Another day, another great from Australia. But this time, in contrast to the bright, ecstatic trappings of our recently premiered tracks from the island continent, we have something more sinister. Brisbane’s Empress are a post-metal/doom band that have anticipation and looming menace down to a tee, weaponizing every part of their sound, from ponderous guitars to operatic vocals, to create a sense of the theatrical. This makes “Scorpio Moon”, off of their upcoming Wait ‘Til Night (out November 20th on Brilliant Emperor Records), bleed with tension and aggression. From the first chord, through the dominance of the excellent vocals in the middle and end, and all the way to the last cymbal crash, Empress hold you by the throat, dangling the blade of their momentous metal above it. Let’s get to it.
God, do I love this guitar tone. It draws the fine line between dominating and complementary that is so hard to nail when making music at this tempo. Its sound undulates across the mix, granting the track that feeling of outstretched wings or an opening chasm. But it doesn’t drown out the centerpiece vocals, beautiful in their macabre timbre, or the all important glue that is the drums and bass. That latter is also used brilliantly to accentuate the outro of the track, as the guitars unspool into feedback and the bass remains, solitary, to carry the vocals on its back. And, again, I can’t stress enough how good those vocals really are. They are like the cover art, silk drenched in red, their richness hinting at death as much as they flirt with passion. In that sense, the track (and album) can almost be described as funeral doom, with its grandiose flair for the dramatic, but melded with the tones and agility of post-metal.
Bottom line, you need this album in your life. Make sure you head on over to the label’s Bandcamp to pre-order it, and not one moment too soon.