Empire of Rats Empire of Rats

Empire of Rats Empire of Rats
8
It's not always necessary to do something mind-blowingly new; sometimes it's enough to take something tried and true, and do it really well. That's exactly what Empire of Rats have done on their self-titled LP. They took the Integrity sound, popularized by Hatebreed, and showed it who's boss. It's as if they heard Hatebreed's "spitting venom" mantra from their song of the same name and took it as a personal challenge. Sure, Empire of Rats aren't a direct clone — they employ thrashing similar to Ringworm — but it's this dedication to the sound of their home that makes this Ohio band shine. Hatebreed haven't sounded this urgent in a decade, nor have Integrity been this to the point, instead adding various extraneous influences to their sound. The sample that kicks off the album commands, "Choose hate, it's so much easier," and listening to the fury that follows, one is inclined to agree. (A389)