireofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/GalacticEmpire8

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

 

Young Fox Takes The “Gold” On Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Independent Albums List

Courtesy: Spartan Records

Independent recordings are the backbone of the music industry.  Regardless of whether the band is a major name releasing an album on its own, through an independent record label or a lesser-known band doing one or the other, those albums tend to have just as much substance as their more well-known counterparts, if not more.  Keeping that in mind, independent albums (whether released independently or through indie labels) are just as important to the industry as major releases.  That being the case, they deserve their own year-ender list annually just as much as their more commercially-known releases, so Phil’s Picks is giving those recordings their due credit and coverage.  Presented here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Independent Albums.  The list features the year’s 10 best new independent recordings plus five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles, as in years past.

Topping this year’s list of best new independent albums is the new release from underground rock band Young Fox.  The band’s new album Sky Beats Gold proved this year to stand out brightly with its equally deep lyrical content and musical arrangements.  The pairing of those two elements made this album from start to finish a surprisingly powerful effort from the Pittsburgh, PA-based band.  Also included in this year’s list are new albums from the likes of Blacktop Mojo, Hell or Highwater, KXM and others.  Again, many of these bands and albums are such that they are not as well-known as perhaps other bands.  But their albums prove to be just as worthwhile as anything released by their more well-known counterparts.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Independent Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW INDEPENDENT ALBUMS

  1. Young Fox — Sky Beats Gold
  2. Mike Mangioni & The Kin — But I’ve Seen The Stars
  3. Blacktop Mojo — Burn The Ships
  4. Pimps of Joytime — Third Wall Chronicles
  5. Corroded — Defcon Zero
  6. KXM — Scatterbrain
  7. At The Wayside — The Breakdown & The Fall
  8. Hank, Pattie & the Current — Hold Your Head Up High
  9. Mipso — Coming Down The Mountain
  10. All out Street Jam — Living Free
  11. Hell or Highwater — Vistas
  12. Spiral Crush — Electric Life
  13. Eve To Adam — Odyssey
  14. Galactic Empire — Galactic Empire
  15. Satan Takes A Holiday — Aliens

That’s it for this year’s list of top new independent albums.  It should be re-iterated that this was not an easy list to establish as there were so many quality independent albums this year.  Lyrical content and musical arrangements alike had to be considered.  There was no bad lyrical or musical content from any noted album.  Every act on this list should be proud of its album as there is so much to appreciate in each.  Next up from Phil’s Picks as the days tick to the year’s end is Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Country/Bluegrass/Folk/Americana albums.  Since each genre shares so much similarity with the others, it is easiest to combine them into one category rather than try to spread them out.  Stay tuned, and congratulations again to this year’s Top New Independent Albums winners.

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Musical Cosplay Collective’s Debut Record Is A Successful Effort

Courtesy: Rise Records

Courtesy: Rise Records

Star Wars is one of the biggest film franchises in Hollywood’s modern history.  Ever since the franchise’s first movie debuted way back in 1977, it has proven to be anything but a niche property.  It has generated no fewer than eight movies, multiple TV series, video games and more.  Next month, another tribute to the Star Wars will be released in the form of the self-titled debut record from cosplay cover band Galactic Empire.  The 11-song collection will impress Star Wars fans and fans of Powerglove, Trans Siberian Orchestra and other acts of that ilk.  That is due in no small part to the songs chosen for the record.  That will be discussed shortly.  The songs’ arrangements are just as important to note in examining this record as the songs themselves.  That will be discussed later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  Each element plays its own important part in the record’s presentation.  All things considered, Galactic Empire proves in the end to be an enjoyable covers collection and a fun first effort from the band from a galaxy far, far away.

Galactic Empire’s self-titled debut album is not a collection of original compositions.  That aside, it is still an enjoyable experience that Star Wars fans will appreciate just as much as fans of Powerglove, Trans Siberian Orchestra, and others of that ilk.  That is due in part to the songs chosen for the record.  The 11 songs that make up the body of the record come from not just one of the franchise’s films but a number of them.  ‘Main Theme’ and ‘Imperial March’ come from the franchise’s original trilogy.  ‘The Force Theme’ has been incorporated into most of the franchise’s entries including The Force Awakens. The band even reaches back to the series’ “prequels” with ‘Duel of the Fates’ from Episode I: The Phantom Menace.  Fittingly, the whole thing ends with the famed “Throne Room” theme from the end of Return of the Jedi.  Between that and the rest of the songs featured here, it becomes clear why the songs collected for this record are so important to its presentation.  They show the band wanted to reach as many of the franchise’s fans as possible, not just one specific audience.  To that end, the band is to be commended.  It is just one reason the band (and album) should be commended, too.  The arrangements that are presented within the songs are just as important to note as the songs themselves.

