Dallas’s Doom Metal upstarts EMPEROR GUILLOTINE have landed firmly within the Metal scene as one of the “newest modern” instrumental bands carrying the torch of the blueprint that BLACK SABBATH created over 40 years ago. In particular, SABBATH‘s first three albums are all over the project’s full-length debut release. From the song structures, the occasional synth noodling and the demonic Blues you cannot mistake the influence.
The project was formed by multi-instrumentalist and sole band member, Ben Randolph. A digital only release, it wets the appetite of every doom metal fan and the excitement for what comes next.
One of the biggest highlights of the record is definitely its production. It is obvious that EMPEROR GUILLOTINE reaching for a retro feel and are heavily influenced by Rodger Bain and his early BLACK SABBATH productions. Randolph achieves it in a very good way. One of the issues with bands going for this type of sound is that usually the bass is mixed too loud and dominates the material. In this case, the bass is audible but it still gives way for the guitar and drums. The guitar has enough gain, it’s powerful and greasy—just as it should be.
The songwriting is as strong; there is plenty here to celebrate. “Sailor on the Seas of Fate,” “Sea of Dust,” “The Oak and the Ram,” “Witch Mountain,” “The Bastille,” and “The Unearthly” are heavy, pounding numbers that represent this release. “Ursa Minor” is a beautiful acoustic piece that connects the “sides.” Its melody is haunting and recalls the atmosphere of 1960s inspired acoustic, folk records.
“Emperor Guillotine” is an excellent introductory release from Randolph. My hope is that the next releases will embrace more of different styles such as folk rock and progressive rock. On their next release they need to instill the confidence that they don’t need to rely so heavily on imitating BLACK SABBATH. Do yourself a favor and check this album out out.
EMPEROR GUILLOTINE is on Facebook.