Empires of Euphrates
Echoes of Ancient Past EP

For the past two weeks, I’ve been sick with Covid. I made it through the 2020 pandemic unscathed, only having days where I felt crappy; compared to the sonofabitching little virus that is sailing through my bloodstream right now… those were like, annoying at worst. But this, fuck this shit. I’m a writer, and Covid has given me a fuzzy brain and trying to force intelligent words out has proven to be a chore. However, before I got sick, I got this crazy-looking promo in my email… Empires of Euphrates. Knowing that 2023 has been a gob-smacking good year for Metal of all genres I decided to give it a go, and let me tell you a story, constant reader, this is one you need to hear.

Despite the name, Echoes of Ancient Past is not a Nile-inspired workout. “Spiritual Submission” comes in like a scourge of locusts on some sublime effects before this monstrous chord hit twice and then the drums come galloping in with this brain-warping riff that sticks around for the beginning, all of a sudden like a sandstorm over the desert there’s blasting face slaying rolls and fills like fine glass shards mid-track; until it ends abruptly and the rising tide of “A Kingdom with No King” and it’s surgical beating telling a story as old as time. Some killer blasting rears its head at the 4:20 mark and the song takes on a thrashing, OSDM feel (and a killer little bass run, to boot).

With only six songs it’s kind of hard to pick a favorite, especially with an EP like this where there’s so much cool shit going on, the pinch harmonic in “Never Meant to Be” that just punctuates the brutality of this pummeling track and when Empires of Euphrates lock into a groove, you better watch the fuck out, because the last 2 minutes of this track are like a fucking steamroller meant for flattening everything in it’s wake.

A Gear switch takes place on track four… some might not dig it, I personally love Krokus. When I was a young lad in Louisiana learning what Metal was, I got the 45” single for “Ball Room Blitz” and the B-side was “Screaming in the Night”. I played the shit out of that song; I played air guitar to it the whole fucking thing. “Wars and Rumors of Wars” marches with stoic purpose, while the sublime “Portals” ends this fantastic record in stellar fashion, with emotional guitars soaring over some crazy jazzy sounds from the drums.

The line-up of talent within this band culls from some of the biggest names in Death Metal, Vincent Matthews (Dying Fetus…), Kevin Talley (Suffocation…) and Jim Ross (Bandwhore) so based on that you already should know that you need to hear this, especially if you like Decrepit Birth, old Amorphis, and the mighty Hypocrisy.

The evolution of Death Metal is not over, in fact it’s an ongoing process and with Echoes of Ancient Past Empires of Euphrates have created a gorgeously savage Death Metal classic, even though it’s a debut EP it already has me wanting more. It’s out now, so what the fuck are you waiting for?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jeremy Beck
December 15th, 2023

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