- 01 Sep 23
Newly minted supergroup turn it up to 12
The last time this reviewer talked to Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil, he told me he was re-discovering the joys of extreme metal, and expressed an urge to make some rage-fuelled music. Fast forward two years, and not only has the Scot scratched that itch, he’s taken a blowtorch to it with this blistering new side project.
Co-helmed with ex Oceansize mainman Mike Vennart, Empire State Bastard’s debut boasts more blood and thunder than a birthday party at Valhalla. Make no mistake, this is a cathartic, speaker-shattering beast. Inspired by the frustrations of modern life, and drawing on sludge, death and black metal, Neil’s shrieks, screams and guttural growls might shock some of The Biff’s more mainstream fans, but if you know your Fantomas from your Full Of Hell, Rivers Of Heresy will make you a believer within 6.66 seconds.
Also featuring metal legend Dave Lombardo on the tubs, highlights include the hypnotic headbanger ‘Harvest’; the Prong-tinged pit anthem ‘Sold!’; and the sprawling, doom laden ‘The Looming’, which calls to mind our own Slomatics. Turn this one up to 12. 11 isn’t loud enough.
Out now, on Roadrunner Records