Prog upstarts Empress AD are determined to rise to the top and with their high quality of both musicianship and ambition, they want to do it the right way.
The UK’s answer to Mastodon look set to conquer the masses.
The band formed in Berkshire, when brothers Alex and Oliver Loring were dissatisfied with the quality of the music around them – including their own band at the time – so they persuaded “incredible drummer” Edd Unwin to join them. Their quest for great musicianship was complete with the addition of Pink Floyd and Mastodon-influenced guitarist, Tom Meadon.
“Prog just talks to me in such a way,” says bassist Alex Loring. “I remember hearing The Dark Side Of The Moon, not even that long ago when I was 19 [he’s now 24] and it just opened my mind. The floodgates were open.”
Now Empress AD have signed to the mighty Roadrunner Records and boast a sound that harks back to bands like King Crimson but retains the hard edge of their heroes and now label-mates, Mastodon and Opeth.
The youthful quartet have quietly but carefully honed their craft over the last couple of years. Having toured the UK with the likes of Surrey proggers Arcane Roots, the Norwegian metal melting pot that is Kvelertak and Deep South sludge masters Baroness, they’ve been exposed to different audiences and have learned what they need to do.
“We are so unbelievably brutal with ourselves,” Alex explains. “If we know that we’ve just played alright, we’ll think it’s been a waste of everyone’s time and that’s shit. We’ve spent so long sat at home digesting riffs, taking them apart and perfecting them. The level we wish to achieve is as high as we want to set it.”
Their first release for their new label will be their debut album, Still Life Moving Fast. Such was Empress AD’s desire to ensure perfection, they saved up all of their money and flew producer Andrew Schneider to the UK from New York to record the album.
“We’ve poured everything into this album,” says Alex. “All of our money, all of our hearts, all of our souls, and we are so proud of the result.”
The result is a dynamic journey where the minute details of the recording are revealed slowly, after multiple listens – and trust us, you will listen to it many times. With the album’s DIY roots and no expense spared in the pursuit of excellence, all of the credit lies firmly at the door of the band.
Empress AD are a group who are doing it their way, and it’s difficult not to be impressed.
Oliver Loring (vocals, guitars), Alex Loring (bass, vocals), Edd Unwin (drums), Tom Meadon (guitars)
Mastodon playing Oceansize songs
Still Life Moving Fast is out now on Roadrunner Records