Empyre at this intimate Northampton setting was a real privilege

Tonight we witnessed a perfect performance by Empyre, who are surely destined for very big things in the next couple of years. Tonight was a playthrough of their latest album, Relentless, due out at the end of March, plus plenty of fan favourites at a sold-out Black Prince in Northampton.

Empyre – Ethyrfield

The Black Prince, Northampton

11 March 2023

Words and Photography: Andy Shaw

Empyre

Empyre - The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023.
Empyre – The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

The Black Prince crowd were in an expectant mood for this pre-launch album show dubbed Killing The Hometown Vibe due to their self-deprecating manner. They had insisted that the crowd don’t get too carried away, with a tongue firmly placed in cheek.

Empyre - The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023.
Empyre – The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Empyre are a real force to be reckoned with, and tonight, playing the whole of their new album Relentless, they kicked off with their brand new single, Waking Light which was a stunning start to the evening. Parasites followed, showing this unassuming band are creating some incredible new music to move forward in what is already an amazing body of work.

Empyre - The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023.
Empyre – The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

They manage to create a stadium-filling sound with their brand of rock and are the closest thing to Porcupine Tree I have seen for many years.

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Next were the first two tracks of their debut album Self Aware in My Bad and Stone, which the crowd sang along to. After this, frontman and guitarist Henrik Steenholdt raised a pint in salutes with a “Cheers. We are not used to people singing back at us.”

Empyre - The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023.
Empyre – The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Tonight’s crowd is rather biased and rather loud. Steenholdt asks, “who has preordered the new album?” To a man and woman, we all cheered.

Then another new song Quiet Commotion was followed by a cover of the David Guetta song Titanium, then another new one Cry Wolf. Lead guitarist Did Coles is a perfect foil for Henrik’s amazing unique vocals.

Empyre - The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023.
Empyre – The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

This evening, having seen them a number of times and being blown away each time I see them, they look totally comfortable in their own skin and are at the top of their creative and musical form.

We are then treated to a quintet of songs from the new album, Forget Me, Your Whole Life Slows, Road To Nowhere, Silence Screaming and the truly awesome Relentless.

Empyre - The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023.
Empyre – The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Bassist Grant Hockley and drummer Elliot Bale are also at the top of their game, and the quartet ebb and flow through each track. The set ends with a blockbusting version of Homegrown and the final track from Relentless, Hit & Run. They return with Only Way Out, a truly wonderful song, and this fantastic evening ends with New Republic.

Empyre - The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023.
Empyre – The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

These guys are destined for big things, and it is so well deserved. So to see them close up in this intimate setting was a real privilege. Get to see Empyre live because it is an experience you will never forget and want to keep returning to.

Empyre - The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023.
Empyre – The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Empyre hosts their album launch party at KK’s Steel Mill, Wolverhampton, on 22 April 2023.

Ethyrfield

Ethyrfield  - The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023.
Ethyrfield – The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

First up were Ethyrfield, a young up-and-coming band who don’t hide their love of prog rock and were the perfect openers. First was Sunstroke, a really powerful opener, then into Free The Dog, which both show how good Zach Cornish, lead vocals and bass guitar, is as a frontman.

Ethyrfield - The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023.
Ethyrfield – The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

The packed Black Prince loved this young band as they ploughed through Truth Behind, The Hunter and Overgrown. Guitarist Ben Cornish is a stunning performer ably assisted by Dan Aston on Drums. Laying on of hands was next, with the set ending with Serenity and Bag Of Bones. A great start to the evening.

Ethyrfield - The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023.
Ethyrfield – The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk
Ethyrfield - The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023.
Ethyrfield – The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk
Ethyrfield - The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023.
Ethyrfield – The Black Prince, Northampton. 11 March 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

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