Star Wars + Metal = Galactic Empire. Metal covers of the Star Wars Soundtrack!
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away a story was written about an evil empire, a faction of rebels and a supernatural force all clash in an epic struggle. And in the story about these wars is an iconic score to help further heighten the intensity. Then in our galaxy in 2017 we have our own Galactic Empire who have decided to turn that soundtrack into a blistering metal cover. Star Wars, after years of unfortunate prequels and changes, is finally back on the right track and we look forward to what’s next with the Force and its characters every year. Having a metal band make a tribute to John Williams score for the many Start Wars films forever is the type of music you never realized you needed in your life until you’ve heard it.
Galactic Empire, a band made of cosplayers with names like Dark Vader on lead guitar, Boba Sett on drums, Bass Commander on bass, and Shadow Ranger & Red Guard on guitar have created a new metal take on classic songs that will quote “help shred some faces as they journey across the galaxy.” In a joint statement from the band, Galactic Empire said in the press release: “AT LONG LAST! Our preparations are com…plete. The mighty Galactic Empire will unleash our ultimate weapon in the battle to bring heavy metal to your galaxy. The puny humans at Velocity and Rise Records have succumbed to the crushing power of the Dark Side and will release our debut full-length album on which we pay tribute to Supreme Sith Overlord John Williams with 11 tracks of pure sonic devastation. Join us, and together, we can rule the galaxy!”
This is one of the rare album reviews where I can just let the music describe the style because it doesn’t require much more explanation. This self-titled album is 11 songs from the Star Wars galaxy that many of us have grown up with, but now a lot heavier. It’s as if John Williams woke up someday and decided that if you aren’t metal then you aren’t a musician.
Hearing the opening Star Wars theme with that much electric guitar makes things feel even MORE alive and energetic. Galactic Empire’s spin on the opening theme is as impressive and as it fun to listen to with some amazing guitar riffs and absolutely brutal double bass drumming from Boba Sett. The beat driven by the percussion stands out like thunder in the main theme and many other tracks on the album. You get the same impressive feeling in the first 30 seconds of each song cover. As soon as the first few familiar notes hit in tracks like the main Star Wars theme and Imperial march you don’t get a sense of nostalgia but rather an appreciation for the twist. There is a range from melodic to crushing and it all feels like Star Wars. Along with some of the most iconic and recognizable songs from Star Wars also comes some of the music you may only faintly remember but will be blown away with how’ it’s reimagined. Songs like “The Forest Battle” on Endor, the “Tie Fighter Attack” and even the “Cantina Band” song are redone with a flare and high impact.
Hearing the guitar solo and pounding drum in the mid-section leading to the – I guess chorus – of “Cantina Band” might make this one of the most unexpectedly fun songs I’ve heard in a long time. It sounds lightning fast and lively but the track runs just under three minutes. It is the only time you will actually want to hear the Cantina Band song for that long. There are many tracks on here that reinvent the Star Wars sound in metal that succeed beautifully and breathe new life into it, but there are a few tracks that don’t do enough justice to the original. “The Forest Battle” sounds more like an electronic interlude and no matter the intent, nothing can top the original Imperial March and its impending doom. That being said though, it’s hard not to get sucked into the rest of this album and everything involved.
Years ago I don’t think John Williams could have ever predicted that one of his most famous soundtrack scores would be covered by a group of cosplayers in a full metal performance, but it’s hard to deny the effort that was put into this album and the creativity AND talent it took to bring these songs to a new format. Overall, Galactic Empire have shown us the dark side of metal and created something that any Star Wars fan will love even if they aren’t crazy about metal. I stand by that this is the type of album you never thought you needed to hear but once you listen you be happy you did. If you love Star Wars and want something unique, you really need to check out Galactic Empire.