So, you look at this band and you think “Oh, another black/death metal band to sit and saturate an already overflowing market”. You would only be half right there. Emptiness is a strange beast, it seems to settle on a very deeply rooted sound for most of the album, then has a few sections where the listener is forced to sit up and say “Hey, I’m sure the rest of the album wasn’t like that”.
The vast majority is a very well done black/death metal fare, where they balance out technicality, aggressiveness and atmosphere. The production is very clean with a slightly higher emphasis on the higher register sounds for added ambiance. The mix is also kept very thick throughout, creating a wall of sound, but a translucent wall out sound in which each distinct part can be picked out with ease. The songs are mostly riff-based with some wandering, through-composed sections. The riffs are for the most part very memorable, but a lot of them are very similar.
Some members of the group will most likely be familiar to anyone who hasn’t just discovered metal in their lunch break, with two members from black metal legends Enthroned within their ranks. The experience of these members definitely shows as they keep a very mature sound throughout the record.
The band experiments with dissonance in parts and with keyboards in others, sometimes mixing the higher pitched tremolos of the BM elements with the lower register DM riffs for a very full sound, but the most interesting parts are the noise/ambient songs and segments. These can be heard mainly in the intro and the two-part title track. They provide a nice break from the sometimes repetitious regular sections and give a nice contrast to the rest of the album. They flow from the more aggressive tracks very convincingly and are definitely crucial to keeping the release interesting.
Unfortunately, the fact that the band needs to break away from their usual sound completely to keep the listener engaged brings me to the main gripe which I have touched on a few times already. Most of the album sounds very similar; the songs are difficult to tell apart and they don’t experiment much until the second half of the album. The release simply feels too drawn out, even for the 37 minutes the album lasts. If they took out some of the more unnecessary songs and added in another ambient song, the release could be kept fresh continuously, but as it stands, the similarities drag the album down.
Despite the flaws, this is an enjoyable release which promises some good future material. If they ever come out with a release full of material like the latter half of this album, I’ll be the first in line.
Label: Agonia Records
Avantgenre: Black/Death Ambiance
Official site: http://www.emptiness.be/
Review online since: 17.03.2009 / 23:18:09
01 – Truth Of Trinity
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