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Album Review: MacReady - Empire

LA Trio MacReady are back with their newest album, "Empire", a large departure from their last full length, "Kiba". Of course, much time has passed since "Kiba"'s 2019 release, and that brings with it a completely different approach to the craft. No more are the saturated pinks and blues, no more is the lighthearted fun feeling "Kiba" had rooted underneath it, "Empire" is different. "Empire" is an album that holds anger, rage, and a general distaste towards the status quo. It moves through a fair few genre spaces, but mostly sits between being industrial and heavy metal sprinkled with some synths here and there. For instance, the opening track, "The Savage State" reeks of 90's industrial, that of Nine Inch Nails and Skinny Puppy, but also mixing elements of 2013 early Synthwave, creating this track that almost seamlessly dances between the light and dark.

That dance is something "Empire" does extremely well; the movement between softer, more 80's focused sounds and meaty, gritty riffs makes the project such a joy to listen to. Of course, the MacReady boys make sure to pack some fun in here, "New Dawn" has a very SEGA Genesis feel, especially with the synth breakdown in the middle, sounding like something out of Streets of Rage. "The Arcadian" is one track that plays itself the closest to "Kiba", but still carries a very somber, noir type sound with it, keeping it grounded with the rest of the album. As stated previously, this album carries with it rage and aggression, in a way new for MacReady, but they nail it in every way. The closing track, "Desolation", is the perfect way this album could end, an all out attack, carrying the industrial tone from the first track, book-ending the experience perfectly. Full of desperation, but also power, this is the soundtrack to societal collapse, in the best way possible.

All in all, MacReady have absolutely struck it out of the park with "Empire". This album is such a departure from their previous works, but they absolutely succeed with this, an album about anger towards the system, nihilistic in nature, and it's not afraid to raise it's tone and tell you how it feels. This album is spectacular from start to finish, and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who like their synth with a heavy dose of punk edge.


Check it out here, and consider purchasing the album on Bandcamp.

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