Rivers Of Heresy is also awash with Simon and Mike’s shared reference points, for those looking to trace the roots of ESB. Tired, Aye? and Sold! recall San Diego noiseniks The Locust and the more feral efforts of Mike Patton, whose most famous band, Faith No More, changed the life and listening habits of Mike. Sons And Daughters, meanwhile, with its deliberate, buzzing riff recalls stoner gods Sleep. Even recruiting ex-Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo, whose thrash-tastic playing powers Stutter, is an act of musical wish fulfilment.
It’s testament to how thrilling Rivers Of Heresy is that by the time you reach at closing track The Looming, released, somewhat boldly, as an early single from the album, that its impact hasn’t been lessened. Having been on that journey, the words ‘I won’t see you around’ sound like a menacing, punch-drunk threat.
Contrary to what Simon says, though, we hope for more from Empire State Bastard, as this soaring monument to disappointment and despair leaves you wanting more. And let’s be honest, given the bin fire status of this planet right now, inspiration isn’t exactly in short supply.
For fans of: Biffy Clyro, Fantômas, The Locust
Rivers Of Heresy is released on September 1 via Roadrunner
Read this: Empire State Bastard: “I’ve been needing to make a record like this for a long time”