The title track is the biggest misstep on the album. “Fallen Empires” begins with a single guitar chord that literally drones throughout the entire song at breakneck pace. A fairly unimaginative drum beat is layered on top, followed by the lead vocals. Under normal circumstances, an arrangement like this could be done very well and create a decent song. However, the song failed in one major regard: the lack of dynamics. The track literally kept the same beat, melody, and mood throughout three of its five minutes. The last two minutes of the song kept the same guitar drone, while the vocalist repeated the line “we are the light.” By the time this part began, the song had already become boring, not to mention the annoying drone in the background.
In addition to the title track, a number of other songs also came across as unremarkable, though not quite as bad. Some of these tracks were “I’ll Never Let Go”, “New York”, and “The Symphony.”
Fallen Empires does have a good amount of strong tracks however. The best of these is “Called Out in the Dark.” The track starts off with a simple beat and guitar riff. However, as the chorus begins, it suddenly explodes into a wall of synthesizer sounds and electric guitar. The same energetic pace is continued throughout the rest of the song.
The final track on the album, “Broken Bottles Form a Star (Prelude)” provides a refreshing, if short, splash of lightness. It consists of a very optimistic-sounding mix of piano arpeggios and plucked strings over a drawn-out violin line. The track creates a very whimsical ending for an otherwise serious album.
Fallen Empires felt like a very solid effort. The album had a good number of unique moments and memorable tracks. On the other hand, however, the handful of uninteresting songs intersperse throughout the album take away from the experience as a whole. In my opinion, the good tracks on the album do not make up fully for the bad. I would not recommend purchasing the whole album; buying individual tracks would probably be a better use of your money.
My Rating: 6.5/10