the empty
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the empty

Portland, OR | Established. Jan 01, 2003

Portland, OR
Established on Jan, 2003
Band Alternative Indie



The best kept secret in music


"'more positive material' review"

To be completely honest, I wasn’t expecting to like this album. The Empty’s 2003 debut EP put them in a very uncomfortable spot, allowing the average listener to quickly classify them with the veritable sea of other hardcore bands they were reminiscent of. But there was still something different about The EP, something that just barely set them apart. Perhaps a little more class, a little more panache. In any case, The EP made it very clear that The Empty was on the verge of something transcendent, but just not quite there yet. After taking six months off in order to regroup and improve upon their musical formula, the band has finally reached a breakthrough with More Positive Material, while successfully steering clear of any kind of pigeonholing.

Before hearing More Positive Material, I never would have thought I’d find myself describing an album of its kind as “dreamy” and “ethereal,” but by god, The Empty have gone and made me do it. Of course, it goes without saying that the staple hardcore influences are still undoubtedly here, the heaviest of which being “At The Drive-In.” But still, there is something much deeper here than just hardcore rehash. The Empty carefully walk the line between the droning instrumental ballads of the early nineties UK post-rockers such as Bark Psychosis and the hard and sophisticated prog-rock anthems of The Bends era Radiohead. On top of all this, they admirably maintain their sense of originality, never seeming to forget their roots.

The press kit for More Positive Material describes it as “genre-defying,” which is fitting for the most part. By the end of the album, the listener is left with a slightly puzzling sense of ambiguity, not knowing where to classify the record in their mind, and I mean that in a good way. Tracks like “Collision Magnet” dish out angular riffs and borderline dance-rock beats, while songs such as “Skeleton Trees (Grey Eats Blue)” offer organic and ambient synth work layered on top of acoustic guitar strumming. But the most effective change to The Empty’s sound since The EP is the mixing. Sean Dant’s vocals have taken the back seat in More Positive Material, which creates a blurry distant relationship between the music and its listener, and underscores the album’s dreamlike qualities.

To put it simply, More Positive Material is a major leap for The Empty. Instead of feeling their way to their desired sound over the course of several albums, they have taken the time to perfect a new formula—one that seems to do wonders for them, favoring breadth and delicacy over raw energy. More Positive Material feels more like a third or fourth record than a second. If this is a sign of things to come, The Empty is certainly a band to watch out for.

- synergy Mag


the empty EP - 2004
more positive material - 2005


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Empty is an indie rock band hailing from Portland, Oregon. The trio consists of Sean Dant, Jacob Schmitt and Bobby Dezfulli, three musicians who are busy weaving intricate sonic textures that seamlessly blur the lines between various genres. From the punch of alternative rock to the grit of post-punk, without missing out on the lush textures of Shoegaze music.

Band Members