EMBRIONAL / EMPHERIS - The Spectrum of Metal Madness (OLD TEMPLE - Split CD 2009)
I think that this split CD has got the most adequate title for its content ever possible. Because here are two pure metal bands, both which are very passionate, enthusiastic and uncompromising in the way they play their music. And I’m quite a fan of both these Polish acts. Embrional has shredded me with two killer demo materials, of which the second one, “Annihilation”, is especially a worthy piece of old styled brutal death metal. Empheris has released an impressive number of releases ever since I had a chance to listen to them for the first time – and my first meeting with them was the 2005 demo “Ancient Necrostorms”. It became quite hard to be familiar with everything that this band records and releases, but those materials, which I have in my collection, like “Regain Heaven” album and “Tribute to Dark Desires”, I like a lot and can say that this is one of my favourite acts, which plays blackened thrash metal! Both bands have delivered on “The Spectrum of Metal Madness” two songs of their own plus each have also added a bunch of covers to make this split even more interesting. And I must admit that I really like such ideas for the split releases, when each band not only puts their own tracks, but also some covers. It is very pleasant offer for every die hard metal maniac, if only the quality is here. And in case of both Embrional and Empheris you can be sure that both bands deliver a killer dose of metal madness!
Embrional kicks off first, with two songs: ”Homicide” and “The Abyss of Human Soul’. It takes few seconds to get used to the band’s sound, the drums especially, but after a while everything clicks and I’m able to fully appreciate band’s music. This is pure, straight forward, massive death metal, very much in the vein of Immolation, Morbid Angel as well as Damnation, with vocals sounding just like Ross Dolan’s and with many killer fast parts. Some of their riffs are pretty twisted (the opening one for “Homicide” reminds me of Pestilence really, while the one with which “The Abyss of Human Soul” starts is more technical and sounds almost uncontrolled, but what a ferocity comes with it!). Anyway, Embrional’s way of playing death metal is very impressive, it is very much old school death metal and if you’re into fast, straight forward demonic sounds, this band is for you, really! My only complaint would go for the fact that “Humanicide” sounds a little bit like an unfinished song, with not even two minutes on the clock it rapidly ends, just when you would expect another blizzard of riffs to come. For the covers, Embrional has chosen some of the best bands ever – Mayhem’s “Buried by Time and Dust” (hell yeah!!!!!), Sarcofago’s “Rotting” (just scream “Jesus rooootttinnnggg!!!!”) and Pestilence’s “Land of Tears”. I truly love the first two covers, they’ve been played with relentless passion and strength; these are just killer songs and great performance! “Land of Tears” (I think someone should make a song “Land of Tits” one day!), while I love the original of this track, sounds a bit mediocre. Originally this track was bringing a lot of emotions and incredible atmosphere, which Embrional wasn’t able to fully transfer into their version. It is OK, but nothing more. But that’s not all, what Embrional has to offer. Their last song is titled “Death and Destruction” and it is a killer idea to glue together some of the best riffs from the metal history into one devastating instrumental song – one which I am sure will destroy live! And so Embrional picked up riffs from bands like Slayer, Immolation, Vader, Morbid Angel and made a fantastic track, one which is a perfect end for their part of the split! Arghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!
Musically speaking Empheris may be very different to Embrional, hailing slightly more archaic styles and bands, but despite that, those Warsaw based maniacs fit great to Embrional’s part of the split. Here is very old school, very archaic blend of thrash, heavy and black metal and trust me, they are great band. Very good, clear, but energetic and powerful production, catchy, aggressive riffs, fantastic, varied vocals… these are the biggest strengths of Empheris’ music! I especially like their “Black Pyramid” track - what a killer main riff is there! It is deeply rooted in classic heavy metal, but played in the black metal vein, if I can say so and the vocals in this song are simply awesome. For the covers, Empheris has chosen a bunch of bands, which I am not so crazy about. While the cover of Assassin’s “Assassin” is something to get thrills about and I can say it is fantastic song, then I’ve never been a fan of The Ramones. Blasphemy’s “Atomic Nuclear Desolation” is not really a song, it’s just 20 seconds of guitar smashing, so no point in reviewing it and “Slowly We Rot” of Obituary is very good indeed, I love this song (even though Obituary is not my favourite death metal band), but I have slightly mixed feelings about such stylistically diverse choice of bands to cover. I liked “Assassin” most, the rest is also cool, but when looking at the whole cover-slaughter which both bands delivered, I liked Embrional’s part definitely more. Still, Empheris did great job.
Anyway, “The Spectrum of Metal Madness” is definitely a kind of split releases, which must not go unnoticed. I recommend you strongly getting it, grabbing a couple of beers and enjoying a true, passionate metal devastation, which both bands deliver. Together with it you may want to try to get Throneum / Revelation of Doom – “Total Regression” split CD, which is very similar, speaking of the choice of covers and two own songs. And maybe also Bloodthirst / Excidium, if we want to stay on the Polish metal land. Hell yeah, good stuff.
Final rate: 90/100