On July 24th, Vancouver’s Empress will self-release their highly anticipated debut album, Premonition. And today, the band reveal the first single, “Sepulchre.” Listen below:
Empress are a three-headed beast from Vancouver, B.C., born after guitarist/vocalist Peter Sacco (Seer) and drummer Chris Doyle attended a show headlined by doom mavens Elder. Inspired by the massive wall of sound and psychedelia they encountered on that fateful night, the pair enlisted bassist Brenden Gunn (Craters) and set out to create their own brand of stoner/sludge metal.
The trio, whose collective history dates back nearly a decade, went immediately to work. Within two months, Empress wrote and recorded the five tracks now collectively known as Reminiscence. With this debut EP, self-released in September 2017, Empress harvested a hybrid strain of monolithic groove, over-amped sludge, and mutant prog. Lyrically, this debut EP was a first experience for Sacco being able to vocally unleash emotions he does not make public, as well as life experiences him and his twin sister have had in life.
Above all, Empress say the band is not a vehicle for entertainment or flashy showmanship. “It is an emotionally driven, abstract band, and meant to serve as an artistic experience which has a culmination of life experiences, doubts, and growth from what life has brought each member.”
As befitting a first full-length, Premonition took years to write and was made with a newfound purpose and meaning for driving the songwriting. Once again laying it all on the line, the album’s lyrics are about the mental health of Sacco, his family members, and the experiences he has had with them – the traumas he deals with as payment for being there for someone mentally ill, and accepting loved ones, strangers, and anyone else with mental health issues. But, Sacco stresses, “No one should be pushing people that come forward with their mental health issues and leave them secluded with those issues.”
Premonition is recommended for fans of The Sword, Amenra, Elder, and Yob, but Empress are already etching out a cathartic identity all their own.
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