Opening the gatefold cover of Say Your Prayers is like opening a door to a soundscape from which there is no return. The Empire Hideous traps you between a mix of horror and delight, in only the way singer and songwriter, Myke Hideous, can do. Myke is a Ghoulish Godfather of rock who boasts an impressive resume. Over the last 10 years, he's also spent time singing for the Misfits, The Bronx Casket Co. and his Spy Society 99 project. But The Empire Hideous has always, undeniably, been Myke's precedence and his mark of excellence on the music world. He is nothing short of the definition of a true artist. He breathes all his emotions and passions into his music and brings it to life with his powerful croons and screams. Longtime guitarist, Jeff Austin, is alongside him, slinging his trademark sonic drones and wails. The first track, "Terror Clone," starts with a haunting guitar line that finely and precisely cuts through the silence much like Jack the Ripper would the necks of his victims. The rest of the album never eases back, musically or lyrically. Myke invites us to experience his perspective of the grim, but enthralling world we live in - a place where hope is always slightly out-of-reach. Between almost each song are various interludes; clips and sound bytes of people speaking about betrayal, murder, carnal instincts and blood spraying out of a human neck. While some listeners may find these breaks bothersome, they do not play an arbitrary role. This is more of a concept album than one would think. The only song where an interlude isn't present is between, "If Only I Kept Dreaming" and "Bound to Happen," which appropriately starts and ends to the cleansing sounds of ocean waves crashing along a shoreline. It would truly be an atrocity if this album is not looked at as part of the cornerstone of gothic rock. From start to finish, The Empire Hideous has created a masterpiece, easily one of the best albums in years.
- Bryan Schillo