Course of Empire – Initiation – Review

Course of Empire

Initiation (Zoo/BMG)
by Carolyn Gaines

Get ready for the supreme mind screw from BMG’s Course of Empire. I’m talking about music to listen to, have conversation to, have sex to, dance to, mosh to, and anything else you care to do to. Course of Empire from the big TX has just rocketed to the top of my personal play stack with their second release, Initiation.

As to what we, the eager, nubile listeners are to be initiated to remains to be seen. I was reading the bio for these guys, and it went on about how this album is more spiritual (?) than their first, how they’ve grown as a band; blah, blah, blah. Okay, says I, if spiritual is the word, please direct me to the nearest karmic tune on this platter. Is it “Infested?” “Invertebrate?” No, no, it must be “The Chihuahuaphile.” That’s it.

A barbed mesh of squalling guitars, primal rhythms, and thought-provoking lyrics is how the Zoo bio-pack described Course of Empire.

How this particular phrase relates in any way, shape, or form to the term “spiritual” is beyond me. I saw them open for Machines of Loving Grace at Local 186 a couple of weeks ago. It was packed and hot and these guys rocked, thrashed, and tore through the crowd with about 40 minutes of upstaging, show-stealing, awe-inspiring tunes. I mean, they had what looked to be Predator on one of their two drum sets

In short, take a listen and I guess be prepared for a (a-hem) spiritual adventure through the higher realms of music…