|THE HISTORY SO FAR...
Conceived in the winter of early 2004, Dark Empire is the vision of Long Island, NY based guitarist Matt Moliti to create what in his eyes would be the epitome of the perfect metal band: thrashy riffs, blazing solos and aggressive yet melodic vocals, full of energy and emotion.
Influenced by bands such as Rage and Symphony X, Matt began writing the music for the band in that very same year, working alongside friend and producer Jeremy Krull.
In the subsequent months, Matt started to look for a frontman for Dark Empire. He tried to experiment with a few local vocalists but the quality of the vocalists that tried out was never up to Matt's standards. That was until Matt discovered the Swedish power metal band Persuader, featuring vocalist Jens Carlsson. Matt then knew that Jens would fit perfectly in Dark Empire and contact was made. After a few emails exchanged, Jens was announced as the voice of Dark Empire in the first record, named Distant Tides.
The vocal spot was taken but Matt still needed to fill in the bass and drum positions. He got in touch with bassist Noah Martin, who he previously met at the ProgPower V festival, and got recommended a young drummer in Finland, Teemu Tahkanen. Dark Empire's lineup was completed.
The recordings started to take place in early 2005. All guitars and bass were recorded in Matt's home studio while Teemu and Jens recorded their parts in Finland and Sweden. Then, after being mixed by Krull, the album was sent to be mastered by Gary Fulton, and it finally became ready to be released.
Releasing it wasn't easy though. After a few months of difficulties finding an interested label, Matt decided that the best choice for Dark Empire's Distant Tides was to go independent. Distant Tides was released worldwide on April 25, 2005, receiving rave reviews by numerous specialized publications. Matt is currently working with Dark Empire on the sophomore album, set to be out in 2007 and yet to be titled.
DARK EMPIRE HAS RISEN...
Dark Empire arises to spread its rule over the heavy metal community! Led by its emperor, American guitarist Matt Moliti and Jens Carlsson, the voice of Savage Circus and Persuader, the band's first full length album is available at most web and specialized CD shops in North America and Europe today, April 25th, 2006
Fighting alongside the Empire's army are bassist virtuoso Noah Martin (Lilitu, Blood Promise)and fusion drummer Teemu Tahkanen (DIG), perfect characters on Dark Empire's plot to conquer the metal scene. Noah's thunderous bass lines blend perfectly with the impressive and fiery drumming, helping to create a dark and agressive soundscape that sets Distant Tides apart from other releases. Influenced by bands such as Rage, Symphony X and Children of Bodom, the music of Dark Empire begun to take form in the winter of early 2004 and it has finally become available to the public. Featuring six tracks full of thrashy riffs, blazing solos and one of the best vocal performance Jens has ever done in his career, Distant Tides is possibly the most consistent debuts metal has seen in a long time.
From the neoclassical opener We Will Never Die to the virtuosic album closure, The Final Vision, Dark Empire explores different metal genres without losing its own unique identity. This particular characteristic is clearly shown in the most raw and rampaging songs such as The Alchemist and Northern Sky, as well as in the progressive and epic titletrack Distant Tides. All of the songs were composed by Matt Moliti, who also shows his abilities as a growler, perfectly matching Jens agressive and piercing vocals style.
Without ever planning on betraying its followers by compromising its musical integrity, Dark Empire is being revered and adored, as seen in the excellent reviews it has been getting all across the globe. The Empire is rising and nothing will stand in its way. The Distant Tides are approaching and Dark Empire is here to stay and slay!
"Distant Tides" was produced by Matt Moliti and Jeremy Krull, and Mastered by Gary Fulton.
New Jersey's Dark Empire returns to the scene with their third release, From Refuge to Ruin. Fusing elements of extreme and classic metal, 70's prog rock, and poetic, meaningful lyrics, Dark Empire bring forth a tremendously successful amalgam that is both refreshingly unique as well as raw and aggressive.
Dominating through the intricate songwriting are powerful new vocalist Brian Larkin (who replaces Jens Carlsson of Persuader and Savage Circus fame) and the commanding riffs of lead guitarist/main songwriter Matt Moliti, who also lends a chilling death vocal counterpoint to Larkin's leather-throated melodic lines. In addition to Moliti's elaborate guitar work and Larkin's attention-grabbing vocals, Dark Empire features the deep resonance of bassist Randy Knecht and the "Dave Lombardo-meets-Gavin Harrison" drumming of session player Matt Graff.
Not being ones to repeat themselves, Dark Empire inject fresh new influences into their followup to 2008's Humanity Dethroned. Taking a cue from 70's prog masters such as Genesis and King Crimson, Dark Empire inventively utilize vintage Mellotron and Hammond Organ samples throughout the album, as well as delicate 12-string acoustic interludes and haunting, atmospheric melodies (coming to full fruition in the powerfully epic title track). This is not to undermine the push Dark Empire has also made in the heavier end of the dynamic spectrum, now utilizing seven-string guitars, crushing doom metal moments, and blistering death metal-inspired riffs. For older fans, these new elements serve to compliment, not overshadow, the band's thrashy progressive metal roots, and the 13-minute-plus dark and doomy album closer "The Cleansing Fires" serves as a musical culmination of the broadened range of styles found throughout.
With pristine and powerful production from Jeremy Krull and artwork by Gustavo Sazes (Arch Enemy, Firewind, Morbid Angel) along with fresh creative input and exceptional talent, Dark Empire will surely become the new cross-over favorite for any metal fan.
In 2013 Matti Moliti announced via the band's Facebook page that he was putting the name Dark Empire to rest since he had grown so much beyond what he originally set out to do with the name and project.