Mike McLatchey    11 August 2003 Back To Knowledge

VMNP 009 Empire - "Back To Knowledge" (1994)

Empire are another of Vinyl Magic's high tech neo groups with a strange concoction of bombastic progressive and ultra-mainstream keyboard pop. As a three piece led by keyboard maestro Edo Rogani, the album starts out with a supra-digital pomp fest, a complex workout showing off his considerable talents. All is lost by track 2 - it's easy to see where their hearts lie, as Rosanna De Luca whips it out in true Tina Turner/Quarterflash/Kate Bush fashion. Paolo Sburlati's drum sounds are limpid and gated sounding even with "Paiste Prototype Cymbals." The album's concept is lost in the high tech gloss and after a while it's easy to forget you're not listening to the radio. Definitely only for neo/mainstream symphonic fans.

(originally reviewed as part of Media Look: Vinyl Magic label (part two), Exposť #7, p. 15, Edited for Gnosis 8/3/01)

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