JD Miller made our wait worthwhile with their fourth album – review of “Empyrean”

Author Benedetta Baldin - 20.3.2024

What is “Empyrean”? Well, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, empyrean is “Heaven, in particular the highest part of heaven, thought by the ancients to be the realm of pure fire and by early Christians to be the abode of God and the angels.” In this exact place, we are welcomed by JD Miller and their long-awaited fourth album. Any band that makes us patiently count the days and months between releases should be warned: either your product is extremely outstanding, or we’ll be (justifiably) disappointed.

Thankfully, this is not the case for the Swedish AOR group, led by the charismatic vocals of Peter Halldén. Their hard rock is even heavier, more powerful, and yet it’s easily accessible even for first-time listeners. The group has not lost its touch when it comes to composing, songwriting, and arrangements. Emil Eriksson and Tommy Timonen on guitars unleash their full potential, and alongside Jonny Trobro on bass, the rhythmic section is one that does not leave us wanting for more because they’re giving it all. And we’re here for it.

The versatility of JD Miller is another point in their favor: for example, in “Awake (We Are The Machines)” we adventure into a futuristic espionage sound, that gives the record a fresh take. Or during “Inside The Night“, where we delve into a more electronic side of the group, without forgetting the good AOR that they are known for (“Call The Police“, “Enemy“). The true potential, though, is shown in the closing suite “Alive“, which is proof of how solid and creative the group is.

The contrast between the heavier tracks and the softer ones is quite appealing, but I’m unsure whether the audience will embrace this multifaceted approach: in any case, this is a bold statement, and I have to applaud any artist who does not want to conform to the standard and instead tries to innovate. Then again, who the hell has invented these standards? Music is art and art is expression, so freedom to the artists!

In conclusion, JD Miller have surely made a huge step forward in their craft: “Empyrean” is a valid product and we’re going to be spinning it for quite a while. The highest part of heaven is undoubtedly hard to reach, but the Swedish group has gone very close to it with their ability.


  1. Prelude Of the Empyrean
  2. The Butterfly
  3. Inside the Night
  4. Out of Control
  5. I’ll Never Give Up
  6. Awake (We Are the Machines)
  7. One In a Million
  8. Call the Police
  9. Enemy
  10. Alive