Empirical Time come from Padua and began life in 2011 on the initiative of Riccardo Scarparo and Andrea Baggio. Their aim was the recording of original compositions with the use of classical and electric instruments, inspired by bands such as Pink Floyd, Genesis or Premiata Forneria Marconi, and featuring lyrics taken or inspired by poetry and literature. After a first demo in 2011, they released a début album in 2013, titled Songs, Poems And A Lady, on the independent label Ma.Ra.Cash Records, with a line up featuring Riccardo Scarparo (keyboards, lead vocals), Andrea Baggio (bass), Federico Galleani (guitars, vocals), Giovanni Croatto (guitars, vocals) and Robert Anthony Jameson (drums, vocals). Thanks to the help of their producer Mike 3rd and to the mastering by Ronan Chris Murphy, the sound quality is excellent although, in my opinion, the music every now and again seems a bit too derivative. As suggested by the cover, this is a concept album dedicated to a mysterious Lady, a muse with many faces, a strange character to discover...
In fact, the album begins by five tracks taken from The Lucy Poems, a series of poems composed by the English Romantic poet William Wordsworth between 1798 and 1801. In the series, Wordsworth examines the poet's unrequited love for the idealised character of Lucy, an English girl who has died young. The idea of her death weighs heavily on the poet throughout the series, imbuing it with a melancholic, elegiac tone. Whether Lucy was based on a real woman or was a fruit of the poet's imagination has long been a matter of debate among scholars. Generally reticent about the poems, Wordsworth never revealed the details of her origin or identity... Most critics agree that she is essentially a literary device upon whom he could project, meditate and reflect... (from Wikipedia)
The first piece is taken from “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal”. The music initially recalls Pink Floyd's dark side of the moon, but then sudden surges of keyboards light the fire and bring in some EL&P reminiscences sweeping out fears and shadows... Next comes the ethereal “Strange Fits Of Passion”, a long track that every now and again reminds me of an Australian band called Augie March... Then “She Dwelt Among The Untrodden Ways” features a slow pace and melancholic tones and leads to “Three Years She Grew In Sun And Shower”, another complex piece where Pink Floyd influences are apparent although filtered with a personal touch and a pinch of tarantella. The nocturnal “I Travelled Among Unknown Men” concludes the part of the album dedicated to the poetry of Wordsworth, infused with abstract ideals of beauty, nature, love, longing and death... “I travelled among unknown men / In lands beyond the sea / Nor, England! Did I know till then / What love I bore to thee...”.
Lucy is a name that is usually associated with sky and diamonds. Well, on “Diamond Lady Pt. 1” diamonds are the symbol of the multifaceted personality of the mysterious woman who inspired the album. The music, again, recalls Pink Floyd but with some touches of exoticism that contribute to add some strange, disquieting colours to the portrait of the lady. With the excellent instrumental “Untamed”, the dreamy “Overshadowed Breathing” and “Diamond Lady Pt. 2” it forms a kind of suite full of shadows and lights. By the way, for the demo version of “Diamond Lady Pt.1”, in 2012 the band shot a video directed by Nicola Schito and starring Stefania Fornasier...
Two short instrumental tracks linked together, “Whispers From The Past” and “Dancing On Saturno” conclude the album with waves of dark energy and some bright, soaring melodic passages.
On the whole, I think that this is an interesting work but I'm sure that this band will do even better in the future.