Southern Empire

1. Goliath’s Moon
2. Cries For The Lonely
3. Crossroads
4. Innocence & Fortune

Danny Lopresto - lead & backing vocals, electric & acoustic guitars
Cam Blokland - electric & acoustic guitars, mandolin, backing vocals
Sean Timms - keyboards, electric & lap steel guitars, percussion, backing vocals
Jez Martin - bass, flugelhorn, backing vocals
Brody Green - drums, percussion, backing vocals

Southern Empire (2016)

Steve Unruh - violin, flute
Marek Arnold - soprano sax
James Capatch - tenor & soprano saxes, flute


Released 2018-07-20
Reviewed 2018-10-03



Civilisation from a southern empire that is called Australia, and it looks like a fairly interesting civilisation. The second album from the guys, their self titled debut was released in 2016 and now 2018 we are given album number two. They have also managed a live release during their short existence. So what about this new album, is it as interesting as it looks? Well, the name dropping is quite interesting with bands that I like, that should be a guarantee for success – well, that is what I hope. So lets find out.

Undeniably progressive rock or metal music, it is fairly standard towards that style with the kind of melodies and structures you hear in the mentioned similar bands and other progressive bands. Only four tracks but a playing time of well over an hour, that means long tracks where the longest one is near half an hour long. The production is excellent, I think the sound is really good and the vocalist is good. The songs are diverse and have lots of depth, good variation over songs. And they keep it exciting all the way through the album and the manage to make an album of almost seventy minutes feel short enough, they manage to mostly avoid those long and dull parts that many progressive rock bands manage to have in their albums. I also think they manage to make the album feel quite fresh and exciting even though they aren’t really breaking new ground with what they are doing.

No weaknesses on this album, none worth mentioning anyway. Sure, you need to give it both lots of time and attention if you want to get the most enjoyment out of the album, and if you do it will give you lots of musical enjoyment. All four tracks are really strong, perhaps that opener Goliath’s Moon is the strongest one but the tracks are quite even in quality. And that quality is really high and this has to be one of the strongest progressive rock/metal albums of the year so far. It may not be the most timeless classic but it is certainly well worth listening to and enjoying. I like it a lot. And it is great how they are that exception to the rule of less is more, the good exception, there aren’t much of those but they might still have some problems to get through in today’s overstressed world where many people don’t think that they have the time to just sit down and enjoy a great piece of music – but if you do you will be highly rewarded.

Top album and highly recommended, I think that anyone who enjoys progressive rock/metal music will find this album most appealing. An album where you get lots of quality for your money, and I think it could be well worth spending a few of your hard earned money on this album. Southern Empire and their Civilisation is an album that is well worth checking out and I have to give them a big plus for not spelling in the silly American way. Great stuff!





Label: Giant Electric Pea
Three similar bands: Dream Theater/IQ/Transatlantic

Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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