Empire: The Raven Ride-2006.

Empire:Melodic Hard&Heavy Metal from Germany and England.

Munkes was joined by bassist Neil Murray, singer Lance King and drummer Gerald Kloos. The band recorded their first album Hypnotica in 2001. In 2003, Munkes published another album, with the addition of ex-Black Sabbath singer Tony Martin on vocals and keyboardist Don Airey. The album was called Trading Souls. Airey left the band before the recording of the third Empire album, The Raven Ride (2006). With the exception of Airey and the new drummer André Hilgers, the line up of the band was identical to Trading Souls. For the 2007 album Chasing Shadows, Munkes employed a new singer, Doogie White.


Current members:Rolf Munkes – guitars (2000-present)-Neil Murray – bass (2000-present)André Hilgers – drums (2006-present)-Doogie White – vocals (2007-present)-Former members:Lance King – vocals (2000-2003)-Gerald Kloos – drums (2000-2006)-Tony Martin – vocals (2003-2007)-Don Airey – keyboards (2003-2006)


Trading SoulsFull-length2003 
The Raven RideFull-length2006
Chasing ShadowsFull-length2007


Neil MurrayBass (2001-present)
See also: ex-Gogmagog, ex-Rondinelli, Michael Schenker Group, Snakecharmer, The Fluffy Jackets’, ex-Bow Wow, ex-Tony Martin, ex-Black Sabbath, ex-Brian May, ex-Cajo, ex-Colosseum II, ex-Company of Snakes, ex-Cozy Powell’s Hammer, ex-Driveshaft, ex-Fastway, ex-Gary Moore, ex-Gilgamesh, ex-Graham Bonnet, ex-Grand Slam, ex-Hanson, ex-John Sloman’s Badlands, ex-M3, ex-National Health, ex-Peter Green Splinter Group, ex-Phenomena, ex-The Brian May Band, ex-Whitesnake, ex-Queen + Paul Rodgers (live)
Rolf MunkesGuitars (2001-present)
See also: CrematoryRazorback, ex-Majesty, ex-Tony Martin, ex-Vanize
Mike TerranaDrums (2007-present)
See also: AvalanchKreysonRazorbackThe FerrymenZillion, ex-Hanover, ex-Roland Grapow, ex-Zillion, Taboo Voodoo, Terrana, Triton Devs, ex-Artension, ex-Axel Rudi Pell, ex-Downhell, ex-Emir Hot, ex-Masterplan, ex-Not Fragile, ex-Rage, ex-Squealer, ex-Tarja, ex-Tony MacAlpine, ex-Vision Divine, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, ex-Gamma Ray (live), ex-Iron Mask (live), ex-Tony Hernando (live), ex-Damir Simic Shime, ex-John West, ex-Metalium, ex-Savage Circus, ex-Beau Nasty, ex-Hardline, ex-Mike Terrana
Doogie WhiteVocals (2007-present)
See also: Long Shadows DawnMichael Schenker’s Temple of Rock, ex-Michael Schenker Fest, ex-CornerstoneAlcatrazz, La Paz, Michael Schenker Group, ex-John Steel, ex-Pink Cream 69, ex-Rainbow, ex-Tank, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, ex-Balance of Power, ex-Chain, ex-Demon’s Eye, ex-Midnight Blue, ex-Nikolo Kotzev’s Nostradamus, ex-Praying Mantis

Past Members:

