Any Hill­song release is sig­nif­i­cant con­sid­er­ing their global influ­ence on the wor­ship music envi­ron­ment. “Empires” is a record that know­ingly dis­cards that label, instead choos­ing to artic­u­late the prayers and med­i­ta­tions of a group of tal­ented song­writ­ers, regard­less of who might be listening.

Empires” pro­gresses fur­ther along the direc­tion of 2013’s “Zion”, part­ner­ing lay­ered synths against an electro-​indie back­drop. Lyri­cally, “Empires” leans toward the poetic and per­sonal, but tracks like “Here and Now (Mad­ness)” have real poten­tial for con­gre­ga­tional settings.

The dual­is­tic themes of the “Empires” album cover really reflect the push-​and-​pull between the cur­rent wor­ship music scene and where the “United” brand is going. Def­i­nitely worth check­ing out.

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