Empty Tremor

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Apocolokyntosys

Empty Tremor - Apocolokyntosys ©1997 Rising Sun Records
1. The Eyes Of Universe
2. Rules Of Time
3. The Message Keeper
4. Running Rusty Rails
5. Apocolokyntosys
6. Middleman
7. Slice Of Life
8. Screaming Loud For The Sins Of The World

You're probably trying to fit your mouth around the title of this CD, right? Apoco-what?

According to the band, "Apocolokyntosys" is or refers to a satirical opera written by Roman historian and statesman Seneca concerning the debaucheries of then recently deceased emperor Claudius Caesar. The CD, like the opera, is attempting to make a type / antitype comparison between the corrupt emperor and humanity in general. The same temptations to immorality, greed, and abuses of every kind are still prevalent today. The lyrics, through a series of metaphors, indicate that we have not matured very much in 2,000 years.

This is a very deep concept for any band to tackle, let alone a band trying to make its debut into the world of progressive metal. Empty Tremor is a band from Italy, a seemingly inexhaustible wellspring of progressive metal. There is no way to review this album without making the very obvious comparison to Dream Theater. This album has Images and Words influences soundly stamped all over it. However, don't let that dissuade you from giving this CD a listen. The influences are there, certainly, but this is no clone. Empty Tremor manage to take the influence and shape it into their own sound very nicely. The technical precision of the music is carried off very nicely. The band plays very well together. Possibly this is party due to them having been formed three years before releasing an album.

The keys and guitars interweave deftly, and the singer is amazing. He does not have the accent that seems to be present in most Italian metal bands, but sings and harmonizes to create some beautiful vocal melodies. The rhythm section excels with some amazing feats of rhythmic athleticism. The musical passages are long and complex. This band has some very real composition talent. The songs are wonderfully long and richly satisfying. This CD does not disappoint on any level. Any fan of progressive metal will enjoy this release.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 01/2001

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Eros And Thanatos

Empty Tremor - Eros And Thanatos ©2000 Elevate Records
1. Chapter I - The Future Needs Your Name
2. Chapter II - Always There
3. Chapter III - Lost In The Past
4. Chapter IV - Outside
5. Chapter V - Chinese Box
6. Chapter VI - Star
7. Chapter VII - Y2K
8. Chapter VIII - Just For Today
9. Chapter IX - The Timeless Night

After a spectacular debut CD in Apocolokyntosys, Empty Tremor were not heard from for quite some time. I'm very glad to say that they were not idle during the interim between their debut and this latest CD. This disc shows us a band that has spent time maturing and sharpening their considerable song writing talents.

These songs are densely woven and packed with a lot of intricate sound. The CD packs in seventy minutes of some of the best progressive metal produced in 2000. The songs are driven by the twin guitar lead and backed, surrounded and / or propelled by the keyboards. The vocals are as good as, if not better than, those on the first disc. Singer Giovanni De Luigi has an incredible voice. His range, power and ability to communicate with emotion are terrific.

I don't know when I have heard progressive metal this fresh and inspiring. The lyrical content is once again deep and thought-provoking. It is really something when a band can pull off a concept disc as intense as Apocolokyntosys. It is even more stunning when they do it a second time, dealing here with love, loss, life and death. This is not cheesy mindless music. This CD demonstrates that heavy metal can be passionate and profound. For the fan of progressive metal, this is a must have disc. I only hope they don't wait another three years before the next disc.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 01/2001

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