Thursday 30 January 2014

Empire of Rats - No Peace 7"

It's been ages since I've reviewed a band associated with the might A389 Records. The last ones were Seven Sisters of Sleep and Full of Hell, although technically Napalm Christ count too, since they've signed for A389 now as well. This 7" though was released by fellow US label Get This Right Records, who similarly have been building a decent following. No Peace was released in early 2012 and was the bands debut release. If you're at all familiar with US hardcore and especially it's more abrasive bands, you'll definitely be familiar with these dudes. Hell, they've recently brought in Mike Lare (ex-Ringworm) as their new guitar player!


1. Intro
2. We're Dead
3. Force Fed
4. Empire of Rats
5. The O3 Code
6. Still Out of Breath

I’ve had a quiet couple of days, so this is best way to wake myself up again. The Intro to No Peace features an address by a US military spokesman talking about aliens I think, with a beefy rhythm section underneath, which heightens the sense of menace and expectation for what’s to come. Empire of Rats don’t hang about and We’re Dead is a furious blast of hardcore, with a sense of mosh and groove to it. Don’t worry though, it’s not adolescent mosh. Force Fed features more of that groove and has an infectious stomp at the start. The screeching lead was something I was expecting, but the metal influence is entirely welcome. 

This is killer, especially with the thrashing drums and pace in the mid-section, which slows toward the end of the song but still sound super-thick. Empire of Rats pretty much highlights the band’s feelings and lets them spill out, with plenty of rage and double bass from kick drums. Musically, they are super solid, which you’d expect from their previous history.As the songs get longer on No Peace, the scale of the riffs and musical skill grows, as if Empire of Rats are building up to some gigantic ending. The 03 Code is for the most part instrumental but you don’t many lyrics when you’ve got killer instru-thrash going on. 

Closing out with Still Out of Breath, Empire of Rats fire shots at you with rapid-fire grind that infiltrates their hardcore, stops on a dime in places but always stays gnarly. The sections where the band slow down to almost sludge pace are pretty special, as the transition is flawless and the hints of feedback coursing through the music keeps you on edge. The now staple sample of “Now I become death, destroyer of worlds” is an apt way to herald in the final riff section, which fades out leaving you with a thirst for destruction. What more can I say about this band. Essential for fans of hardcore and metal alike. Get This Right have released a banger here and hats off to them. This short 7” has variation and instrumental skill that gives Empire of Rats a familiarity and it’s definitely a record that you’ll keep going back to. Brilliant stuff!

You can stream No Peace here:-

You can buy it digitally from the Get This Right bandcamp page above.

If you want the physical 7", head to Cold Cuts Merch here -

Empire of Rats Facebook -
Get This Right Records Facebook -

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