The Empty Mirror – Abstracted Catholic (CD)

It has been over a year since the last time that we had the chance to review The Empty Mirror. Their last release, “Overwhelm”, was an impressive piece of work. Their latest album, “Abstracted Catholic”, builds upon some of the trends first heard during “Overwhelm” while further evolving their sound. The first track on “Abstracted Catholic” is “Stainglass”, and it sets the tone for the rest of the album. This means that The Empty Mirror are able to put forth a confident sound that touches upon hard rock, alternative, and even grunge over the course of only three minutes.

Hints of acts as diverse as Smashing Pumpkins, Jane’s Addiction, and Queens of the Stone Age can be heard here, tied together with the band’s own unique flair. Despite the fact that there is a side to “Stainglass” that could catapult them up to heavy rotation on rock stations, there resides a set of arrangements and intricacies in the track that will keep people listening in for the rest of the album. “Static” is the next track on “Abstracted Catholic”, and the band adopts a more psychedelic-infused approach for it. The multiple layers of guitar, bass, drums, and vocals make for a trippy experience that never hesitate to hit listeners firmly over their heads.

The distortion that finishes up the track provides a natural break to “Brokenbrained, Brokenhearted”, a song that benefits greatly from a driven tempo and punchy drums that lead into some stellar guitar work. “God of Hunger” may just be the most interesting track on this EP, starting out with a bit of guitar work that is tremendously catchy before moving into a very complex set of arrangements. The layout of the track is such that listeners will have to give “God of Hunger” a number of listeners to truly gain a sense of what they are attempting to do with this closing track. The band lays it all on the line for “God of Hunger” and succeeds on all counts; aside from ending the album perfectly, The Empty Mirror has made it virtually impossible for anyone that has picked up this album to forgo the next. Buy “Abstracted Catholic”, give a listen to each of the cuts, and wait just like me until that time when they come out with their next release.

Top Track: Stainglass

Rating: 8.8/10

The Empty Mirror – Abstracted Catholic (CD) / 2009 Landowner / 5 Tracks / http://www.theemptymirror.net / http://www.landownerrecords.com

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