Press & Reviews
Regen Magazine review of Open Aeon
August 18, 2006
Australian band Empty's debut is an appealing look at the gloomier side of electro.
With industrial dance music moving in the direction of fast and heavy thanks to the emerging prominence of genres like terror EBM and power noise, it's refreshing to hear a band like Australia's Empty take a slower, creepier approach that recalls Skinny Puppy's more atmospheric work. "Ghost Beside You" starts things off with mid-tempo beats, lush minor-key synths, and processed vocal effects that call to mind depressed robots. It sets the stage for many of the songs to come, although there are of course variations to the pattern; the vocals on "Run Down," for example, are more demonic than cybernetic, while "Blue" plays wispier melodic vocals against a crunchy industrial drum loop. The slow, grim tempo of Empty's songs doesn't lend itself particularly to the dance floor, but Angeltheory remedies that with a stomping EBM mix of "Blue" that retains the original's hint of pop melody. Iammynewt, on the other hand, gets unpredictable with a remix of "Ghost Beside You," speeding up the bass before breaking everything down into a minimal ambient keyboard line. Finishing things off is the haunting "Alone," which begins as just whispers and bits of echoing piano before adding a slow, oppressive breakbeat to the mix. Empty hasn't yet achieved the polish or complexity of atmospheric industrial pioneers like YelworC, and the band's sound would benefit from a greater variety of synth patches and drum patterns, but for a first EP, this is a promising effort steeped in the tradition of dark, somber electro.
Rating: 3/5 (60%)