Monday, June 23, 2014

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Review: Empty Days - Empty Days (2013)


Information:
Artist: Empty Days
Album: Empty Days
Release date: September 2013
Label: AltrOck

Tracklist:

1. Two Views On Flight - 4'17
2. Ankoku - 4'55
3. Words Lurking - 3'12
4. Kurai - 5'50
5. Flow My Tears - 4'17
6. Ananke - 1'34
7. Running Water - 5'04
8. The Ghosts Of Dawn - 4'14
9. In Darkness Let Me Dwell - 4'55
10. A Knife Under The Pillow - 1'22
11. Coming Back Home - 3'56
12. Waiting For The Crash - 2'08
13. A Dark Vanessa - 3'03
14. This Night Wounds Time - 3'16
Running time: 60:54

Production details: Recorded in Milan (Effettonote, Ganascia Studio, Moonshine Pub), Suello, Castione Della Presolana, Tradate
Editing and treatments by Francesco Zago
Mixed by Francesco Zago and Andrea Rizzardo
Mastered by Benno Hofer (Ton-Art Studio, Basel)

Packaging details:
Format:
 CD/Jewelcase
Info: 16 pages booklet. Artwork by Francesco Zago / Graphic Project by Mara Colombo / Front cover, Risaia 1 (1990), Salvatore Garau


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Review by Diego Camargo       Rating: 

Thoughts: I receive all kinds of music to be reviewed, obviously the vast majority of them comes from the Progressive scene.
It’s very common that many of the albums slip away either because they lack in quality or because they don’t have ‘that’ extra in them. But every once in a while I got something that grabs my attention, regardless of the musical quality or the style played. The project Empty Days is definitely one of these cases!

Led by Francesco Zago (from Yugen fame), who plays guitars, mellotron and bass on the record, this record/project was a big question mark most of the time.
With the helping hand of many musicians such as Paolo «Ske» Botta (Yugen, Not A Good Sign & Ske - keyboards), Jacopo Costa (vibes), Elaine Di Falco (vocals), Maurizio Fasoli (piano), Bianca Fervidi (cello), Pat Moonchy (electric zen garden?!?), Rachel O’Brien (vocals) and Giuseppe A. Olivini (percussion), Francesco was able to build the dark soundtrack he intended to.

First of all, let me make it clear that Empty Days (2013), the album, there’s no connection whatsoever with Progressive Rock, after all there’s no Rock on this album. But in the end it couldn’t be more Prog that this!

Empty Days (2013) has two sides (both gloomy), in a first moment the songs are focused on Elaine’s vocals, in these songs there’s an implicit melancholy in every second. Just listen to tracks like ‘Two Views On Flight’, ‘Words Lurking’, ‘Running Water’, ‘In Darkness Let Me Dwell’ or the absolutely fantastic (probably the best track on the record) ‘Coming Back Home’.
There’s also a Classical music feeling that permeates some tracks as in ‘Flow My Tears’.

On the second moment we have a ‘soundtrack to the end of the days’. Tracks like ‘Ankoku’, ‘Kurai’, ‘Ananke’ or ‘Waiting For The Crash’ send us to an Apocalyptic scenery where there is only dust and loneliness. Pay close attention to ‘Waiting For The Crash’ since it is an experience for itself.
This scenery is even more intense when we look at the cover of the album, a magnificent and desolate painting from Salvatore Garau (that was the drummer inthe Italian Prog band Stormy Six).
There are some pretty scary moments on this album, try to listen to it at night, with the light off and with headphones!

Empty Days (2013) sounds deliberately uncomfortable. It tries to take the listener to an extracorporeal experience where the senses rise and the music makes you imagine that you’re in another world.

Definitely Empty Days (2013) is not an album for everybody and also not for all the moments. But if you let yourself off for 60 minutes the experience will be unique, and it is worth!
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Listen to Empty Days on our Podcast #30 HERE.

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