Press & Reviews
Regen Magazine review of Aeon Xpand
May 29, 2008
A varied collection of remixes that shows great potential for this burgeoning Australian duo.
The Australian duo of Aaron Potter and Daniel Brunet are part of a new breed of industrial rock, born of the age of digital promotion and distribution. Formed in 2005 and releasing their first demo, Abandon All Hope, Empty has been steadily gaining momentum as their music circulates among DJs round the world. Their 2006 release of Open Aeon along with their appearance on the Glitch Mode Recordings compilation Hordes of the Elite helped to gain them even more attention, making their latest EP, Aeon Xpand, another fine sampler for the band's upcoming full-length album. Beginning with an edit of "Castrated," the listener is treated to a blistering set of hyperactive four-on-the-floor beats topped off by some hot synthesizer leads. A crunchy guitar augments the chorus, along with some cool vocoders, making this a killer opening track not just for the CD but certainly for the band's live sets. The Zintek remix of the song takes a more restrained approach, relying more on eerie atmospheres and removing the distortion from the vocals, allowing them to shine through unfettered by industrial dance histrionics, while the In-Tranzit remix that closes out the CD is little more than an extended dance mix, although it does make for some clever plays on the chord progressions. The rest of the EP is comprised of remixes of three tracks from the Open Aeon EP, with dISHARMONY's remix of "Alone" bearing a resemblance to the airy IDM-inspired ambience of Haujobb's Ninety Nine, while the Pask remix places a greater emphasis on the distorted beats and the catchy bass line, creating a much more grooving and noisy mix on par with the likes of Monstrum Sepsis. The remix of "Scarred" presented here launches us back onto the dance floor with some fractured breakbeats and an ominous arpeggio bass line that only gradually builds in tension, though it never runs us into a brick wall crescendo. Finally, "Torn" is presented in two remixes, both different in flavor as the Process Void Ripped remix is much more epic with its marching drums and layers of electrified ambience, while the Searad remix is more on par with the noisier electronics that permeate the rest of EP. Overall, Empty's Aeon Xpand EP is an edgy mix of styles that exhibits a varied yet cohesive style of industrial rock. The rather liberal use of vocoder on practically every track signifies a heavy influence from Front Line Assembly, though Empty make a valiant attempt to find a sound their own. It's not quite there yet, but if these songs are any indication of their potential, then fans of danceable industrial are surely in for a treat.
Rating: 3/5 (60%)