"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Empyrean - "Quietus" (CD)

Empyrean - "Quietus" CD cover image

"Quietus" track listing:

1. Prelude
2. From Whenc?e the Mourn?ing Came
3. Halls? of Sorrr?ow
4. Pleas?ure of Anoth?er'?s Pain
5. Shack?led Withi?n
6. Raped? and Dying
7. Waves? of Tomor?row
8. Throu?gh Death? and Beyon?d
9. When the Sky Turne?d
10. Quiet?us

Reviewed by on July 14, 2009

"The song “Quietus” shows both Empyrean’s ability to play a chaotic type of approach and also to let the more serene moments slip in for variety."

On their latest release, "Quietus," Empyrean comes off sounding more as symphonic black metal than the death metal they are classified, but it does not seem to affect their potential at all. The band weaves a massive environment of sound and goes to all lengths to deliver it as dynamically as possible. Their thoughts aren't over-egotistical, however, as Empyrean is able to keep things within a logical limit of musicianship. This bodes well for their style, as they show a controlled effort on the whole.

When compared to Emperor, for example, we can see Empyrean not being quite as wild in their musical endeavours, as both the guitar playing and the symphonic elements are comparatively restrained. The staccato riffing is present here, but is more held back compared to that of Emperor again. The band is able to make themselves a unique identity within the genre however, as their music scorches up a good amount overall. The song “Quietus” shows both Empyrean’s ability to play a chaotic type of approach and also to let the more serene moments slip in for variety.

The downside of the album is perhaps that you would wish Empyrean became slightly more insane in their approach, but this isn’t the end of the world for the band, as they are able to forge a fairly balanced alternative. I also wasn’t the biggest fan of the vocals of James Hill. In the end this is a solid display of symphonic elements blended into a frenetic pacing that delivers a decent ride to the listener.

"Quietus" is not the greatest album you’ve ever heard, but there’s enough on display to make for a very good ride. The melding of symphonic ideas with a distinctive style makes for a good combination, and Empyrean is able to capitalize upon it to some extent.

Highs: Symphonic style and good perfomances.

Lows: Wish the band would let loose a little more.

Bottom line: A solid symphonic metal release with enough variety to please.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)