Do you remember the age-old question, “If you were trapped on a desert island, name one album you could take with you.” ?
Think of the opposite…If you were a band of four guys on a desert island having only each other for influences; that and your surroundings, what is the one album that you would create to share with the world?
Well, even though Emptiness aren’t from a desert island (they are from Belgium), that album would be Not for Music. Why the reference to the desert island? Because Not for Music is perhaps one of the most original-sounding albums I have heard in a very long time. Yes, it’s that unique and only barely comparable to other artists. Ears sick of the same old run-of-the-mill garbage being churned out need to hear this album. Period.
It’s albums like Not for Music that often make it very difficult for writers like me to write about because (as much as we sometimes hate to), comparisons are a necessary evil in order to sell these to unfamiliar ears. Ok, enough rambling.
Emptiness is one of those bands that remind us of two things: 1.) the styles of music they are NOT akin to as opposed to those they may share characteristics and 2.) that those styles of music are often much more about abstract concepts rather than technical elements(i.e. tremolo picking and high-pitched screams of black metal). Rather, Emptiness makes us look at the abstract characteristics of those genres. In other words, black metal (and death metal for that matter) are about sonic atmospheres that are often dark, brooding, even downright frightening. This also, is the world of Emptiness.
Yes, Emptiness does maintain trace elements of black and death metal, even dark-wave ambient in the background. But Not for Music reaches light years beyond those boundaries. Not for Music creates an over-all atmosphere that most metal bands only think about in their rehearsal studios and every instrument, vocal and studio effect is used toward this advantage. Furthermore, the vocals remind me of a stealthy black panther about to strike on some back fog-filled path. There are even moments where the drums border on jazz.
Not for Music is not for everyone’s ears; only those looking for an intensely heavy and dark band and a real original release. So, regardless of whether you live on an island or not, get Emptiness if you want a renewed faith in music with dark atmospheres. Black metal, death metal, dark ambient… whatever. It’s Emptiness. Period.
Not for Music is the new album released by Emptiness on Season of Mist records. At present, it is available on CD, gate fold LP (in different colors) and digital download. This is one I’d LOVE to hear on vinyl. Season of Mist also has several bundles that include t-shirts as well.
- Meat Heart
- It Might Be
- Circle Girl
- Your Skin Won’t Hide You
- Digging the Sky
- Let It Fall