Having taken their visceral fear and loathing to Glastonbury, Download, 2000trees and Hellfest, Empire State Bastard descend further into darkness as they unleash the new track ‘The Looming’. It follows the band’s recent singles ‘Harvest’ and ‘Stutter’ as they power towards the September 1st release of their eagerly anticipated debut album ‘Rivers of Heresy’.
‘The Looming’ in an oppressive slow crush in which Mike Vennart’s grinding, maximum fuzz stoner rock riffs take on an hypnotic intensity as the track unfolds, its apocalyptic tone becoming more sinister as Simon Neil layers feral vocals with guttural death metal growls. It’s the final song on the ‘Rivers of Heresy’ album as well as the band’s regular set closer for good reason – what could possibly follow it?
The band stated, “The end is nigh! The end is looming! Fuck what they told ya!”
The long gestation period of Empire State Bastard has made them a curious proposition for years, with fans intrigued by rumours that Mike and Simon had been working on a project that aimed to deliver pure unabridged hatred in musical form. Excitement for the band was then amplified with the news that Slayer/Fantomas drummer Dave Lombardo would be performing on both the album and at specific live shows. Subsequently completed by bassist Naomi Macleod (“The glue in the organisation”, says Mike), Empire State Bastard almost instantly sold-out their debut UK tour before hitting the summer festival circuit.
The band’s debut album, ‘Rivers of Heresy’, adventurously probes almost every dark crevice imaginable from the myriad sounds of metal and genre-adjacent extremity. Their terrifying tourist trail visits slamming hardcore in the vein of Siege; frenetic thrash in Slayer’s ballpark; the claustrophobic sludge of Melvins; the freeform vocal dexterity of Mike Patton; and the gargantuan stoner riffs of Sleep. It’s a sound with roots inspired by metal’s forefathers, but more deeply influenced by the weirder, darker and unconventional leftfield twists that the genre has since voyaged into.
‘Rivers of Heresy’ is available to pre-order / pre-save HERE. In addition to its digital release, it will be released on the following limited edition physical formats: CD with an exclusive 24-page fanzine; poison green vinyl and red/black marble vinyl; and cassette. The Deluxe vinyl bundle adds a 7” single featuring ‘Harvest’ and a non-album b-side to your choice of vinyl.
Empire State Bastard’s upcoming shows are:
5th – Germany, Wacken Open Air
17th – UK, ArcTanGent
17th – USA, Riot Fest
20th – USA, New York, Le Poisson Rouge (guests to Chat Pile)