To get an idea of what Empyrios sound like, imagine that you’re working in a heavy industrial plant, which specialises in using hundred-ton weights to pulverize rocks into sand.
Like the influential destruction of Fear Factory and Strapping Young Lad, their industrial metal feel is an extremely heavy affair, but isn’t one dimensional, as I’ll explain below.
Their first album, The Glorious Sickness, was recognised as a high flier by the metal press; it gained approval from many reviewers, and Metal Hammer awarded the Italians their ‘Best Newcomer’ award in 2008. Not a bad year for them.
Since then, the members have been busy working with other bands including DGM and Mnemic. But they reconvened to record this album, which was released in April. On the subject of DGM, though, Zion features some similarly searing solos, which come flying from guitarist Simone Mularoni’s fingers at a tremendous speed. The vocals on Zion are sometimes layered, Devin Townsend style (and the atmospheric sections do call to mind his post-Strapping Young Lad era) – but also have quite a lot more in common with power metal, and also at times of classic metal bands like Iron Maiden. This combination of prog, power and industrial is very intriguing, though at times the power metal side of things does feel a little misplaced next to the heaviest riffs…
Empyrios have an original edge then – but it doesn’t always work. When it doesn’t, they also bring along some overused industrial motifs. When it does, they produce some of the grooviest riffs around. There’s no room for wrong moves in their tight tesselation of guitars – plus, the bass is thunderously, phenomenally tight. It adds extra power to saturate the mix with a deep shudder which will jar your bones against one another.
Masters is one of the heaviest things you’ll hear today, or maybe this week. But it’s also ridiculously groovy, and comes with a shredding solo which can’t wait to leap out of the box. Let us know what you think of it in the comments below!
The band enhance their sound with short electronic breaks, and riffs which reach dramatically out to the horizon. They work with all sorts of musical approaches to create a really diverse record, which is both melodic and, at times, as heavy as a lead brick. It was produced by Mularoni, and the album artwork was created by vocalist Silvio Mancini, proving that this band know how to work hard to achieve their goals.
Empyrios have a darkened vision of how power metal should sound, catering to the tastes of metalheads more engrossed in heavier subgenres. Nonetheless, this will appeal to fans of Symphony X or DGM, just as much as it will to Fear Factory devotees.
Without a doubt, Empyrios are a band to keep a close eye on in the future.