EMPTINESS (Belgium) – “Not for Music” 2017

Belgium, Season of Mist

It took me almost half a year to get to know this new album of the Belgians from Emptiness, including two of the blacksters from the much older and more acclaimed Enthroned. I remember a friend of mine mentioned this album would be out soon when he remarked my Emptiness t-shirt at a show last December, and thought it’s a little bit odd that someone very much into post-rock and related would be even familiar with an obscure Belgian black death metal band. That’s how I used to know them, a black death metal band that toured as the main support for my dates with Christ Agony in Belgium back in 2012, when I also got the above-mentioned shirt with the always familiar Christophe Szpajdel logo. Now, five years later, it’s only shadows and dust out of that story saved on records like “Oblivion” from 2007 or “Error” from 2012. Even the logo disappeared from the front cover of the new “Not for Music” quickly released by Season of Mist in late January this year.

Luckily it happens that I’m very much into the old tunes of such acts as Joy Division, The Cure or even Koop cause that’s what this album is pretty much all about. Fuzzy post rock guitars, overdriven conducting bass, tempered minimal drums played in the jazzy manner Ved Bues Ende or Virus used you to, almost goth keyboards here and there and a lot more FX to compete in the already dark atmosphere, that’s what this album stays for musically.

Meanwhile I had a beautiful surprise reading the lyrics that everybody can understand since there is almost no growl or scream in the typical extreme metal manner, but only reserved whispers on this record. They deal with a certain walk-in-silence Ian Curtis atmosphere filled with spooky imagery of alienation, emptiness and desolation that conquered me. In a scene swallowed by conformism and even bigotry, Emptiness is a valuable contradiction, it’s avant-garde in a dystopic universe, being another example of bands that completely switched in between genres and stayed good enough meanwhile.

My favorite song is “Your Skin Won’t Hide You”, no rate whatsoever, check the album at least once since it’s already in full on youtube or on the band official bandcamp profile, or you can go get it straight from the band or the Season of Mist webshop.


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