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Delving into the rich, textured worlds of sludge and post-metal, it's easy to see how much variety the field offers -- the open-ended conventions of the two genres leaves the combination ripe for unforgettable music in the right hands. On their upcoming full-length Premonition, Canadian three-piece Empress prove themselves doom metal royalty, championing the immortal power of heavy metal with sagas born of classic riffs and stirring devastation forged from their progressive leanings. Check out an exclusive stream of the track "Hiraeth" below.

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"Hiraeth" is a Welsh word meaning something similar to English's "homesickness," but the feeling is more complicated than that -- similarly, the song is packed with buried sentiment, dripping with longing for an unspecified past. Rather than laying it out, the band conveys the meaning through a mix of post-metal-like atmospheric layers and biting sludge attack, trading off as equal partners. Embracing the long-welcomed trend of "bringing the riff back, but nastier," many motifs start soft and end loud, with the final peak reached by cutting out notes from a riff to help it hit harder: the song-writing equivalent of sawing off a shotgun barrel.

As with the rest of Premonition, the song is a cohesive thought that feels alive. Though each member of the band writes their own parts as they see fit, the end result feels animated and coherent: hard-nosed riffs nestle into the softer slopes of post-metal without seeming out of place. For any modern metal enthusiast who still pines for the roughshod stoner metal of the early century, "Hiraeth" may soothe your longing.

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Premonition releases July 24th. Preorders available via Bandcamp.

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