Album Review: Galactic Empire - Special Edition

Album Review: Galactic Empire - Special Edition

With May the 4th right around the corner, and Star Wars popularity at an all time high with the success of The Mandalorian and future Star Wars themed shows and movies in the works, how can you make this day anymore better? Three words: Star Wars Metal!

Enter Galactic Empire, an instrumental metal band, that takes the amazing and epic score of Star Wars themed movies and shows and converts them into progressive metal that would make any metalhead and Star Wars fan happy. Rising to popularity in 2015 on YouTube with the release of their version of the “Main Theme” of Star Wars. With their 2017 self-titled debut, to 2018’s Episode II. Galactic Empire has showcased with every release the band’s unique sound, costumes, and their goal with the project, Star Wars plus metal equals awesome!

With their third record, Special Edition, the band brings their progressive metal sound with sweeping guitar solos and amazing drumming throughout the record. Each song, building to a crescendo-like jubilee of music that channels John Williams, but with double-bass. With “Star Wars" and "The Revenge of The Sith”, when those opening notes kick in, you just get pumped and motivated to start moshing inside your X-Wing. The guitars are very power metal sounding and throughout the record, but it’s not just power metal, there is a really heavy breakdown around the 2-minute mark that almost comes out of nowhere and works so well with the theme.

The next track “The Imperial Suite” reminds a lot of animated death metal band Dethklok, which fans of them will like this album a lot; with guitars so prevalent in the mix but not overshadowing the drumming and other elements the band bring to the table.  “The Mandalorian” also starts off with a very atmospheric guitar with so much echoey delay and reverb that just sets the mood so very well and instantly makes you wish it was used as the intro to the actual show.

Other stand out tracks like “Obi-Wan Kenobi” show unique musicianship and musical intrigue with a half-time intro and a slow head bobbing intro before the drums kick in to pick up the pace and get your head bobbing faster. “The Book of Boba Fett” also introduces gang vocals in the intro that even though this is an instrumental band, they work and add a nice addition to the track, beautifully adding to the orchestral guitar to blistering double bass halfway through the song.

Attack Position” starts with an insanely heavy and thick breakdown that hits you out of nowhere that segue into frantic and chaotic, but somehow controlled guitars throughout the entire song, adding to it an almost 80s thrash sound to it that could come off any Overkill or Megadeth record. The closer “Victory Celebration” is a good light-hearted ending to this album with an 80’s sounding feel and intro throughout the whole song that with the right production sounds like it could come right out of the 80’s themselves.

Galactic Empire have released a phenomenal record for not only Star Wars fans, but for metalheads. With intricate and well-done guitar playing, heavy drums and musicianship that through every song, it makes you picture it being played during a show or an epic fight scene in any of the Star Wars movies or shows. Hopefully one day they will get the opportunity to perform these songs with an actual orchestra, the epic-ness would be off the charts. If you are looking for some very good Star Wars Metal, I would agree with The Mandalorian in saying, “this is the way."

Track Listing

1) 20th Century Fox Fanfare (0:22)

2) Star Wars and The Revenge of The Sith (7:29)

3) The Imperial Suite (2:30)

4) Dark Side Assault (2:40)

5) The Mandalorian (3:10)

6) Obi-Wan Kenobi (3:34)

7) The Bad Batch (2:14)

8) The Book of Boba Fett  (2:56)

9) Attack Position (2:28)

10) The Battle of Hoth (3:44)

11) Victory Celebration (2:32)

Rating: 9 / 10

Released: 05/05/23

Label: Pure Noise Records

FFO: Dethklok, Jason Richardson, Powerglove

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