9 stars

Following up from a massive Summer in 2015, seeing them hit Download Festival, Euroblast, Camden Rocks and more, Emp!re have been hiding away for most of 2016 so far.

Following on from two previous releases – the appropriately named “Birth” EP in 2012 and their sophomore album “Where the World Begins” in 2013, the guys in Emp!re have been relatively quiet. Their latest release “Our Simple Truths” answers the question of their silence with the polar opposite – a huge wall of sound.

Drawing influences from Arcane Roots, At The Drive-In, and Biffy Clyro, these guys culminate into a progressive alt-rock band. With the right combination of screw-face weird sections and ethereal, beautiful vocal work and layering, they are somewhat reminiscent of Incubus and Prince, a combination that works in Emp!re’s favour. ‘Our Simple Truths’ opens with ‘Hands and Tongues’, the first and only single release to date from the EP. With a huge introductory riff and some uniquely different vocal choices, it is easy to see why this song was chosen to represent their work in its’ fullest. Moving through ‘Sparrow, Sights & Patchwork’ and ‘Bone’ we see the record move towards being more harmony laden, progressive and truly unique. Rounding off the record with ‘Sweet Apollo (Brighter than the Sun)’ is a really beautiful reprise. This album is summed up by a line from this track: “It’s a choreographed piece, like that of a dancer”.

With Chris Coulter (Arcane Roots, Rory Indiana, Kerrang! Presents) taking the production reigns this release is a clean and polished record with tones reminiscent of the sound we’ve come to expect of his style and values. It is a well mastered, mixed and full of subtle nuances you only notice the third and fourth time through.

So while you keep your eye out for some big dates in Autumn, Our Simple Truths will be available from May 20th; you can preorder the EP through iTunes. Definitely try and catch them on one of their tour dates prior to their release, check out their massive bass drum and bring them a full, non-discriminate bag of skittles before they waste away. (9/10)

FFO – Biffy Clyro // Coheed and Cambria // At the Drive-In // Prince

Review by Fred Whatmore


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