Gerald KloosDrums (2001-2004)
See also: Condition Red, ex-Chris Heaven
Don AireyKeyboards (2002-2004)
See also: Deep Purple, Don Airey, ex-Ozzy Osbourne, ex-Rainbow, ex-The Cage, ex-Dario Mollo’s Crossbones (live), ex-Air Pavilion, ex-Andrew Lloyd Webber, ex-Colosseum II, ex-Cozy Powell, ex-Gary Moore, ex-Hammer, ex-Jethro Tull, ex-Living Loud, ex-Michael Schenker Group, ex-Quatermass, ex-Silver, ex-Strawbs, ex-Ten, ex-The Company of Snakes, ex-Wishbone Ash, ex-Graham Bonnet (live), ex-Micky Moody (live), ex-The Snakes (live), ex-Uli Jon Roth (live), ex-Uriah Heep (live)
Tony MartinVocals (2002-2006)
See also: The CageTony Martin, ex-Rondinelli, ex-Giuntini Project, Silver Horses, Kingdom of Madness (live), ex-Candlemass, ex-Black Sabbath, ex-Bailey’s Comet, ex-Blue Murder, ex-Cozy Powell’s Hammer, ex-M3, ex-The Alliance, ex-The Bailey Brothers, ex-Tobruk
Lance KingVocals (2002-2004)
See also: DefyanceLance King, ex-The Kings Machine, ex-Gemini, Legacy of the Loud, ex-Avian, ex-Ilium, ex-Magic Kingdom, ex-Pyramaze, ex-Shining Star, ex-Balance of Power, ex-Decibel, ex-Krucible
André HilgersDrums (2005-2006)
See also: BonfireSilent ForceSonic Haven, ex-Nuclear Blast Allstars, ex-The Sygnet, ex-Axxis, ex-Herman Frank, ex-Lingua Mortis Orchestra, ex-Rage, ex-Razorback, ex-Sinner, ex-Vanize, ex-Regicide (live), ex-Mendacious Messiah, ex-Ninja, ex-Bourbon $treet, ex-Union Rex (live)

One thought on “Empire: The Raven Ride-2006.

  1. Ritchie Black Iommi, May 28th, 2012

    I’ve heard many things about these guys time ago. A couple of known metal vocalists like Tony Martin and Doogie White were part of this project so, as I tend to believe that worldwide, metal vocal style became more of an “i’m pure attitude” stuff instead of the all classic type of good and powerful singing, I gave a chance on this band, mostly trying to know how is it.

    The first album by The Empire that I’ve took time to listen carefully was this one. Mostly because it gave me, among all the other ones, the finest initial impression. And yes, I must say we witness here a nice example of neo-classic heavy metal. The three previous albums (though I didn’t took care of them as I did with this one, I’ll review them as far as I can) sound erratic and with an unclear definition of the way to take for making it. Maybe a slight exception can be “The Raven Ride”, which contains the filling and eclectic lines by Don Airey, from Deep Purple, no more no less, and Martin hits his best there. Here, it seems that Doogie has it more clear and provides another approach, a more straightforward yet modern one to the whole production.

    And yes, DP classic metal sound can be found in here. Of course, with nearly 40 years of evolution, but the idea is like the same. Rolfie Munkes has a kinda Blackmore-esque style of riffing and the atmosphere leads us to the moments when Purple guys were creating In Rock, Fireball or Machine Head. Notwithstanding and, of course, modernity had chance to polish the roots in here and The Empire has its own sound.

    Melodic vocals by the scotman with the rawness though melody-bringing compositions, that’s the key for entering The Empire. The opening track is a clear handful of proof for it. But the high strike arrives with “The Alter”, where the band, as an unique piece of music droppers, shoot us like machine gunners the finest metal song of the record. The riffs are gigantic and the bass lines are capable enough to stand Doogie’s requierements for singing.

    Other standouts are “Mother Father Holy Ghost”, with a more mainstream approach and with Rolf Munkes and Neil Murray forming a huge society of harmonic theming. Also, “Tahigwan Nights” with the neo-classical speed metal approach and a riff which reminds us of the latter works by King Diamond and “Angel and the Gambler” which also has the radio-friendly tune and singing but works completely out, specially with Doogie and the performance of Mike Terrana in the drums, which are outstanding enough specially in this track.

    The main issue of this record are the rest of the songs. They are not strictly bad ones. As an unique body of work, they manage to complete corretcly their duty but somehow, their sound lies between mellowness and mediocrity. It’s like they can’t define clearly what do they want to do with their band. If they want to be speedy, melodic, classic-sounding or whatever. So, even if they are nice standing ones, out of the place, they have nothing to do but to fill the album.

    After saying this, I’ll admit that this band is a promising one. If they can define themselves and take a definitive path in their sounding, we can probably hear lots of great things to come from them. Let’s give some time for this new line-up to put the things together and maybe we shall have a new music Empire to share the rules of this realm.

    Liked by 1 person

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