Empusae - Mortusae III (Old Captain)

  Van Muylem    1 maart 2023

Empusae is a Belgian dark electronic avant-garde project mixed with the fine art of Nesisart. I know Empusae since the very early days and can say that the project become more and more mature with the years passing by and NicolasVan Meirhaeghehas become by now a very loved companion and performed on stage together with almost the whole dark electronic scene! Lately his eye-sight is getting worser and worser due to his disease and marks it in the song Retinae Tenebrae.

Guiding Light (instrumental) is the first song here that directly leads to his eye-disease that will make him slowly blind (still hoping to find a cure and working hard to delay the black-out as maximum as possible). The song sounds warm, comforting and has a slight tribal feel (hence thanks to the magnificent percussion). This might have been an instrumental track from the upcoming Dead Can Dance album, just pointing out the high quality of this track! It’s a very long one that gets a slice of Cold Meat Industry towards the end (hence the electronics and the horn).

Retinae Tenebrae welcomes the darkness with a bluesy guitar and a Cold Meat Industry feel (like in the good old days): dark and scary. You can also describe it as an instrumental intro into the world of hell! When the piano part starts we get a more heaven kind of feeling, as if the light is breaking through the darkness.

Asok starts with a very spooky and haunting sound. For the first time I also hear a high (fragile) almost female sounding voice in the background. After her voice pops up we get a more industrial minded sound. It’s none less but Nicolas himself who’s voice goes as high as the singer from A-ha!

Obsidian is a strange soundscape with a spooky feel and a touch of Morricone (the good, the bad and the ugly), quickly followed by a more martial kind of sound.

SHäk has a mor mystic touch. The horns blow softly, whilst the music is almost ethereal at some point.

Uzupis(Sieben reworked by Empusae): I want to start with saying I know Sieben vaguely and it’s the first time I hear this song, so I can’t say much about this reworked version. I can only say it’s a good track with an epic eastern feel. It’s as if it’s getting performed in a camp somewhere in the Sahara. The strings towards the end are really a great touch and render the warm feeling you get from the music!

Well, once again Empusae has evolved, changed, grown and matured. I don’t think it can get any better (but that’s what I was thinking already last time)! Hope all goes well and that this gets a lot of good reviews and happy fans! Keep up the good work, Nicolas!

SHäk | Old Captain (bandcamp.com)