I love bands like Empires of Light because they’re beautifully awkward to categorise. This is always a good sign because when you’re having difficulty pigeon-holing a band then they’re clearly doing something right. So here goes: Empires of Light make drone-tinged post metal with atomspheric leads and black metal-esque screaming. This is their first release Apricity and it’s a wonderfully diverse little EP that showcases how broad the band’s sound really is.
The EP begins with Sumerian which is a slow burning track which builds and builds for the majority of its 8 minutes before the rumbling bass-line is finally joined by its 6 string brethren for a huge groove. Nathan “12 Bands” Coyle’s raspy scream adds to the claustrophobic atmosphere which is also punctuated by some rather delicate guitar leads which also contribute some wonderful texture to the band’s music.
Sumerian is then followed by a stylistic change that sees the band move into drone territory. Dalmatia is a 6 minute wall of reverberating noise and distorted feedback that creates a disparate and haunting atmosphere. Sadly the track lacks melody which means its inclusion generally feels like more of an extended interlude than that of a standalone song.
The EP comes to a close with another tumultuous 8 minute post metal ride in the form of Meredith. Beginning with a doom-like groove, the song moves from ball-busting riffs to restrained and harrowing guitar leads with wild abandon. Empires of Light revel in the quiet/loud dynamic and they use it with stunning effect to create songs that take you on an emotional journey that would soundtrack the worst fever dreams you can possibly imagine.
Empires of Light’s debut EP Apricity is a genre-defying release that showcases a band who want to make music full of ever-shifting movements in sound and texture that is heavy on atmosphere. The band have created a unified EP that is drenched in varied influences but feels wholesome. While the songs on Apricity function perfectly well on their own its within the context of the EP that they truly shine and despite the lack of melody at the half-way point, Empires of Light have delivered a powerful and intriguing début release. If anything it’ll certainly be interesting to see where they go from here.
Empires of Light’s Apricity is out today through Thirty Days of Night Records. You can order it by clicking here.