Shade Empire’s Epic New Album ‘Sunholy’ Features Ferrini’s Orchestrations

Alex de Borba

Alex de Borba

Shade Empire has recently announced the upcoming release of their new album, ‘Sunholy.’ This long-awaited follow-up to 2017’s ‘Poetry of the Ill-Minded’ is scheduled for release in September via Candlelight Records. The album was mixed by Chris Edrich (Devin Townsend, Leprous, Alcest) and mastered by Pierrick Noël (Klone), with Fleshgod Apocalypse’s Francesco Ferrini responsible for the orchestrations and Andy Reich at Collapse Of Art completing the artwork.

The band expresses their excitement for the new release, stating, “Six years after the release of ‘Poetry of the Ill-Minded,’ we are pleased to present you with our new album ‘Sunholy.’ We are very excited to let our fans hear what we have been up to. The record is brutality and beauty in perfect harmony.”

‘Sunholy’ offers nine impressive tracks that blend atmospheric elegance with ferocious guitar riffs, intricate synth layers, powerful drumming, elaborate bass lines, and distinctive, hellish vocals. Devotees of bands like Dimmu Borgir, Marduk, Septicflesh, and Dark Tranquility will undoubtedly find elements to appreciate in this fresh offering.

Along with the album announcement, Shade Empire has unveiled a new music video for ‘In Amongst The Woods,’ a track from ‘Sunholy.’ The album’s lyrical content is inspired by the harrowing Jonestown event, involving the mass murder-suicide of the Peoples Temple cult, while also providing a more expansive reflection on the contemporary state of the world.

Emerging from Finland’s thriving metal scene, Shade Empire has been a prominent force since its formation in 1999. Combining black metal, death metal, and symphonic elements, the band has consistently pushed the boundaries of extreme metal, creating a distinct and compelling sound.

Originating in Kuopio, Finland, Shade Empire was established when founding members Juha Harju (vocals), Janne Niiranen (guitar), and Juha Sirkkiä (guitar) came together with a mutual love for extreme metal. Inspired by the intense and unrelenting sounds of black metal, they soon began incorporating melodic and symphonic components into their music. Their 2000 debut demo, ‘Alone in the Darkness,’ provided a glimpse of the band’s potential and set the stage for future endeavors.

Shade Empire’s musical odyssey began with the release of their debut album ‘Sinthetic’ on March 3rd, 2004. This groundbreaking record was released under the Avantgarde Music label and laid the foundation for the band’s signature sound. Combining symphonic elements with black metal aggression, ‘Sinthetic’ garnered significant attention and praise from critics and fans alike.

Following the success of their debut, Shade Empire returned with their sophomore album ‘Intoxicate O.S.’ on May 24th, 2006. Released under Dynamic Arts Records, this album showcased the band’s growth as musicians and their ability to weave complex arrangements into their compositions. ‘Intoxicate O.S.’ further cemented Shade Empire’s status as a force to be reckoned with in the metal scene.

Continuing their musical evolution, Shade Empire released their third studio album ‘Zero Nexus’ on March 12th, 2008. Dynamic Arts Records backing the album, ‘Zero Nexus’ saw the band embracing a more progressive and experimental approach. The record was well-received by fans and critics, demonstrating Shade Empire’s versatility and willingness to push the boundaries of their genre.

After a five-year hiatus, Shade Empire returned to the spotlight with their fourth studio album ‘Omega Arcane’ on May 6th, 2013. Released under Candlelight Records, this ambitious album marked a new chapter in the band’s career. Featuring a more refined and mature sound, ‘Omega Arcane’ received widespread acclaim and further solidified the band’s reputation for pushing the envelope.

The band’s fifth studio album, ‘Poetry of the Ill-Minded,’ was released on June 30th, 2017, under the Spinefarm Records label. This release demonstrated Shade Empire’s continued progression, incorporating diverse elements such as industrial and orchestral influences. With ‘Poetry of the Ill-Minded,’ Shade Empire showcased their ability to innovate and redefine their sound without losing their core identity.

Shade Empire’s discography reveals a band unafraid to experiment and evolve, pushing the boundaries of symphonic black metal with each new release. From their groundbreaking debut ‘Sinthetic’ to their latest offering ‘Poetry of the Ill-Minded,’ the Finnish outfit has consistently delivered a captivating fusion of aggression and melody.

Their journey through various record labels, including Avantgarde Music, Dynamic Arts Records, Candlelight Records, and Spinefarm Records, attests to their growth and adaptability as artists. As we look forward to future releases, there is no doubt that Shade Empire will continue to surprise and delight fans with their innovative approach to music.

A key element of Shade Empire’s success lies in their dynamic live shows. Having toured widely throughout Europe and taken part in numerous music festivals, the band has shared the stage with renowned groups like Dimmu Borgir, Behemoth, and Cradle of Filth. These exhilarating performances have cemented Shade Empire’s status as an outstanding live act, demonstrating their extraordinary musical skill and commanding stage presence.

With more than two decades of experience and a consistently evolving sound, Shade Empire shows no signs of slowing down. As they continue to innovate and create new music, they will undoubtedly remain at the forefront of the symphonic extreme metal scene, inspiring future generations of musicians and captivating audiences worldwide.

In conclusion, Shade Empire’s journey through the evolution of Finnish extreme metal serves as a testament to their dedication, creativity, and innovation. With a rich history and an impressive discography, the band has left a lasting impact on the metal scene, inspiring a new generation of musicians to follow in their footsteps. As they continue to push the boundaries of the genre and explore new sonic territories, Shade Empire’s legacy is sure to endure for years to come.

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