Written by: The Administrator
Typically, familiarity with a musician's past work will flavor an audience's reception to said musicians new endeavor. However, due to a certain inability on my part to absorb press kits details prior to imbibing, I listened to this absolute beast of an EP many, many times before realizing that the roster is chock full o' recognizable extreme metal talent. Featuring current and former members of *checks notes* Possessed, Abbath, Decrepit Birth, The Kennedy Veil, Black Crown Initiate, and Angerot, this quartet of blackened death thrashers evidently know their way around the ol' block.
It shows. Glossolalia is a riveting three-track, and, needless to say, a very strong first outing. It is explosive, tastefully frenetic, and varied enough to avoid being pigeonholed according to the tenets of their prior work. Let's dive in, shall we?
If you're a fan of any of the aforementioned associated acts and are expecting something similar, you're in for an awakening/pleasant surprise. Empty Throne feel wholly unique by benefit of the various genres they bring to the table. Their formula, if it can be considered as such, is a conglomerate through and through. Across the breadth, we encounter the furious momentum and gang-shout gravitas of thrash, the sheer brutality and precision of crisp death metal, the sharp sting of seething blackened savagery, and, lest it be forgot, a tantalizing gothic ambience. Given the length of each track, this sonic and aesthetic variety does a helluva lot in terms of keeping things are fresh as possible--particularly given the fact that these riffs were originally written many years ago, and have successfully avoided the dust and patina that all-too-oft comes with age.
Any track will serve nicely as a topic for in-depth discussion, but for a single example of the ornate and genre-jumping songwriting on display, look to "That Day Has Come" which structurally serves as the meat of the Glossolalia sandwich. Gothic piano sets the scene before Empty Throne rip off the band-aid with a barn-burning series of high-intensity riffs. The drums churn ahead at an alarmingly frantic rate--so much so that I can only help but marvel at Gabe Seeber's sheer fortitude. All the while, C.R. Petit's predictably grim and varied vocals seem locked in an internal discussion, delivered in an cadence that isn't urgent per se, but most definitely forthright. The number of layered vocal styles on display is impressive, to say the very least. The track closes on mournful note, with melancholic guitar and an ominous vocal tone. Once again, the variety serves to keep it from getting dull or repetitive, which, in the blackened death arena, is a win in my book. This isn't to say, however, that this song is the only one to shake things up. Indeed, from the thrashy air of the title track, to the the tremolo-laden flair and fury of closer "My Flesh The Temptation"--which, if pressed, if probably my favorite of the three.
Notably, there is no particularly element that stands above the rest, or serves as the glue to hold everything together. Every member is exceedingly proficient, serving as an integral part of the larger complex puzzle. This is a very impressive first release, and sets Empty Throne up nicely for a full-length that will inevitably kick the damn door in. Glossolalia comes highly recommended--and we slumbering scribes will be on the lookout for whatever they cook up next.
EMPTY THRONE - Glossolalia will be released May 7th, 2021 via Wise Blood Records. Pre-order on CD and Cassette here.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!