Ancient Empire, "Eternal Soldier" Album Review

Updated on March 4, 2020
FatFreddysCat profile image

I've been an obsessed hard rock/heavy metal fan and collector since the early 1980s. If it's got a good guitar riff and attitude, I'm in.

"Eternal Soldier" CD cover
"Eternal Soldier" CD cover | Source

Ancient Empire - "Eternal Soldier" (2018)

8 Tracks, Run Time: 47:42

Country: USA/ Genre: Traditional/Power Metal

Release: Stormspell Records, Summer 2018

Power up the warp drive and prepare for a jump to hyperspace! The science-fiction obsessed power metallers of Ancient Empire have returned with their fourth album, Eternal Soldier, via the true-metal specialists at Stormspell Records. It was a pleasant surprise to hear new material from Ancient Empire so soon, because it's been less than a year since I reviewed their last album, The Tower. These guys are quite prolific!

Anchored as always by the two-man instrumental assault force of Joe Liszt (vocals, guitars, bass) and Steve Pelletier (drums), with lyrics by Rich Pelletier, it appears that Eternal Soldier is another cool, full-on concept album. Inside the front cover of the CD booklet is a paragraph which serves as a quick introduction to the title character (I assume he's the armored, Snake Plissken lookin' fella on the album cover) -- an unnamed warrior of the future who, due to a mysterious temporal fluke during an enemy attack, has fallen through a wormhole in time. Since that event, the flow of time has taken him wherever there is conflict, so he has taken part in countless wars throughout the ages. On the eight songs that make up Eternal Soldier, this narrator brings the listener along on his journey through centuries of warfare and gives us an idea of what effects a lifetime of battle has had on him. This is pretty heady stuff, worthy of a big budget movie, or perhaps a massive multi-platform video game. The album cover even looks like something that might have adorned an old-school NES or Sega Genesis cartridge back in the day!

"Eternal Soldier" Official Lyric Video

The Songs

Eternal Soldier kicks off with the galloping title track, which sets an appropriately epic tone in fine Iced Earth style. Once again, Joe Liszt's hoarse-but-confident vocal style recalls Piet Sielck from Germany's Iron Savior (another band who have successfully synthesized science fiction and heavy metal), and Joe Comeau (Annihilator/Liege Lord). "For The One I Lost" opens with some soothing acoustic strumming before settling into a nice chugging power-metal groove. The speedy "Shadow From The Past" features some twin-guitar interplay that reminded me of the Rainbow classic "Kill The King," and then things heavy up big time at the album's center point with "Time Itself," where the riffs occasionally approach thrash velocity.

"Upon This Withered Earth" is the longest track on the album at nearly seven minutes, beginning once again with some impressive acoustic noodling and developing into a full on atmospheric epic with excellent guitar work throughout. "I Alone" picks up the pace and turns into a crunchy, all-men-play-on-ten anthem of strength and defiance that's bound to get heads banging and devil horns raised high. "The Fifth Column" provides a hyperactive close to the album with its satisfying speed metal feel, and ends on an apparent lyrical cliffhanger, as the Eternal Soldier seems to find himself back "home" where he started... (William Shatner voice) but... for... how ... long??

Overall Eternal Soldier is another solid outing for Ancient Empire. Their concepts are cool, the musicianship is high quality, and the album is well produced as usual and sounds great at high volume. Once again, nice work, fellas!

Complete your Ancient Empire collection today, kids!
Complete your Ancient Empire collection today, kids! | Source

More From Ancient Empire

The Summer of 2018 was a busy season for the Ancient Empire camp. In addition to the release of Eternal Soldier in late July, the band appeared at the 2018 edition of Headbangers Open Air festival in Brande-Hörnerkirchen, Germany, where they shared the stage with such old-school traditional metal legends as Manilla Road, Anvil, Tankard, Girlschool and many more. To fill out the lineup for this live performance, Liszt and Pelletier were joined by guitarist Robert Edwards, bassist Dan Lynch, and drummer Gary Neff, all of whom have played with Steve & Joe in other projects like Hellhound and Shadowkiller.

Ancient Empire is quickly becoming a band to watch on the underground scene. I'm probably repeating myself by now since this is the third A.E. release that I've reviewed for this site, but if you enjoy classy, well played American power metal ala Iced Earth, Armored Saint, Jag Panzer, and Liege Lord, this band should be right up your alley and you should add this album to your shopping list immediately. Beam me up!

Check out this lineup!


© 2018 Keith Abt


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)