Southern Empire – Live @ HQ – Australian Crossover Prog Rock

Southern Empire - Live @ HQ

A Comment from Son Andrew leads Me to Southern Empire

So the other day after I posted my review of Damanek, and suggested that I would be checking out United Progressive Fraternity, my son Andrew provided this comment on Facebook….

And if you like United Progessive Fraternity check out Unitopia and Southern Empire…UPF and Southern Empire were formed out of the ashes of Unitopia

So after checking out UPF and liking what I was hearing I took Andrew’s advice. I went to Spotify and downloaded Unitopia’s album Covered Mirror, Vol. 1 and Southern Empire’s Live @ HQ . Of the two bands, I have listened to Southern Empire a little more,but I have enjoyed both albums.

About Southern Empire

Anyway, tonight I went to Prog Archives to  find out more about Southern Empire.

Southern Empire is an Australian crossover prog band. Keyboardist Sean Timms formed the band after the breakup of Unitopia. The band count among its influences bands like: Dream Theater, IQ, Transatlantic, Karnivool and Steven Wilson. While the band creates catchy songs with nice melodic hooks, their sound may be slightly harder and edgier than the bands that influence them.

The Band

Sean was the main song-writer, producer and keyboard player with Unitopia. As such, after Unitopia disbanded Sean Timms had enough song written, but no band to play and record them. He approached vocalist Danny Lopresto about forming a band to play the material and ultimately record an album w. The result was the formation of Southern Empire and their self-titled debut album. Here’s the full musician lineup on their debut album

Southern EmpireDanny Lopresto / lead vocals, guitar
Cam Blokland / guitar, vocals
Brody Green / drums, vocals
Jez Martin / bass, vocals
Sean Timms / keyboards, vocals, saxophone, lap steel guitar

Live @ HQ

The album that I listened to Live @ HQ contains all of the songs that appear on their debut album. In addition there are three additional tracks on the album. “The Crossroads”  is a great track that is almost 29 minutes in length. There are also fine covers of Pink Floyd’s “Hey You” and Yes’s “Roundabout”

Bottom Line

The more I listen to this album the more I like the band. I enjoy Danny Lopresto’s lead vocals, and the jazz underpinnings throughout the entire album. My Rating is definitely 4 out of 5 stars. So Check It Out!!

Here is what Windhawk  at ProgArchives says about Southern  Empire

Southern Empire comes across as a high quality band that have chosen to explore a rather broadly appealing variety of progressive rock, with room for sophisticated instrument sections and the occasional jazzrock oriented run just as much as for driving, energetic and vibrant melodic hard rock sections, in between more careful and atmospheric laden passages closer to neo-progressive rock. While rather different than both of them, I would suspect on a general basis that fans of bands such as Magic Pie and Spock’s. Beard might be something of a key audience for this band, and presumably quite a few of Unitopia’s fans will also experience this album as a worthwhile experience Full Review

Here’s “Forest Fire” from Southern Empire

Links for the Further Exploration of the Music of Southern Empire

Artitst Website