If you haven’t bought the EP “Egypt” by the band Egypt yet, well, then I guess now it’s a good time to take care of business. I will assure you, you will not regret getting your hands on this gem. And based on what I read, we the fans can consider ourselves lucky because this 4 track demo almost never made it to the release stages. A scary thought, if you ask me.
Egypt is a Fargo, North Dakota based group that I guess would by most people considered a stoner-doom band. While I have nothing against stoners or doom, I am always a little hesitant with such generalizations. Because in my opinion there is risk that one may categorically refuse to listen to this record, just because it’s not consistent with whatever type of music he’s into. That would be a mistake and I personally like to keep things a little bit more high level and would therefore call Egypt a hard rock band/album. But at the end of the day, that’s just semantics.
More importantly, Aaron Esterby (vocals and bass), Chad Heille (drums) and Ryan Grahn (guitars) managed to put out an EP that is simply remarkable for so many reasons. On one hand, it is simple and straight forward, on the other there’s a lot of sophistication all throughout the four tracks. It’s difficult for me to pick one song over another but I guess if I had to name a favorite, then it had to be “Queen of all Time”. When I heard that one for the first time, it had literally left me breathless for a moment. “Valley of the Kings”, the opening track, is another killer piece where the band takes you on a gradual emotional hike up a mountain before pushing you off a cliff. Massive, absolute massive.
Egypt harmonizes very well, what counts it the end-product and each band member contributes equally. The songs remind me of early Sabbath compositions with tempo and theme changes – that can be a risky endeavor, unless you know what you’re doing – and Egypt does exactly that. I know that some folks mentioned that Egypt’s sound reminds them of Sleep. I’m not sure if I’d agree to that, but I can understand why at first glance the comparison is being made at times. What I would agree to is that there are tons of bluesy grooves combined with heavy riffs over and over again. And that works for me!
I strongly encourage you to check out Egypt’s merchandise. At this point, I would buy any of their stuff blindly (I, of course, also got my hands on their full album “Become the Sun”) and the bottom line is: Egypt is synonymous for quality. Now go and check them out!