A thundering Canadian dose of post-metal coupled with a dash of melody, Empress create a rather frightening, yet shimmering atmosphere that I think will manage to satisfy a large variety of fans in this genre. “The Offering” is slow and pummeling, while “Immer” injects a rather notable hint of blues into the madness. Admittedly, it can become a bit strange when the female chants come in, almost sounding completely out of place entirely; but this seems right at home for this oddly interesting act. This is the Neurosis formula, the early Mastodon formula, the classic post-metal formula in a nutshell; but it seems to have such a sense of depth that it feels like more than the slow tread we are most often given when it comes to this kind of music. These gentlemen went out of their way to give us something that just isn’t fucking normal for the genre in some cases, and I appreciate that. There’s even a slight dose of Krallice right towards the end of “Immer” which I don’t feel would be a natural implementation for several post-metal acts this day and age, esepcially when the genre is imploding along with djent (thankfully, on that one though) and hopefully deathcore which was the watered down death that we didn’t need. But post-metal is a different story altogether, and when such beautiful leads can be meld into such a stark and defined sense of brutality, then we’re getting a performance that feels more organic and artistic, rather than just another easily consumable product. Perhaps “Immer” and “They Speak Like Trees” are the main standouts, but with such an oblong closing note like “Dawn” it is safe to say that these gentlemen are up to something brilliant.
(5 Tracks, 28:00)
Purchase HERE (Bandcamp)