O Emperor again artfully display complete originality, ever-progressing creativity and plain old fashioned musical brilliance.
O Emperor formed in 2007 and they dropped their debut album Hither Thither in 2010 straight after leaving college. This summer the boys from Ireland add a second full length album into the mix. A short, self-recorded nine track effort, looking to further establish their position on the music map.
Ireland has given us some of the most well received bands in the last few decades; from the likes of U2 and Two Door Cinema Club, Ireland has been constantly handing us bands who have helped shape the face of modern rock music. Now a new band reaches the surface, O Emperor’s album Vitreous is a mix of Indie, Folk and soft Rock, a pleasant second album but still slightly under the bar of what this band could possible achieve.
When you first hit play on Vitreous, the second album from Irish band O Emperor, the sparse piano and sturdy but placid vocals don’t immediately strike you as particularly ambitious. Nevertheless, there are a few polished gems on the album that make up for some of the disappointing ballads.
The Irish Times also reviewed their new album, they commented by saying that 'O Emperor again artfully display complete originality, ever-progressing creativity and plain old fashioned musical brilliance.'
The opening track Grandmother Mountain begins as a charming piano and vocal combination with a tone of innocence. It then shifts to the lyrics ‘where I can smell the shit in the city air’ and whole aura of the song is reversed. Then we experience a build-up of looping guitar riffs and sombre beats.
Brainchild is quite a curious little number that almost has you in a daze, much like the track Minuet which is another pea in this pod. Soft in the Head reflects a fairly minimalistic notion too; however Holy Fool is a rhythm-fuelled band track, featuring some high pitched vocals.
Whitener (Part 1) is airy and melodic with fluffy vocals and an Indie vibe running through the track; it is my favourite on the album. A real gem, they need to create more tracks like this one.
Contact, This Is It and Land of the Living all have an upbeat vein pulsating through the core of the song, they are definitely the strong picks of the bunch. I find some of the slow-burning tracks such as Brainchild and Soft in the Head a little dreary at times.
In less than half an hour, O Emperor manage to immerse the listener in with their artistic tracks. The production of Vitreous is brave and after a first listen you would never guess that it is self-produced. The band are well on their way to becoming another successful Irish band, with a little more fine tuning and a few more albums they will definitely make their mark. I don’t believe they are quite there yet but when they do get there it will undeniably be mind-blowing.
This is a laconic release with a plenty of depth. It is difficult to sense how much deeper O Emperor can go, however, the brief and beautiful Vitreous feels like a taster of what is to come. This is an album which, as opposed to having defined moments, breaths to a consistent heartbeat.