'Gods Of Thousand Souls', the debut Album from Poland's Death/Thrash Metallers, Empatic, is an album that I hope they are proud of because it's really rather excellent! The band, consisting of Włodas on bass, Ylope Que on drums, Jacub Bednarski and Sesyl on guitars and Maciej Rochaczewski on vocals, have only been around since 2005, producing a demo in 2007.
The whole album is very listenable, brimming with catchy riffs, but the thing that really sold the album to me was the vocals which are deep, rumbling and rasping yet very clear. Maciej has got one awesome set of lungs. I do have a tendancy to go on about vocalists a lot but for me that is the crucial factor that makes or breaks a band and an album from my perspective.
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The opening track, 'Green Mile', is an upbeat track, as is most of the album soundwise. The album title track 'Gods Of Thousand Souls' has a good groove to it and thought provoking lyrics. The tempo becomes more frantic for 'False Friend', a tale of betrayal. A couple of noteworthy tracks, 'The Game', which has a catchy, pulsating riff throughout and 'Tomorrowland', for its catchy repeat riff and the roaring "Ooooohhhhhhh!" at its start.
Moving on to 'VS',a track packed with chugging riffs and an atmospheric solo at the end. Also finishing with atmospheric solos, 'Fulfilled Dreams' and 'Dreamer', with the added bonus of thought provoking lyrics.
For 'So What?', Maciej impressively drops to the bottom of his vocal range. The track 'Empatic' is predominantly instrumental, with a hypnotic riff throughout and interspersed with chants from Maciej.
The absolute wild card of the album is 'Enola Gay', an OMD cover. It's cheesy but fun. And I like it far better than the original just because it has been given the Death Metal treatment. No better way to end an album.
The album cover artwork suggests that a more brutal sound might be contained within but I have learnt not to judge an album by the cover. It is quite mainstream and commercially acceptable. That is not a criticism, just an observation.
It should hold a lot of appeal to the thrash Metal masses and that has to be a good thing and despite being on the lighter end of my personal tastes, I loved it.
'Gods Of Thousand Souls' is out on Terrasound Records now.