Review by Tomek on January 15, 2016.
Few years ago I reviewed a debut album by Polish band Empatic called Gods Of Thousand Souls. I liked their debut. There were a few things to work on but generally the album was pretty good and back then I decided to check up on them when the new album arrived. Ruined Landscape is the name of their second offering and even though it was released in 2014 and I’m a little late to jump on the wagon, I believe it is never too late to write about albums that are worth talking about. Did they top their debut, is that one better than previous offering, how does it stack up against Gods Of Thousand Souls? Let’s begin.
First thing that came to mind while listening to Emaptic (and I think same thing happened when I was listening to previous album) is how effortlessly those guys churn out all those kick ass riffs and how much melody and how many themes they pack in their songs and whole album altogether. Their kind of metal is still in your face; take no prisoners, heavy as all heck death but there is much more to it. Songs are well constructed and dense but always leave room for this something extra that will stay with you and make the song recognizable. Vocals are up front with this beast and operate on guttural lows for the most part, but there’s also this raspy or snarly attack that happens now and then and it kills!! Me likes it a lot. Dual guitar assault works hard on this release putting out an amazing plethora of riffage and melody. There are some nicely done solos on this album also and for an old-schooler such as myself, this is something that I’ll never get enough of on metal albums. Very nice indeed. Bass and drum section does an excellent job keeping a powerful rumble ever-present throughout the album and listening to those two is almost like a full time job.
As you can see in this aspect we have all the right stuff in the right place but there are also portions that are not so great and even though there are only a few, they do somewhat disappoint and sort of mess up the listening experience. Empatic are great masters of chuggery and groove but it’s also their weakest element. Not that something is wrong with the chuggs itself, o no!! Chuggs are more than alright but the amount of it and repetition time is way off. The band needs to realize that having a great breakdown, chugging section or adding a great groove needs to be timed right to make an impact. Rolling same riffs on and on does not make them better and, quite frankly, can destroy whole song no matter how great it is.
So, what is the final word? I think Empatic is growing and growing fast. I see much improvement in all aspects and I see them moving forward and learning from their mistakes. Ruined Landscape is a good album when comparing to many out there, but I do not want to compare it to the lesser ones - I want to compare it to the greats of the genre and I believe that with their next one I will be able to do just that.
Rating: 8 out of 10