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Empress : Reminiscence (EP)


The debut EP form Empress stands out promisingly in the crowded world of Sludge/Post-Metal.



Vancouver's Empress have garnered a fair bit of praise and favour with the release of 'Reminiscence', and not without good reason. It's often harder to come to a genre you love and remain objective enough to sort out much of the wheat from the chaff. Empress make this easy though. This is simply excellent stuff. Sludge Metal almost at it's finest, with Post-Core flourishes to stand the hairs on the arms. The breakdown during the opening track nearly had me up out of the arm chair and straight into the middle of the pit (living room floor), but as Danny Glover used to repeatedly say..."I'm too old for this shit".

So, what's so good about it? In a word, passion. You can feel this one. In spades. At roughly half an hour this is either a long EP or a short album, take your pick, but rest assured there's no filler here. Nothing I could spot at any rate. They pummel you the way Atriarch do with tribal percussion. There are blisteringly quick sections in keeping with the likes of Bast and Agrimonia which are there to serve the songs rather than just for the sake of it. And rather curiously, there are one or two song intros that wouldn't be out of place on any one of Alice in Chains' records. There are also enough riffs to keep people who found Mastodon on their third or fourth album happy for life.

Maybe because it's so good, and sadly so short, there's an element of the unfinished about 'Reminiscence'. It certainly leaves you wanting more, and perhaps that's no bad thing. It's ironic that a genre which threw away the rule book at the time of it's inception appears to have created for itself a whole new set of perameters, but thankfully there are several off-piste moments, such as the strange vocal on 'Immer', which suggest Empress are not a band to be shackled by too much convention. I get tired of saying it, but in this game, the gnarly, overly cluttered world of Post/Sludge Metal you've got to really shine in order to shine, so to speak. Empress are all but there, and it will be more than a little interesting to see what comes next.


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Reviewer's rating: 8/10

Information

Tracklist :
1. The Offering
2. Immer
3. Baptizer
4. They Speak Like Trees
5. Dawn

Duration : Approx. 28 minutes

Visit the Empress bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-03-19 by Matt Halsey
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