[Review] Southern Empire – Another World

Australian Progressive Rock band Southern Empire return 5 years after their previous album “Civilisation” with their new and long-awaited third album. Titled “Another World,” it was released on September 04, 2023 via GEP Records and contains 7 full-length tracks, including a 19+ minute epic. Opener “Reaching Out” is a concentrate of technique, energy and melodically imprinted choral vocals. A granitic rhythm section, intricate and rich in tempo changes, interweaving hard guitar riffs and keyboards, combines technical Progressive Rock with heavier sounds. An opening with a strong impact, which enhances the band’s compositional and excutive technique. A solid sound incorporating Progressive Rock and Metal characterises “Face The Dawn.” Tempo changes allow the band to insert melodic choral refrains that counterbalance the track’s granitic sound. The vocals are dynamic and expressive, giving the band’s sound a personal touch. The continuous tempo changes alternate technical and virtuosic passages with symphonic openings, taking advantage of the entire duration of over 12 minutes to develop a refined and high-level track. The instrumental section with guitar arpeggios, piano and orchestrations is valuable, and then in the middle part there is a funky part with an excellent sax solo. All the artists involved exalt their personal technique, offering technical passages and soloist inserts of absolute value. “Hold On To Me” opens with a melancholic atmosphere with piano and guitar arpeggios. The vocals are warm and expressive and interpret the lyrics with pathos and intensity. The intensity increases with the flow of the song, which in the middle part with the entry of all the instruments develops into a modern Prog track with a more intimate and delicate sound. An excellent passage on the album that shows a softer facet of the band’s sound. With a modern sound and an electronic touch, “When You Return” is a rhythmic and engaging track. The vocal is very punchy, while the track is developed on solid guitar riffs and an elaborate rhythm section, making this track fresh and modern. The melodic parts intertwine well with the harder ones, with fine solo inserts and vocal and instrumental parts alternating in a succession of emotions. Another energetic and engaging track that combines Rock and Prog with a fresh and modern approach is the next track, “Moving Through Tomorrow.” The vocals are dynamic, while the structure returns to more technical sounds, with continuous tempo changes and elaborate passages. Skillful is the band’s ability to insert choruses and melodic passages into an energetic and more technical track. The long duration of over 10 minutes allows all the musical facets of the band to be brought out. In the second part, a long instrumental section offers solo synth and guitar cues, before returning to vocals and closing. A long introductory part opens “White Shadows,” a 20-minute epic suite with long instrumental sections. The band’s distinctly personal style is expressed at the highest level in tracks such as this, using all their technique and soluons at their disposal to create a unique track. A succession of high-quality ideas developed through tempo changes and alternating vocal and instrumental parts. The band’s compositional technique is of absolute value, managing to come up with such a long track by exploiting all the minutes to develop their musical concept. The rhythm section is solid and elaborate, with technical drumming and deep, load-bearing bass lines. The album ends with “Butterfly,” a soft passage that gently closes this excellent listen. Softer passages alternate with more energetic and technically complex ones, leaving us wanting to listen to this album again in the future. A band that confirms the good things heard in their previous works, confirming themselves as one of the most interesting bands on the modern Prog scene. The tracklist is developed with long tracks that express the band’s full technical potential. The style is modern, with markedly personal traits, managing to offer truly original music. A recommended listen for all lovers of modern Prog sounds, mixing different genres and creating their own personal style, an excellent purchase for any good music lover.


01. Reaching Out (4:17)
02. Face The Dawn (12:45)
03. Hold On To Me (6:31)
04. When You Return (6:20)
05. Moving Through Tomorrow (10:23)
06. White Shadows (19:23)
07. Butterfly (4:25)


Shaun Holton / Lead and Backing Vocals
Cam Blokland / Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Lead and Backing Vocals
Jez Martin / Fretted and Fretless Bass
Brody Green / Drums, Hand Percussion, Backing Vocals
Sean Timms / Keyboards, Programming, Lap Steel Guitar, Backing Vocals

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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