EMPHERIS - A Tribute to Black Desires (NECROPULSAR - CD 2007)
If you take a look at the impressive amount of releases, which the discography of Empheris holds, then you may expect a wide variety of different recordings there – from demos, splits, EPs, full length albums, compilations… whatever you think of. But at the same time it is quite certain that the quality will also range – from good or very good to those more mediocre or even uninteresting releases. This compilation, titled “A Tribute to Black Desires”, belongs to the less interesting Empheris releases, at least in my opinion. The initial idea for it was to exhume, rearrange and re-record some old songs, which were composed by the band called Eris, all written between 1995-97. And Eris was a band, which Empherion, one of Empheris leaders, played in. This old band recorded only one or two demos and then split up somewhere around 1997 and Empheris is actually a continuation of it, when Empherion gathered some new musicians in 2003, but decided to take a different moniker (which was a good decision, as Eris is a name of the brand of some women cosmetics, so it would be very funny to have a black metal band with such moniker hehe). But more about the Eris history and all the reasons for the release of this compilation will be revealed to you, when you read what Empherion has written in the booklet. I’ve never actually heard any of the old Eris materials, so I didn’t really know what to expect from “A Tribute to Black Desires”, but was quite curious about it as well.
There are five old Eris songs, which Empheris arranged and re-recorded. I must admit that even re-recorded, they still sound incredibly old school and archaic, and not many bands really play something like this nowadays, you cannot hear such riffs so often. They’re like very simple, basic thrash metal riffs, with some Accept influences plus more shrieking, harsh vocals... Pure regression and archaism – this is what this material is like, if you want to know. All songs’ structures are very simple, they (songs) do not demand more than just head banging and beer bath from you, delivering also some more catchy and memorable choruses, in case if you would like to scream some words with Adrian. Hmm, but you know what? Despite the relatively good production and somehow energetic feeling of those songs, I cannot say I liked them much. Definitely I like the new Empheris material more, because it’s more aggressive, harsher, more relentless, faster and more black / thrash metal. I guess it’s OK to listen to “A Tribute to Black Desires” from time to time and also to have a copy of this compilation, just for collecting purpose, but if this CD was the thing, with which you would like to start your journey through Empheris discography, then I advise you to pick up something else.
“A Tribute to Black Desires” offers also few covers, and so there’s really cool Sodom cover, “Agent Orange”!!!!!!!!!!! Great song, well performed and it’s definitely the best thing on the whole compilation. Then there’s a cover of a band called The Abyss – an old side project of Hypocrisy guys. I haven’t listened to the original for years, so I hardly recognised that it’s them, but anyway Empheris recorded their version of “Marutukku”. Finally there’s a song from a band called Valpurgia, which was an old black metal band, in which Adrian, Empheris’ vocalist played in the 90’s. Just like with Eris, I don’t know this band’s original material, but the song “Last Journey” sounds as archaic and primitive as Eris, but maybe more melodic and harmonious. Finally “A Tribute to Black Desires” is closed with Morbid Angel’s “Desolate Ways”… This is of course a beautiful acoustic piece from “Blessed are the Sick” masterpiece. And that’s about everything that I have to say about “A Tribute to Black Desires”… A decent collection of songs, but definitely not the best release in the whole Empheris discography.
Final rate: 65/100