EMPHERIS / PURIFIER / CONQUEST ICON / WRAITH / NECROIST - We Are the Ancients (NECROPULSAR - CD 2013)
This split CD brings a special attention, in my opinion, because it gathers five bands from Warsaw and interestingly they all have similar / sometimes even the same line ups. There are two main bands here: Empheris (probably the main reason why I would want to listen to this CD, as I really like their music a lot) and Conquest Idol (which I have never had a chance to listen to before…). But the guys from these two bands have formed also some side projects and so we have here: Wraith, Necroist and Purifier. I’m not gonna now say what are the line ups of these last three bands, I may do that later, but it is really cool to see how the scene in Warsaw is getting stronger and sort of united, bringing to life some new bands and also organizing gigs, etc. “We Are the Ancients” compiles all five bands and well, I must say that it turned out to be quite interesting experience to listen to them all and enjoy some old skull stuff. I can say that already, but “We Are the Ancients” is really damn cool split and probably the only thing, which I would wish was done better is the layout, as the booklet – as always with Necropulsar releases – is just damn poor and could have been done better.
OK, Empheris opens “We Are the Ancients”… and this is the only band, which I really knew before, having several their CDs in my collection (and most of them are also splits hehe). Empheris belongs to my favourite bands from that sort of thrashing black metal style and I can truly recommend you some of their recordings, as they really fuckin shred to pieces. “We Are the Ancients” brings their three new songs and I am happy to say they don’t disappoint. OK, maybe it isn’t their best offering ever and there were some better songs composed and recorded in the past, but that high quality is still there and it is easy to enjoy some lethal, whipping riffs and killer songs. The production is quite rough, but it fits this music perfectly. What I like about Empheris is how memorable are some of their songs or particular riffs, like that awesome opening riff for “Nos es Antiquitas”… what a killer. Then it fastens and turns into one vicious thrashing black metal bastard and I love it. There’s some more melodic stuff here as well, so it is not just pure aggression and Adrian, the vocalist (and editor of one of the collects fanzines, R’Lyeh) together with Empherion did awesome job with the vocal arrangements. “The Anthem of Descending Darkness” is similarly awesome, again very vicious, fast and aggressive, but with that kind of epic feeling, slightly reminding me Absu, which I like a lot and finally there’s “Necrocosmosis”, which probably is my favourite track from the whole split. I can risk saying that Empheris has found their unique style and sound. Really great music, with lots of cool ideas, awesome riffs and vocals, with many tempo changes and song structures, which are more detailed and extended, not so simple and basic anymore… Just look at the song lengths… “Necrocosmosis” goes for almost nine minutes and really, a lot is going on during that time. So, well done Empheris… yet again! But now, please do a new full length album, it is about time for one hehe!
Then we have Purifier with two songs. This band was formed by Ronve (Conquest Icon, ex Taran and ex Ebola) on vocals with Empherion (from Empheris) on guitars and Imp (Empheric, Conquest Icon) on drums / bass. This band is more sort of straight forward, fast black metal, but really cool. I like how fast and intense is their music and that despite that, it still has some room for more diversity, even slightly melodic parts. I don’t know, if it’s because Empherion did some extra vocals here, but it does remind me Empheris a little, but maybe in more violent black metal version. “Descent of Reverent Souls” is awesome song, but “...And Blood Ran the Avenues of Warsaw” really caught my attention with cool Polish lyrics and great feeling. It sounds really cool! Purifier is about to record some new songs, so I cannot wait to hear them, it can be bloody good in my opinion.
Conquest Icon next… I realize I should know this band, because their debut CD “Hellspire” has been released in 2010, but damn it, I never had a chance to hear it. When I listen to their three songs from “We Are the Ancients” I am slightly surprised, as I actually expected kind of brutal death metal, for some reasons… I don’t even know why… Anyway, Conquest Icon plays something what is more like black / death metal, if you wanna know. Many of their riffs are sounding like classic death metal, but quite few are more in the black metal vein and the same goes for the vocals, which are the mix of growl (Andy) and scream / shriek (Ronve). And it is fine mixture, I truly enjoyed it. Fast, aggressive, uncompromising and fuckin vicious, reminding me such Belphegor a lot, just listen to “I Annihilate” or “Remnants” – die! I think I finally must search for “Hellspire” then.
Wraith is a band consisting of Empherion (guitars, vocals), Nymphobh (bass) and Helvete from Empheris (drums). This band is… OK, but nothing as good as three previous ones. Somehow their songs just sound like outtakes from Empheris with riffs, which were not good enough for their main band, but were decent to be used anywhere at all – and the choice was Wraith. Anyway, it is nothing special, just a mediocre black / thrash metal, with quite melodic riffs here and there like in “...And Thou Shalt Decay”… but the problem is that one song passes by, then another and none of them caused any serious damage to my hearing or body… It is OK, but nothing special.
Finally the last band, called Necroist, with the line up consisting of Empherion (guitars, vocals), Nymphobh (bass) and Imp (drums). They offer just one, but quite lengthy song, “Trinity of Necroism”, which is 13 minutes long. And the music? Well, it is just straight forward, classic black metal. And this one sounds really good – good production, lots of fast tempos, great atmosphere within this music and lots of dynamics, variety… I’m not gonna say that it is the best piece of black metal, which I have heard in a long time, because it is not, but it is very decent and certainly I like this project more than Wraith. Besides, the music reminds me some old Polish black metal bands like Sacrilegium, but with better production. So, really cool stuff here!
Final rate: 75/100