I picked this album up when I got to see Empyrean
Throne play in Modesto CA while they were on tour. They already blew me away once they took the stage, but little did I know their debut album had so much more in store. Clearly this band knows more than simply how to catch your attention in a live setting, they also know how to tell a story.
Admittedly, this is the first Black Metal
album I’ve ever physically owned, but I am quite familiar with the genre. Though it seems while most Black Metal
bands go to great efforts to keep their audience as selective as possible, Empyrean
Throne rebels against that notion by creating songs that could easily appeal to all kinds of audiences outside the genre. The blending of Folk Metal
, the cinematic live performance, the unbelievably tasteful melodies, the layers of ambience, and the diversity from the most crushing extreme moments to the softest melancholy moments on the album all prove that Empyrean
Throne is one of the few bands out there right now that is daring enough to attempt this kind of musical blend.
The one thing that stood out to me the most about this album was its use of sound effects and ambience to give each track a strong atmosphere. There are moments on this album where you could close your eyes while listening to it, and the song will put you right on the battlefield of a raging war. While this can be a very common practice for those who write music for video games like Skyrim or Civ 6, hearing this from a relatively new band is incredibly rare, and I cannot give them enough credit for using it as effectively as they do.
If there’s anything that I feel could be done better at all, it’s simply that quite a bit of the music sounds rather derivative at times. Some songs feel very fresh and challenging, while others have a very clear draw from bands like Behemoth
and Dimmu Borgir
. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you already enjoy that kind of music. If anything, Empyrean
Throne deliver that style of sound very respectfully to crowds who are already familiar with the bands from that genre.
On the other hand, I feel like Chaosborne
has a lot of elements that could potentially make Empyrean
Throne a band with a recognizable sound all of their own. My hope is that they keep releasing music that continues to evolve their signature style until they have a unique format that can even be imitated by others. Of course, my suspicion is that they are already on their way there, so I’m definitely looking forward to their next release either way.
Fans of Black Metal
could get into this album easily, if the front cover wasn’t already a good enough clue. But metalheads who aren’t quite into Black Metal
, I encourage you to at least listen to the last three songs of the album in order. Whether you like this style of music or not, there’s no denying well written tracks like Haereticus
Stellarum Part 1 and 2, and Follow The Plaguelord Part 2.
Overall I give this album a 17/20