Last September, we premiered the album Premonition from Vancouver post-metal project Empress. In the piece, we wrote, “From the first bars of “A Pale Wanderer,” Premonition pours from an open heart. Whether they’re basking in lunar melodies or unleashing blastbeats, Empress retain an emotional core throughout.” We added: “The album is dedicated to the memory of bassist Brenden Gunn, who unfortunately left us last October. The agility of each song’s composition feels like the spectrum of human emotion. Loss and melancholy. Ensuing rage. The warmth of remembrance.”
Empress now share their new single, “Libations.” It’s the final recording including Brenden Gunn, and reveals the band exploring a doomier and moodier side of their prismatic sound. The song begins with melancholy clean leads as vocalist/guitarist Peter Sacco’s croon reverberates in the ether. There’s a peace to the song, like the tranquility of a summer day before a coming storm. Then at 3:45, Empress summon their inner sludgelords and the song enters a new chapter. Sacco howls as drummer Chris Doyle hammers down like torrential rain. The track was recorded and mixed by Jesse Gander, while Jack Shirley handled mastering at Atomic Garden Studios.
“[This song is] a sonic development in the Empress catalog, and strongest song to date,” Sacco writes. “[The song title] “Libations” means a drink poured out as an offering to a deity. It is very well the best offering of doom metal the band has given to the world.”
The song is in loving memory of Brenden Gunn and Garry Sacco. Raise a chalice to lost loved ones and press play on “Libations” below.