If I didn’t know any better I would swear that the self-titled debut album from Emperor Guillotine was released in the 1970s in between the bevy of other iconic Black Sabbath albums and without Ozzy. From the riffs, the grooves, song structures, down even to the cover art that definitely has a Master of Reality crossed with Vol. 4 look to it, this album is pure Sabbath. And with such blatant stylistic similarities to the fathers of metal, you would imagine that Ben Randolph’s project could never reach the heights that Black Sabbath did during their peak.
Well, if Emperor Guillotine was a legit Black Sabbath album, it would rank as one of my all time favorites up there with Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and the landmark self-titled album. And coming from the huge Black Sabbath fan I am, that’s saying quite a lot.
I think that I’ve established that Emperor Guillotine sounds a whole lot like Black Sabbath minus Ozzy, but hidden in the Sabbath worship, they do have their own personality in there. I can hear the real passion that Emperor Guillotine has for the Sabbath style. The songs never, not even once, come off feeling as rip-offs, instead they feel like continuations of the iconic songs that Black Sabbath laid the ground work for. For example, in “Sailor on the Seas of Fate” immediately you can hear influence from Master of Reality but instead of nabbing the riffs and melodies and following the structure of the Sabbath song it branches out into many different directions and experiments with what could have been done with the original album. It feels more of a continuation of the source material than a rip-off, homage, or cover. And that goes for every track on the album. And the directions Emperor Guillotine takes the songs are always fresh, engaging, and interesting. There is seriously not a dull moment on the entire record, and that’s what really matters. Right?
So, simply put, if you’re a fan of Black Sabbath and are into instrumental stuff, Emperor Guillotine is a must check. Highly recommended.
Emperor Guillotine is available here.