Empire of the Scourged - _Transcend Into Oblivion_
(Independent, 2013)
by: Chaim Drishner (7 out of 10)
Many a band illogically boast of being 'industrial' in the metal context, as if that tag transcends them from mere metal outfits into more respectable or singular realms. In that sense, many bands bitterly fail at delivering a true sense of industrial corrosive essence: incorporating into their music sounds of machines pummeling, engines humming, metal chains clicking, cog-wheels in motion, pistons bursting and drills... well, drilling. The only genuine metal combo that has ever come close to conceiving, maintaining and conveying that bleak, cold industrial essence would probably be Skin Chamber, the only couple of albums of which have articulated the art of industrial metal in an awe-inspiring manner, creating the very standard for that hybrid musical genre -- a standard nobody has since lived up to.

Empire of the Scourged's _Transcend Into Oblivion_ is basically more akin to Fear Factory's remixed albums than to Skin Chamber's unfathomable bleak soundscapes, but what these Dutch musicians create is a great admixture of metal and electronica that is very creative and potent -- just please don't call it industrial metal, because it is most certainly not the case here.

Taking you back to the beginning of the 1990s, anyone who remembers Drogheda's demo from 1992 would probably know what the deal is here, as _Transcend Into Oblivion_ resurrects this type of low frequencies, guttural, blasting, technical death metal coupled with a techno beat conceived in the gutters of the underground so many years ago. Drogheda's pioneering sound -- being one of the very first technology-driven death metal projects, coupling their techno with early Suffocation and Mortician to an extent -- echoes its gut wrenching, mechanical, inhuman death metal through this 25-minute journey to the entrails of a behemoth; the electronics only enhance that sweet, sweet tragedy.

_Transcend Into Oblivion_ often sounds like _Soul of a New Machine_ era Fear Factory and sometimes like any of their remixes (especially the impressive yet sadly overlooked _Demanufacture_) done with dualistic, mind blowing precision, while at other times it goes totally brutal death metal-style, sounding like Avulsed's excellent _Cybergore_ EP. This curiosity of a recording, dated from 1998, contained some revolutionary ideas when it comes to harnessing the contemporary aspect of technology-driven music to the aim of embellishing their fundamental brutish force with electronic finesse, metamorphosing the metallic backbone into something much more intriguing, synergising both dichotomies, fusing and reshaping them until they become one crazy, exhilarating, enjoyable and multicolored beast.

That is how _Transcend Into Oblivion_ works; it takes all the goodness of both worlds and twists them one around the other and spits the amalgam out with ferocious dynamics and aesthetic know-how, so both facets of the music -- indivisible and quintessential in equal measures -- sound so huge and spiteful, you'd forget this is actually a 50% electronic recording, and focus on the massive body of sound this beast of an effort produces with each passing moment.

_Transcend Into Oblivion_ is too short a recording for all of its inherent fun characteristics, and too good on any level to be ignored by open-minded listeners and purists alike, as it will quench both the thirst for brutality and for experimentation alike, and then some.

Empire of the Scourged stand on the same spot with other forward-thinking metal groups who harness technology and aren't ashamed of heavily using synthesizers and techno beats, but still deliver some robust, technical and inspired death metal of a high caliber, sounding all the more harrowing and depraved thanks to the mechanical beats and keyboards. They are at least as good as Fear Factory in their early years, as heavy as Avulsed sounded on their massive _Stabwound Orgasm_ album and as good as -- if not better than -- The Project Hate MCMXCIX. As simple as that.

We would certainly like to see this Dutch curiosity continue on the same accord and in the same direction on its future efforts, because a (death) metal / electronica hybrid that good is a rare occasion in metal's history, and as such, something to acknowledge and celebrate -- not only for its mere musical merits, but also for its bald statement and solidified aspiration to become a band of post-modern extremist experimentalists whose music actually holds water, makes sense and is rather unique in this world of faceless artifacts.

Contact: http://www.empireofthescourged.com/

(article published 15/5/2014)


RSS Feed RSS   Facebook Facebook   Twitter Twitter  ::  Mobile : Text  ::  HTML : CSS  ::  Sitemap

All contents copyright 1995-2017 their individual creators.  All rights reserved.  Do not reproduce without permission.

All opinions expressed in Chronicles of Chaos are opinions held at the time of writing by the individuals expressing them.
They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone else, past or present.