Album Review: Empatic – Gods of Thousand Souls
Posted by Reggie
Formed in 2005, Poland’s Empatic rose from the ashes of two defunct bands. After countless live performances in and around Poland and several lineup changes, their latest album, Gods of Thousand Souls, was released and distributed in February 2011. Their English-language marriage of Death and Thrash metal is a quality release of guttural vocals, tight riffs, and head banging tempos. Their album boasts 11 songs over 48-minutes including a cover of Enola Gay originally recorded by OMD. They managed to take that 80’s style techno riff, keep its core sound, and turn into a rhythmic heavy metal song. Now that Empatic has their bearings and solid album release under their belt, they are a band destined to spread their wings well-beyond Poland and Eastern Europe.
Empatic’s recipe for metal incorporates two lethal subgenres. The marriage of Thrash and Death brings with it the potential to be bone-crushingly heavy with tight guitar riffs and solos being the driving force. Empatic has done well in this area. Dreamer is a rhythmic Death metal song with long bursts of double bass drum. One thing that stuck out is you can hear the bass guitar; instead of just helping keep the pace, you can actually hear its presence in the music. All too often the bass is a wash unless it’s part of a solo. I like how Empatic made it a point to emphasize it along with everything else that’s going on.
The song Empatic is basically an instrumental. There is one line of lyric that appears at intervals, but besides that, it’s instrumental in nature; the kind metal song with cool hooks and a nice gallop. The song slowly builds up to a speedy double bass cadence with tight riffs; errs more on the side of a straightforward thrash song…a treat to listen to. I can’t say I ever heard OMD’s song Enola Gay before, but it had a certain familiarity to it. Empatic’s version is quite heavy, but they took the core tempo of the original and made it their own. Enola Gay isn’t the kind of song you would think be covered by a metal band, but I have seen others covering not-so-heavy songs; must be a trend.
False Friend is less than 3-minutes and packs a punch; brutal from start to finish. There are some backing vocals here from other guys in the band chanting “false friend” which gives it a hint of Hardcore. There is a nice break for a cool solo; very get to the point kind of song. Fulfilled Dreams is a toned-down head banding experience. The tempo change here brings a little diversity to the album. Though mostly head and heavy all the way through, songs like Fulfilled Dreams break the brutality while still retaining the Thrash/Death feel.
Overall, this is a very well put together album; Empatic is putting Poland on the metal map with the release of Gods of Thousand Souls. Even though it was released a year ago, it’s never too late to review and share music.