Produced by Geordie White AKA Twiggy Ramirez, Emptiness’ latest sounds exactly like you’d think with Marilyn Manson’s right hand man behind the consoles. Not for Music is dark and menacing but still filled with lush sounds that will surround listeners with its inviting malevolence.
To begin, Not for Music starts off with a song called “Meat Heart”. Let that sink in for a few then prepare to be properly ensconced by a band that has the cajones to start off an album with a song called “Meat Heart”. And it’s a banger! Layered in synths building into a dirge as Jeremie Bezier’s incomparable snarl that threatens to explode at any second, the song serves as the perfect prelude of what’s to come.
“It Might Be” picks up the pace with these haunting guitar lines made even more horrifying paired with Bezier’s vocals and accented by Jonas Sanders’ percussive attacks. “Circle Girls” echoes with a Twin Peaks feel until melting away to reveal a black metal heart underneath while “Your Skin Won’t Hide You” is another terrifying trope yet inviting with hypnotic guitar lines traded off by Peter Verwimp and Olve Lomer-Wilbers.
If you’re looking for intense then look no further than “Digging The Sky” which really lets loose with a cacophony of menace sandwiched between some of the most serene sounds found on Not for Music. “Ever” is ethereal yet catchy and dark. Oh, so very dark. Much like everything on Not for Music with its’ hushed intensity at the forefront until it devolves into something entirely different. In this case: a dance-friendly disco jam despite the monstrous vocals.
Closing with shredder “Let It Fall” which is one last stark reminder of everything that makes Not for Music stand out (Epic gothic soundscapes combined with Black Metal mastery), listeners will be hard pressed to find another record this year as unique as this (And yes, I know it’s only January).