Epic, High-pitched vocals, Hovering, Jazzy, Symphonic
"The Australians confirm their status as one of the most exciting progressive rock bands of the moment with a musical jewel that borders on perfection."
DARIALYS (26.12.2018)  
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In recent years, Australian pianist Sean Timms has not wasted his time. Known for the band Unitopia founded with his friend Mark Trueack in 1996, the progressive rock band split to everyone's surprise in 2014. Quickly afterwards, the keyboard virtuoso founded a new band, Southern Empire, and the quintet released its first eponymous album in 2016. The new Australian band was already attracting the curiosity of progressive music lovers with content that was both accessible and technical with a predominant symphonic aspect. With the release of the new album "Civilisation", the time had come to confirm...

But rather than confirming, the five friends manage with this new opus to exceed all expectations. A quick glance at the structure of the album will whet the appetite of the progressive enthusiast. With 4 tracks on the menu, including one 20-minute and one 30-minute track, the excitement is already at its peak.

It will even continue to grow listening to the introductory title, 'Goliath's Moon'. Immediately, the verse turns out to be stubborn and is carried by a very groovy rhythmic section, an aspect not very present on the previous compositions. As usual, we immediately find ourselves hooked by the melodies developed, the very symphonic character and the vocal harmonies that made the reputation of the first album. The five instrumentalists manage to surprise us in the middle of the track by giving a jazzy twist to the track, magnified by a solid vocal work where the musicians' voices intertwine and sublimate themselves in turn.

Once this first track is completed, we enter the main part of the subject with 50 minutes of music spread over two tracks. The first, 'Cries For The Lonely', is brought to life by music with epic colours. Here again, the choirs have a fundamental importance, especially on the addictive and very melodic chorus which reminds us of the "Hold" chorus on the previous album. Later in the song, many atmospheres will follow one another: sometimes dramatic, sometimes more unbridled with more technical passages, without ever falling into pure demonstration. The different sections follow one another, always with very appropriate transitions and a lot of feeling. The end of the song will be sublimated by a particularly successful long guitar solo, with music of a tone that is both deep and splendid in the vein of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb", all creating a remarkable ensemble.

But it is with the third title that Southern Empire makes history. 'Crossroads' is certainly one of the progressive tracks of the decade along its 30 epic minutes. The title is based on African percussions with world music accents that can be found at different moments of the song. And as on the previous song, the different sections and atmospheres follow one another perfectly. We thus move from a very harmonious verse to a more muscular chorus followed by a quasi-metal break, giving way to passages that are sometimes atmospheric, sometimes more oriental, all touched by grace. Despite its duration, 'Crossroads' avoids the trap of getting stuck in excessive lengths and maintains the listener's level of attention to its maximum thanks to impeccable writing and a permanent variation of the moods. The sublime symphonic finale closes the title in the best way possible with a musical firework of voices, violins and divine melodies. It is often said that perfection does not exist, but we have certainly never been so close to it with this fantastic title.

'Innocence & Fortune' close the album in the same spirit as the previous tracks, with an emphasis on varying atmospheres, melodies, voices and arrangements. Once the last few seconds are over, the listener has only one will: to listen again and again to this album to master all its subtleties and to immerse himself in it until he is satisfied.

After an already very encouraging first album, the Australians continue their momentum with an impeccable "Civilisation". With this second sublime opus, the quintet confirms its status as one of the most exciting progressive rock bands of the moment.

More informations on

01. Goliath's Moon
02. Cries For The Lonely
03. Crossroads
04. Innocence & Fortune

Brody Green: Batterie
Cam Blokland: Guitares
Danny Lopresto: Chant
Jez Martin: Basse
Sean Timms: Claviers
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(1) COMMENT(S)    
Je viens juste de découvrir ce groupe et cet album : et là quel choc !! D'entrée, les mélodies et la technique des musiciens ainsi que la voie magnifique de Danny Lopresto nous envoûte et nous submerge.
Il faut plusieurs écoutes pour bien s’imprégner de toutes les subtilités musicales , quelle richesse...
Le rock progressif n'est pas mort. Il vient d'Australie en ce moment.
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