Vancouver post-metal project Empress are refreshingly candid about their band’s origins. The genesis of the band is linked to the majesty of witnessing psych heavyweights Elder live. But Empress isn’t a tribute project or defined by shallow mimicry. After their supernova of inspiration, Empress has explored introspective themes across their introductory releases. Now they’re releasing their debut LP Premonition, scheduled to be uncaged on October 9th. The album will be released by new Hammerheart Records sister label, Petrichor. Lucky for you, we have an exclusive stream of the full record 9 days early.
From the first bars of “A Pale Wanderer,” Premonition pours from an open heart. Whether they’re basking in lunar melodies or unleashing blastbeats, Empress retain an emotional core throughout Premonition. The opening track slyly dips into sun-warmed psychedelia before taking shelter in the shadows of nocturnal shoegaze. The crawling bass of “Sepulchre” invokes Conan’s heft if they sang about slaying mental illness. “Passage” coils around a sizzling guitar solo. Disembodied from the record, the tortured blasts of “Trost” feel like they’re on a different planet than the muted menace of “Hiraeth.” But the progressive post-metal of Premonition boasts a wildly eclectic of influences. Despite the variety, the album feels cohesive. Each song solemnly burns the same funereal incense. By the time the roar of “Lion’s Blood” fades, Empress personifies catharsis across 49 minutes of evocative heaviness. The album is dedicated to the memory of bassist Brendan Gunn, who unfortunately left us last October. The agility of each song’s composition feels like the spectrum of human emotion. Loss and melancholy. Ensuing rage. The warmth of remembrance.
Listen to Premonition below before it’s released on October 9th from Petrichor. Surrender to the lush melodies and jagged aggression by pressing play NOW.