"Empire of Rats"

By Dr. Abner Mality

If you want a lesson in brutal hardcore, you've come to the right place. Empire of Rats are a textbook example of anger-driven, triple-heavy modern hardcore holocaust. Like the pack of bloodthirsty rodents on the cover, they attack you in a frenzy, strip the meat from your bones and then move on to the next victim.

Nobody in their right minds, even the band themselves, would claim anything the least bit progressive is going on here. That's not the point the Empire is trying to make. But even if your music doesn't contain an iota of originality, it can still produce a desired effect if delivered with enough passion and raw, volcanic hatred.
And believe me, you get that here.

11 songs, 24 minutes. Do the math. Somehow, A389 labelmates Full of Hell get the publicity. Empire of Rats would beat those guys senseless. They hit hard and fast with "Leeches" and you can hear the super crunchy guitar, the hoarse rage-filled bellows and the bone-cracking breakdowns. That's the formula for the rest of the release and the music doesn't linger long enough to make you regret listening to it.

If you're looking for musical comparisons, think of Slayer, Hatebreed and Agnostic Front mixed together, doused in gasoline and lit on fire. The Slayer speed comes through in tunes like "Sinking" and "Another Minute in Hell", the Hatebreed breakdowns are illustrated in "Bottomless Pit" and "We're Dead" and throughout the whole shebang, gang vocals and hooky choruses bring Agnostic to mind.

Pure head-crushing hardcore from Empire of Rats. A mandatory release if you're into this kind of masochistic brutality.