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Album Review: “Another World” by Southern Empire

Southern Empire album cover

With the spotlight on Australia’s progressive music scene following the success of Voyager in the Eurovision Contest, Southern Empire steps up with their third album, “Another World.” The departure of singer Danny Lopresto earlier in the year raised concerns, but the addition of new vocalist Shaun Holton injects fresh intensity into the band’s signature melodic style. The album’s opening track, “Reaching Out,” sets a high bar, blending anthemic prog-metal with intricate rhythms. This momentum carries throughout the hour-plus runtime, showcasing the band’s prowess.

The first of the album’s two mini-epics, “Face the Dawn,” exemplifies Southern Empire’s ensemble skills, creating a cinematic atmosphere with dynamic instrumental interactions. “Hold On To Me” provides a lighter ballad, allowing Cam Blokland’s gravelly vocals to shine alongside Holton’s powerful tenor. The heartfelt lyrics prevent any cheesiness, ensuring a touching experience.

While the middle tracks, “When You Return” and “Moving Through Tomorrow,” seem safe, the sprawling epic “White Shadows” steals the spotlight. Clocking in at nearly 20 minutes, it showcases the band’s virtuosity, with Holton, Blokland, Timms, Green, and Martin delivering standout performances. The album concludes softly with “Butterfly,” featuring Blokland’s delicate vocals and emotive solo.

“Another World” stands as an achievement despite challenges, encapsulating the world’s experiences over the past 18 months. The album is polished and accessible, a testament to Southern Empire’s resilience and musical prowess. Their dynamic vocal range remains a highlight, allowing them to connect emotionally with listeners.

With a balance of shorter tracks and epic compositions, the album covers a wide spectrum. Timms’ production skills ensure a crisp sound, though at times overly polished. Southern Empire’s growth and new direction are evident, making “Another World” a triumph over adversity and a gateway to new horizons.

Rating: 9/10

Southern Empire album cover

Released on September 4th, 2023

1. Reaching Out (4:17)
2. Face The Dawn (12:44)
3. Hold On To Me (6:30)
4. When You Return (6:13)
5. Moving Through Tomorrow (10:23)
6. White Shadows (19:25)
7. Butterfly (4:22)

You can now Pre-Order Another World here:
& Orange Marbled Vinyl:


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