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Empress - Premonition

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 08 July 2020, 12:11 PM

EMPRESS is a Post-Metal/Doom/Sludge band out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. “Premonition” is the band’s debut full-length, and contains seven tracks. It was quite difficult finding any information on the band on the WWW, other than their Facebook page, which has only 1000 “likes.” “A Pale Wanderer” opens the album. It opens with dark tones and semi-clean guitars…eight minutes in length. It almost has a Hard Rock/Stoner Rock feeling to it. The sound drops and then picks back up again, and then drops as it fades away.

“Sepulchre” is just under five minutes in length, with a little more pep in the riff. The vocals are angrier too. The main riff shifts a bit but holds steady for the most part. This song is an expression of hate. “Passage” is another five-minute song, opening with a fairly jovial riff. I like the diversity on the album so far. BLACK SABBATH has to be one of their main influences, or perhaps FIREBALL MINISTRY. The jovial melody makes another appearance around the half-way mark, which you have to cling to, as it battles with the darkness of the main riff.

“Trost” is just over six minutes, with a return of the angry vocals. Close to the halfway mark, it slows, with just the thwacking of bass guitar notes, and light percussion. I really love hearing the bass in the mix here. It goes slightly psychedelic for a spell, mesmerizing the listener. “Hiraeth” is just over eight minutes, opening with a darkness and clean, mellow guitar notes. It builds slowly, with ethereal vocals. In a similar pattern, the sound drops around the half way mark to just bass guitar, light drums and vocals, but picks up pretty quickly thereafter.

“Premonition” opens with mellow guitar tones, and her I am picking up on the Post-Metal elements. It’s entirely instrumental, with mostly desponded tones throughout. “Lion’s Blood” is the album closer, at close to ten minutes in length. It opens with mysterious tones and hushed vocals. The main riff drops and it’s an angry affair. It lumbers forward like a wooly mammoth roaming the icy plains of the past, slowly gathering steam as it passes. The focus is on the deadly riffing. It almost sounds like Doom Metal at times.

Overall, I was impressed with the sheer ability to not be able to categorize the album here. They work in so many different sounds, and the songs are diverse. Happy at times, but mostly sad and despondent at other times, EMPRESS has developed a nice work here on “Premonition.” And considering this is a debut album to boot, they already sound like seasoned musicians who know their trade well. Nice work, lads!

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. A Pale Wanderer
2. Sepulchre
3. Passage
4. Trost
5. Hiraeth
6. Premonition
7. Lion’s Blood
Chris Doyle – Drums
Peter Sacco – Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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