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Empyreal Sorrow - PRÆY

Empyreal Sorrow
by Neil Cook at 30 September 2020, 1:46 PM

Some reviews are harder than others.  And this is one of the hard ones. The reasons for me saying this will become clear, but enough to say I am conflicted by this album.
Anyway first the facts.  "PRÆY" is the debut album from the rare beast of a German Melo Death band.  Forming in 2019 in Munich and putting out a full length album is quite an impressive feat.

The musicianship on display here is top line.  The songs are well crafted, and the band are obviously as tight as can be.  They have a heaviness and equal measures of groove and melody, but for me, and this is a personal opinion, in general I don’t like the vocals.  Yes both guys scream and growl their respective nuts off, and, for me, in a few cases it does work, but I am simply not a fan of this type of delivery.  However I know a lot of the congregation of the Temple are, and if you are I hope you enjoy what EMPYREAL SORROW have to offer.

Certainly from a production point of view the album is balanced and the sounds nicely layered.  Often the production used on this type of genre can have either the vocals dominate, or the music sit so on top of the vocals it renders it no more than a base noise. So hats off go getting the sonics right. I am not going to write this up as a bad album, I didn’t hate it, it just wasn’t in the main for me.  However there were 3 stand out tracks I did like. “The Error Code”, one of he heavier tracks, and with some incredibly gruff vocals in places, it had a great groove, brilliant axe work, and the “chorus”, if you can call it that was really good.

Scars Of Old”. A bit of a chuggier riff, an almost old school feel to the song. The vocals just seem to work, I think it is the pacing of the song.  And then the break in the middle of the song, which sounds like the Metal Dr Who’s theme song.  The song has a disturbing menace. “Killing Silence”. Again a slower paced number, similar in structure in many ways to “The Error Code”, but carrying a lot of the brooding feel of “Scars Of Old” and distilling it into the best song on the album.  These guys work when they are at their most doomy, death-like, sludgy paced for me.

I have to give an honorable mention to “A Night Without Armor”, it was so close to getting there.  Musically it is with the 3 mentioned above, but the main vocal on the track didn’t win me over, unfortunately. So no one that is going to be in my top 10 of 2020, but isn’t going to be in the bottom half either. 3 good songs and one OK song, and 5 that just were not to my taste vocally, but a LOT musically going for it.  For a debut piece showing bags of promise.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Throw Into The Fire
2. Source Of (In)humanity
3. The Error Code
4. Come Down With Me
5. Quite Depression
6. Scars Of Old
7. Voice Of Violence
8. Killing Silence
9. A Night Without Armor
Martin Szeike – Vocals
Martin Hofbauer – Guitar
Markus Winter – Guitar
Basti Moser – Bass, Vocals
Julian Osterried - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 05 December 2022

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