EMPHERIS - Ancient Necrostorms (EYE - CD 2007)
Ladies and gentlemen, motherfuckers and fatherfuckers, sheep shuggers and donkey lovers… Here I have an unquestionable pleasure to present you one certain Polish band, which not only plays a fuckin awesome music, but which also hails to the most treasured and important values of the metal underground (which means a big NO to the websites, facebooks, myspaces or mp3! This is of course quite weird as I write this review for website, but who cares hehe). Their name is Empheris and the band hails from Warsaw. Here, in the Polish underground, Empheris is already a well respected act, one which gained all that appreciation through the music, but also due to the persons who are involved in this band – mainly Empherion and Adrian (who’s also a man standing behind awesome R’LYEH zine and who also contributes in band called Hellish). Anyway, this is already the second time when I review “Ancient Necrostorms”. First time I had a pleasure to write few sentences about it, when I got this album as a promo 2005 and reviewed it for my Panzerfaust zine (issue #5). I just have read this old review a minute ago and I can say that I rated the album for 70/100, which is pretty good I guess… Today, when I listen to it, I agree with my old review fully and again I can give exactly the same number of points, which means I still like this album a lot.
But let’s start from the beginning. While the promo, which I got back in 2005 was released on CDR, with Xeroxed cover, then the professional pressing CD was released by the Eye Distribution, in limited quantity of 1000 copies (and this is actually the only release, which was unleashed by Eye). I should mention that the whole layout in the booklet for this CD is very simple, in black and white colouring, with quite bad quality of the back inlay (you can hardly read the titles of the songs on it)… but what this pressing of “Ancient Necrostorms” got in advantage against the promo 2005 are three bonus tracks, which were taken from “The Rest Are Remains” EP. That’s definitely cool that there’s something extra on this CD, it makes “Ancient Necrostorms” even more worthy to get.
I guess I should finally write something about the music, which Empheris plays. And this is something really exciting and cool, if I can say so. Just imagine very old school sounding thrash metal mixed with a lot of black metal influences, and then you’ll get Empheris. But sometimes those black metal parts take a dominant role in Empheris music and overshadow the thrash metal style, what doesn’t really disturb or bother me, as also then “Ancient Necrostorms” sounds damn fine and cool. What I like about Empheris is that even though there are few bands, which you can say about that they play blackened thrash metal, I guess none of them really sounds like this Warsaw troop. Sure, there may be traces of Nifelheim or whatever, but as the whole there’s something unique in Empheris’ style, which is great! When listening to it you can find traces of such acts like old Bathory, old Emperor (yeah, why not??), Mayhem (speaking of some vocal parts, which are sang with cleaner voice and almost remind me Attila’s vocals!), Tormentor, Necrodeath, Desaster, Nifelheim, Nocturnal Breed, even Gorgoroth and Darkthrone from their “Total Death” and later era (check the song “Empherial Abyss Disaster”). And of course, there is also a band called Venom, whose music I have a feeling that Empheris members may know quite well. Yeah, you can put a lot of similarities, but it’s the way, in which Empheris completed and arranged their songs make them different. The tempos are either very fast (like in “Necropulsar” or “Valley of Nifelheim”), when the band sounds very black metallish or sort of mid paced, almost rock’n’rollish, if I can say so, more old styled and archaic in thrash metal vein. And at few occasions, when there are clean vocals, they sound slightly more epic, which fits great to the whole album, making it even more diverse, which is another strength of “Ancient Necrostorms”.
Then there are those three songs from “Rest Are the Remains”, which I’m quite glad to hear. They are thrashing even more than the older material from “Ancient Necrostorms”, the black metal influence has been slightly dropped and so the whole sounds very old school. Even the vocals sound more like Mille Petroza’s voice than black metal shriek, which is also great. Anyway, those three tracks are equally murdering as the stuff from “Ancient Necrostorms”, in many ways I may like them even more, for that relentless aggression and archaic feeling they provide. This is just pure Teutonic metal celebration, performed with Polish energy and frenzy. What’s more, the production for both materials is really good, clean and professional, but with maintaining of the raw edge of these metal styles; so don’t expect a garage, filthy production here! All in all, it’s hard to resist and not to bang your head, while listening to this album… so, I’m not gonna write anything more, but do exactly what bands like Empheris are made for – bang my skull in blackened thrash metal worship.
Final rate: 70/100