Empty Tremor - Eros & Thanatos

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Elevate Records
Catalog Number: ER04013
Format: CD
Total Time: 69:55:00

Upon first listen of the new Empty Tremor disc, you will hear several things immediately. First, that the band has abandoned the shadow of being called a "Dream Theater clone" band and second, the incredible vocal performance of their already great singer, Giovanni De Luigi. This is not where the differences end between their first disc, Apocolokyntosys and Eros & Thanatos. Present now are more mature, well thought out song structures, equally good if not better production, and an overall increase in all performances, which is saying something because I thought their first disc was an incredible disc to start with.

What is promising to the prog metal world is that this band is what Edguy is to the power metal world; young, aspiring musicians well ahead of their time and eager to make a statement by continuing to play the music that they love, regardless of trends or criticisms. Empty Tremor carry on the proud Italian tradition of bringing us true melodic, progressive metal without becoming cliché or run-of-the-mill.

It is clear that the band wanted to remain true to their progressive roots when writing these 6-8 minute average songs, by injecting their music with even more progressive twists and turns then previously, yet they also appear to want to add a certain sense of melody into their music to keep the listener interested throughout the 70:00. This is evident by the addition of ballads to their repertoire of bombastic music, yet you don?t find yourself feeling the difference between the progression and ballads most likely due to the beauty of the those ballads and the way they are presented to the listener.

Dual guitar layered songs, always followed closely and sometimes driven by the keyboard pyrotechnics of Daniele Liverani, the band certainly has no problem doing what the best of progressive metal bands do, and that is strut their stuff while creating some amazing progressive metal. In addition, the band is using more acoustic guitars, more atmospheric keyboards, and much more tempo / time changes than ever. It would appear that someone in the band wanted to pull out any stops that were holding the band back previously from making a serious statement. Just one listen to "Star," their first ballad on the disc, shows just how beautiful this band can be without even coming close to being called "cheesy", which most prog metal bands get labeled when they attempt something like this within their music. The beauty of this disc certainly comes from the combination of acoustic guitars mixed with beautiful, atmospheric keyboards mixed with the incredible voice of De Luigi. There are certainly moments when just about any band can be compared to Dream Theater or Fates Warning in some aspect, and here is no exception but only by virtue of the fact that both bands happen to play the same style of music, but Empty Tremor has sought to break free of any "clone" labeling they may have garnered along the way of their bright career, and this disc certainly speaks for itself in terms of maturity and casting it's own identity.

Giovanni De Luigi, who has been compared with James LaBrie in the past, has now come into his own, proving that he is one of the leading Italian singers in the genre. From belting out the heavier tunes, to the beautiful ballads, to the higher ranges, he propels his voice all over this disc in an attempt to overtake the music and stand alone amongst a sea of progressive metal, and an incredible job of it he does. With nary a hint of an accent which plagues so many Italian singers, you?d swear at times he was a radio pop singer with the beautiful voice and variety of styles he possesses. He is certainly one of the highlights of the disc for me. His voice does remind me of maybe a younger LaBrie, with a bit more nasal tone. He has a very melodic, operatic style, and can hit high notes with ease. He can also melt a woman?s heart with his soft, crooning voice he uses on the ballads. One of the upcoming, promising singers of the genres.

The production is just as good, if not better than the previous disc, which was superb in it's own right. Here, the band has gone for a more "dry" sound on the drums, yet a more clean, crisp, precise sound for the keyboards and guitars, and certainly a more precise sound for the vocals, which really shines. All instruments are easily discernible, including the bass, which can be heard playing along side of the guitarist's note for note on some of the instrumentals. I refer to a "dry" sound mostly because of the snare drum, which sounds a bit muted, but nonetheless clear.

Overall, I'm giving this disc the double thumbs up for any melodic progressive metal lover, especially those into the signature Italian style of the genre, and this band clearly represents what the genre has been known for, in the past and probably in the future, but they also seek to break free of some of those boundaries by injecting some nice ballads, instrumentals, and some other surprises along the way. Given the age of the band, it's clear that they are on the road to becoming one of the premier prog metal bands in Italy, and it's scary to think that a band this young could come up with music this incredible. If they can manage to hold onto their musical dreams and elude the dreaded prog metal cliches of old (which they seem to be doing), this band could become a household name for at least the fans worldwide of this genre. Highly recommended.

The Future Needs Your Name (7:52) / Always There (5:14) / Lost In The Past (4:25) / Outside (7:12) / Chinese Box (6:08) / Star (7:04) / Y2K (8:53) / Just For Today (6:07) / The Timeless Night (10:04)

Giovanni De Luigi - vocals
Christian Tombetti - guitars
Marco Guerrini - guitars
Daniele Liverani - keyboards
Dennis Randi - bass

Apocolokyntosys (1997)
Eros & Thanatos (2000)
The Alien Inside (2004)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin IT

Added: September 1st 2000
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Artist website: www.emptytremor.com
Hits: 1331
Language: english


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