The songs that make up the body of Galactic Empire’s debut album are in themselves key to its presentation.  That is because they show the band aimed at as many of the franchise’s fans as possible.  They are, collectively speaking, just one of the record’s key elements.  The songs’ arrangements are just as important to note in examining the record’s presentation as the songs themselves.  Listeners will note that while the arrangements are presented in a rock format, they stay largely true to the original compositions.  Listeners will especially appreciate the way the band handled the beloved ‘Force Theme.’  It maintains that solemn vibe presented in the original composition, even despite being handed on guitar.  On another note (no pun intended) one could argue the band’s take on ‘The Asteroid Field’ (from Star Wars Episode V) is even more exciting than the original symphonic composition with its guitar-driven sound.  That is not to say that the original composition is bad by any means.  In fact it is very enjoyable.  Keeping that in mind and considering the record’s other arrangements, it is clear in listening to each arrangement why the arrangements in whole are so important to this record’s presentation.  They are, again, just as important to note as the songs themselves, and are still not the only important pieces of the record’s whole.  The record’s sequencing is just as important to note as its songs and their arrangements.

The songs presented in this record and their arrangements are both clearly important alone and collectively to the record’s presentation.  As important as they are to the record’s presentation they are not its only key elements.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  It is clear in listening to the record from start to finish that a lot of thought was given to its sequencing.  It begins with a bang with the franchise’s original theme.  It ends with just as much of a bang with the song used at the end of the original trilogy’s final movie.  In between, the energy rises and falls at all of the right points, thus keeping listeners fully engaged throughout.  The record’s first three songs keep the energy high before things pull back a little in track 4, ‘The Force Theme.’  Things pick right back up with the record’s next two songs, ‘The Asteroid Field’ and ‘Battle of the Heroes’ before turning a little more light-hearted with the band’s cover of the famed song from the famed cantina scene in which Luke originally meets Han Solo.  The energy and emotion rises and falls just as much in the record’s final songs.  The end result is an experience that will keep listeners engaged and entertained just as much in that final group of songs just as much as any of the record’s other compositions.  All things considered, the ups and downs are expertly balanced from beginning to end, guaranteeing an experience that listeners will enjoy and appreciate.  Being that they will enjoy and appreciate that well-thought-out sequencing just as much as the record’s featured songs and their arrangements, listeners will agree that when all three elements are joined together, they make the record in whole a collection that Star Wars fans will appreciate just as much as fans of Trans Siberian Orchestra and Powerglove.  They join together to make the record a fun first effort from Galactic Empire.

Galactic Empire’s self-titled debut record is a work that Star Wars fans will appreciate just as much as fans of Powerglove, Trans Siberian Orchestra and others of their ilk.  As has been noted here, that is due in part to the songs that make up the body of the record.  They pull from the franchise’s original trilogy and its prequels.  Being that ‘The Force Theme’ is included in The Force Awakens, one could even argue to a point that even that movie is represented to a point.  That shows that this musical cosplay collective wanted to reach as many Star Wars fans as possible with this collection.  The songs’ arrangements stay largely true to the source material, even having been re-worked in a rock setting.  Truly devoted Star Wars fans will appreciate that aspect of the songs.  The sequencing rounds out the record’s most important elements.  It is clear in listening to this record that a lot of thought was put into its sequencing.  Each element is obviously important in its own right to the record’s presentation.  All things considered, Galactic Empire proves, once more, to be a fun first effort from its namesake; a record that will take listeners easily to that galaxy far, far away with every listen.  It will be available in stores and online on March 10 via Rise Records.  More information on Galactic Empire is available online with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/galacticempireofficial

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/galacticempireofficial

 

 

 

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Galactic Empire Makes A “Forceful” Debut With Its “Star Wars Main Theme” Cover

Courtesy:  Rise Records/Velocity Records

Courtesy: Rise Records/Velocity Records

The force has officially awoken. Disney’s new mega-blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens is breaking box office records across the country right now. And more than likely so are the movie’s related ad campaigns breaking their own records. And there’s no telling just how many videos are out there featuring people performing music from the original franchise (or its prequels). Speaking of those performances there is now one more to add to that mass in the form of Galactic Empire’s (yes, that’s really the group’s name) take on the famed composition.

Galactic Empire, whose members actually don the costumes of famous figures from the Star Wars universe, debuted the video this week for its cover of composer/director John Williams’ theme from the original Star Wars franchise. The band’s performance of the song can be viewed online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPV9NNvtL20&feature=youtu.be. The performance mixes elements of djent with a power metal feel similar to that of Powerglove and others of that ilk for a take on the song that will definitely surprise audiences. It’s not all serious for the band either. There is even a little break in the six minute plus video that reveals the green screen behind the band and more. As of last night, the video had already been viewed more than one million times according to the band’s official Facebook page.

Audiences can download Galactic Empire’s performance of the ‘Star Wars Main Theme’ now via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/star-wars-theme-end-title/id1068343183?app=itunes. The song’s release comes ahead of Galactic Empire’s upcoming debut full-length album, which is currently slated for a Spring 2016 release. No official date has been announced for its release. But fans can keep up with that information and more online now at:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/galacticemipreofficial

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/galacticempireofficial

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.