Released: 2004, Frontiers Records / Atenzia Records
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Empty Tremor started out in Italy back in 1994 under the name Noise Pollution. Early in 1995 they changed their name to Empty Tremor. The members were then teenagers and played covers by Metallica, Guns’n’roses and Pink Floyd. They recorded a demo called “APOCOLOKYNTOSYS” which became a success amongst prog metal fans in Italy but sadly no label were interested of them. They changed singers (for a third time) to Mr. DeLuigi and started to work on a second demo that they produced themselves. This results in some companies expressing interest in the band. They landed a deal for their native country, one for Japan, and one for Europe. The result of that was the launch of the official release of “APOCOLOKYNTOSYS”. They got rave reviews and a fan base started to grow. Empty Tremor continued to write music during ’98 - ‘99 and released their next album “EROS AND THANALOS”, unfortunately Mr. DeLuigi left the guys and once again they were standing without a singer. During 2001 they signed for the Italian label Frontiers Records and along with the work on the third album a search for a new singer began. They contacted Oliver Hartmann and asked him to sing on the album. He accepted their offer, and now it’s time for the third album.
This is the first time I’ve heard Empty Tremor. They have been compared to bands like Dream Theater, Shadow Gallery and Lemur Voice amongst others. In other words, I’m sure you’ve figured out that this is prog metal. To say this is really progressive metal means that the songs are very long (some at 8 minutes). Also, there are numerous parts that are purely instrumental. Mr. Hartmann (ex-At Vance) has an incredible voice and a very broad vocal range; his voice carries the music perfectly. A lot of songs evolve around his voice and the music is technical with several tempo changes. Their producer, Serafino Perugino, has managed to create a very atmospheric sound picture. They have gathered 8 tracks for which it seems like there is a theme story about “THE ALIEN INSIDE”. All of the songs are really good but some songs stand out. For example, “THE ALIEN INSIDE”, one of the longer tracks, is almost 10 minutes long. The intro alone is 2.5 minutes alone. There are a lot of tempo changes in the song and the tempo rises the further into the song you go. There are some keyboards and some shorter guitar solos in the song. “I FOUND YOU” starts off as a ballad with a slow intro with only keyboard on top of the mix. It’s a slow song until the middle when the tempo rises and it becomes an up-tempo ballad. There are not so many tempo changes but the song is inspired by melodic hard rock. In this song Mr. Hartmann really shows of his massive vocal capacity. “WHO YOU REALLY ARE” has a lot of tempo changes and a whole lot of metal guitars. This is progressive metal/rock influenced by melodic hard rock. It’s also one of the longer songs at 8 minutes. “STAY” starts of with acoustic guitars and Hartmann voice. This is a very beautiful ballad that has big hit potential.
This album impressed me a lot. The music/lyrics are well written. They create a great sound picture with very qualified musicians playing progressive metal straight through. I can’t find any minor errors in this album at all, not even the longer songs feel too long. With this album this Italian band have the potential to take themselves to the absolute elite in the prog-metal genre.