One thing you can almost guarantee from a band featuring Allfather vocalist Tom B. and Redbait alumni Will J. (guitar) and Cody A. (drums) is that politics will play a big role. The transatlantic trio’s new project, Wretched Empires, is initially seemingly a marked departure from the members’ past efforts, but in reality it’s a fitting continuation of the righteous fury prominent in their previous works. By taking the politics of Allfather and Redbait and channelling them through a more distinctly blackened sound, the band are set to join the likes of Dawn Ray’d and Underdark to become the newest name in a growing anti-fascist black metal scene.
These politicised messages, however, take on a more introspective nature here, with the band tackling themes of heritage and community in a more altruistic and investigative manner, instead of the hateful and cynical renditions of such topics that are so prevalent in modern metal. The band’s sound is nevertheless dark and antagonistic – with touches of potent punk and roaring classic metal cropping up in a manner that will be familiar to fans of early Cradle Of Filth – but the presence of melodic and folky aspects in the vein of Panopticon or Twilight Fauna also gives these tracks a mournful quality. It’s a fitting sound, because despite the band’s more progressive standpoint, the themes these songs explore also reveal dark truths about humanity and our past.
We at Astral Noize are beyond excited to see what this new band have in store going forward, especially after hearing the four immense tracks that comprise their debut release, Bloom. The EP drops this Friday, but don’t fret, if you simply can’t wait, we’re streaming the title-track today right here!
Speaking about the track, Tom B. tells us: “‘Bloom’ is about looking out into the world and seeing the rise of extreme right-wing ideologies start to become mainstream political practice and rather than saying, ‘This is not who we are,’ trying to understand that this is has very much been who we are for hundreds of years. Have things got worse? Certainly, but to pretend that our governments and way of life have not been fundamentally racist since the beginning is naive. Many of us benefit from the privilege of not having to experience hate directed at us simply because of who we are or who we love and as a result we think that hate doesn’t exist. Too late, we see that it does.”
Bloom is out 3rd April for pay what you like download. Order here.
Words: George Parr