God damn, we knew they had it in them to make an album as killer as Empyrean, so full of vitriol and hate, so packed with buzzsaw riffage and all around decimating performances. Empyrean starts on a high note and it just goes to hell from there. And that is positively speaking of a band that does not adhere to all these American thinkers that spend more hours practicing on their kick drums while stargazing and fantasizing about making sweet love to a bark tree. Mutilation Rites are far from that. Judging by their music, the only practice they get is from bending torsos to worship Satan and if it was up to them, and judging by how inspired the performances and how unquantifiable the bad vibes that are exuded from here are, maybe they’ll be OK with the total destruction of all the forests in the world.
One more thing that Empyrean has going for it is the sequencing. An underrated factor indeed, as in an album as compact and powerful as this, it sets the tone and then batters you mercilessly with the levels of brutality all set to level red. Other albums are less attentive to this, placing songs randomly, leaving long blank spaces that fuck the mood and placing key tracks on the last half, by which time most of the audience has stopped caring. Not here though, Empyrean starts off rapid and impressive and it only grows from there.
Coming fourth is “Fogwarning” and what a track it is that it encapsulates all that Mutilation Rites does well. It is intricate music they make, nuanced so well, you’d barely notice the details in their ire, the guitars are arranged in almost baroque fashion, the riff on “Dead Years” for instance, took some sculpturing. Lucky us, we are free of the pains of fabricating the stuff. Finally, I am not 100% sure that vocalist George Paul does any singing as his frosty necro approach seems largely comprised of painful screams, which shits just as right. Empyrean is quite the treat. Honestly.
Written by Bobby Peru