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Emptiness: Not For Music

Almost thought I was listening to some long lost Type O Negative song when "Meat Heart", the opening track of Not For Music from Brussels experimental/avant-garde metal act Emptiness, started drifting through my speakers. The bands first release since 2014's Nothing But the Whole, Not For Music is a completely melancholy affair, and though the band lists their style as a sort of black/death metal hybrid, in reality they have more in common with gothic doom acts like My Dying Bride, the above mentioned Type O Negative, and Swallow the Sun. Jeremie Bezier's vocals fluctuate between hushed whispers and a low, menacing growl, the latter used to great effect on the bubbling, boiling "Circle Girl", easily one one of the more menacing tracks here. Most of the arrangements are mid-paced, the occasional heavy riff complemented by lilting chords, synth washes, and alluring rhythms, so there's not much here that could be considered 'uptempo' or anything near traditional black or death metal, save for some moments on "Let it Fall" (blink and you'll miss the brief blastbeats) and the epic "Digging the Sky", the latter chock full of atmosphere and dread.

Despite some creepy arrangements and well executed melancholy, Not For Music just seems stuck in first gear for much of its duration. One keeps expecting the band to launch into something, anything, to excite the listener and go into different directions, but the album just seems to flow along at a snails pace and never really breaks out of the mold it has created. Missed opportunity in my opinion.

Track Listing
1. Meat Heart
2. It Might Be
3. Circle Girl
4. Your Skin Won't Hide You
5. Digging The Sky
6. Ever
7. Let it Fall

Added: January 29th 2017
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1532
Language: english

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