Press & Reviews
Cyclic Defrost review of Open Aeon
January 13, 2007
Sydney based dark electro duo Aaron Potter and Daniel Brunet (collectively known as Empty) have been writing and recording electro-industrial tracks since the beginning of 2003, their debut four track demo 'Abandon All Hope' attracting the attention of Angeltheory's Charles Fenech, who arranged an official release in 2005. This follow-up EP 'Open Aeon', released independently through the duo's own Aphotic Audio imprint and co-produced alongside Fenech presents six new tracks alongside two reworkings by Angeltheory and Iammynewt.
While there's certainly no faulting the attention of detail to production evident here, perhaps the biggest spectre that looms over the tracks collected here is the inescapable influence of Front Line Assembly, with many of the tracks veering perilously close to transparent homage or even pastiche. In fact, opener 'Ghost Beside You' could easily pass for an outtake from Bill Leeb & Co. circa 1998, its fusion of sparse punching industrial beats, heavily processed doom-laden vocals and epic synth sweeps coming across as conspicuously dated-sounding, even within the contemporary goth-industrial milieu.
'Torn' and 'Blue' manage to toss in some arresting curves in the form of interesting vocal chorus hooks and funk-infused electro basslines respectively, but the overall effect is more along the lines of Empty going through their Skinny Puppy and FLA records and trying to work out which cult B-movie horror / sci-fi to hire next from Blockbuster for samples.
Angeltheory's reworking of 'Blue' manages to inject some upbeat life into proceedings as well as a much-needed sense of variety, even if its trancey synth arpeggios and stomping industrial beats come across as a little cheesy, while Iammynewt's shuffling breakbeat reworking of 'Ghost Beside You' easily represents one of the most inspired moments on offer here.
While the quality of production is certainly high throughout 'Open Aeon', with more than the occasional intriguing moment on offer, hopefully future releases from Empty will show the duo straying further from the shadows of their musical influences. - evilchris