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Empress (Premonition)

Crank this to 10.4 of 11 - Editors' Pick

Released: 2020

Genre: Heavy Rock, Post-Metal

Sounds Like: Red Scalp, Solstafir, Baroness

Empress have fucking thread the needle on their third release entitled Premonition. The album is sonically stunning with its majestic tones and elaborate song structure. The trio hails from Vancouver, British Columbia and are a must for your heavy collection if you enjoy the three ‘Sounds Like’ bands above. Lead singer and guitar frontman, Peter Sacco (former SEER) delivers one of the best vocal performances of the year. The sadness that fills his lungs is distinct as all hell and will consume your thoughts.

Empress delivers steadfast patience in letting their songs breathe so as to make the high points and culmination on tracks all that more powerful. Their song structure hits unheard of levels that remind us of Swan Valley Heights and Red Scalp. Rich well thought out painted landscapes that whisk you away.

Track Listing:

1. A Pale Wanderer (8:09)

2. Sepulchre (4:44)

3. Passage (4:57)

4. Trost (6:11)

5. Hiraeth (8:03)

6. Premonition (7:04)

7. Lion’s Blood (9:39)

Standout Track:

We will be cliche here and say, its an across the board gem, as the album bleeds perfectly together. Guns to our heads though, we will take the closer "Lion’s Blood" for its utter chilling movement just before the 7 minute mark. The fucking bottom drops out and Brendan Gunn absolutely kills it with some of the most chilling bass work we have heard. Not but 30 seconds later we hit blissful majestic post rock vibes that then morph into absolute beautiful anguish. Now just a short second place behind is "A Pale Wanderer". This track has an infectious melody that will stay with you for life.

Adult Beverage Pairing:

Bloomsday a 7% ABV cites-like orgasm from Fieldwork Brewing in California has the perfect complexity to match Empress’ latest masterpiece. A creamy body is balanced out with a hint of the hop's high alpha bitterness, creating a fruity bite that tastes just like fresh squeezed juice, pith and all. With an aroma that could level a house and a tropical intensity that could make your eyes feel like they're going to pop right on out, Bloomsday IPA wrapped up in liquid poetry.


Captivation and Variety

10.7 out of 11

Vocal Prowess

10.4 out of 11

Weight of the Heavy

9.8 out of 11

Fretwork Prowess

10.2 out of 11

Percussive Vision

10.2 out of 11


10.4 out of 11

Overall Album Flow

10.7 out of 11


10.6 out of 11

Album Cover Aesthetics

9.7 out of 11

Production Value

10.3 out of 11

Band Members:

Peter Sacco- guitarist/vocalist

Chris Doyle- drummer

Brenden Gunn- bassist

Final Thoughts:

This is precisely why we do what we do. A band that has absolutely taken their sound to a new level on their third release has captured a sound and feel that must be in everyone’s collection. The seven tracks will engage you from start to finish. We so appreciate the time and clear effort that went into the making of this album. Finds like this help cushion the blow on our inability to go to great live shows that to Covid. Well we are sorry to get a little negative, but throw this one on during your next outdoor endeavor or blissful hike. It will be a game-changer for you.

Follow Empress: Bandcamp / Facebook

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