EMPHERIS / CRYPTIC RITES - Netherworld Emissions (WM PSYCHO - CD 2011)
How many splits can you release? Well, in case of Empheris the answer is: fuckin lots! You may have read my reviews of some other Empheris releases, which in most of the cases I liked a lot. Only recently I also have heard another one, with Wishmaster, which was also really OK (although on this one it was Wishmaster’s music, which I liked more) and here is “Netherworld Emissions”, split release between Empheris and Cryptic Rites, which I wanted to get for a while and which finally ended up in my stereo. But first I must say that again I am hugely disappointed with the way the CD has been released. I mean you would think that they’ll learn from the past mistakes and if the printing of the booklets from the previous releases was shit and sometimes you could have hardly seen anything on it, then here it will improve. But no. The booklet of “Netherworld Emissions” is crap, i.e. what’s the point in putting the band’s photos, if you cannot see anything on it, so dark – or just black – it is? Well, hopefully Empheris will finally learn and improve that matter in the future (well, they actually did as the split with Beast Petrify has much more decent looking booklet and layout).
OK, but let’s listen to “Netherworld Emissions”. Empheris delivers here five tracks, including two covers. I must say that I really like their songs from this split. “Contamination Rites” and “Necromongerdom” are just superb pieces of blackened thrash metal, some of the best ones, which they have recorded so far. The riffing is just killer, the vocals also, and I also like the production a lot. And there’s also “Blood Wraith”, an older song, which was already on one of the previous releases (I don’t remember on which one though) and here it is re-recorded for some reasons, but since it probably is the best Empheris song ever, I have no problem in listening to it again, in this re-arranged version. For the dessert Empheris offers Death’s “Corpsegrinder”, which sounds awesome and Darkthrone’s “Hans Siste Vinter”, which isn’t really my favourite track from this band and in Empheris’ version it also sounds rather mediocre. Anyway, I must say that I am very pleased with Empheris’ part of “Netherworld Emissions”.
Meanwhile Cryptic Rites starts to play their stuff. I didn’t know anything about this band, before I got this split, but I can say that this Polish squadron of death is pretty decent. There’s still a lot to be improved in their music, but for now I can say that it is audible enough to enjoy it. Cryptic Rites is more death metal oriented, but also stack in rather old school styles, their sound is quite raw and everything is just as rough and violent as it can only get. And as I said, it is OK, but nothing mind blowing. Cryptic Rites played their own version of “Contamination Rites” – which is the opening song from Empheris part of the split – and while the song is just killer, I definitely liked Empheris’ version of it over the Cryptic Rites’. In other songs I was quite surprised to hear quite thrashing riffs here and there, what gave the band more uncompromising, but also very archaic sound, like in songs “Thrashed to Death” (well said!) and “Hellish Mockery”, only the vocals are more guttural, in classic death metal style, combined with more screaming kind of vokills. So in the end I think Cryptic Rites really fits well to Empheris, although their music should be rather called death / thrash, if anyone cares. As for the necessary cover, here we get Sodom’s “Remember the Fallen”, definitely one of my favourite anthems of this legendary German band and arrghhhh, Cryptic Rites played it really well, I must say. Definitely it’s a cool finish to a very interesting and worth being collected split CD.
Final rate: 75/100