Band: Empirical Time
Band Website: www.empiricaltime.com
Label: Ma.Ra. Cash Records
Release Date: 2013
This is the debut release of young band from Padua, Italy entitled Songs, Poems and a Lady.Empirical Time formed in 2011 and is a band with a musical ear tuned to the seventies. Their music is reflective of the great prog hallmarks of the past but is also keenly modern. The five members are Riccardo Scarparo (vocals, keyboards), Andrea Baggio (bass), Giovanni Croatto (guitars), Frederico Galleani (guitars) and Robert Jameson (drums). Playing live as much as is possible for a prog band, they released an initial 5-track EP in 2011 and this release follows up on that displaying a finely crafted symphonic progressive rock with a distinctly Italian flavor.
Songs, Poems and a Lady is one-hour of music made up of eleven tracks none of which are overly long. As is often the case with Italian prog, the songs are complex even when they’re short. Here most are around four-minutes with a few just over six and one nine-minute composition. Everything starts off with “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal” [3:19] a tune that opens softly and slowly with hints of a Pink Floyd tempo, before a serious keyboard solo on synth and organ builds in intensity leading into a lead guitar solo. This then leads to the song’s vocal closing. The next song “Strange Fits of Passion” [6:59] starts with a solo piano opening, which then allows the Beatle influenced vocals and band to enter with a mid-tempo feel. There is plenty of space in the music of Empirical Time. It breathes with openness and they’re not afraid to let an instrument perform on its own. As you might expect, inspiration comes from classical music performed with a jazzy flair. The influences peppered throughout these compositions are certainly reminiscent of the classic Italian prog bands of the seventies but Empirical Time are clever in their own way incorporating distinctly new and inventive sounds making the music distinctly their own. It’s melodically busy and complex one moment and then just as quickly melodically simple the next. Hints of Genesis from different eras are also quite prevalent.
It’s great to see the symphonic prog banner still flying in younger Italian bands such as Empirical Time. For them to take on this genre is a wonderful thing, especially as they are so good at it. Songs, Poems and a Lady is a fresh take on the genre that offers plenty of familiar notes. I found it thoroughly enjoyable and without hesitation recommend it to symphonic prog fans everywhere.