From: "Jeff Marx" <>
A 'possible' contender for Mark's Top 10 instrumental keyboard prog rock albums is Empire's "Back to Knowledge." Keyboard afficianados will most likely enjoy this 1994 outing. Edo Rogani can definitely play hammond and synths, but a slight pop propensity may make me hesitate to advise knocking "Roller" (weakest of the current 10 IMVHO) off the top 10. Anyhoo, here's a review........
Keyboardist Beppe Crovella has been a very busy man in the nineties, both recording and producing his own projects(Romantic Warriors and Tower) as well as producing for several up and coming Italian prog acts. Such is Empire's "Back to Knowledge" from 1994.
Empire are Edo Rogani on keyboards, Paolo Sburlati on percussion, and Roasanna De Luca on vocals (in English). This keyboard power trio plays in an energetic up-tempo format that shares influences from 70's Italian prog as well as from UK. In fact, Rogani plays keyboards in a cross between Keith Emerson and Eddie Jobson. The album contains nine tracks; five of which are vocals/instrumental while four are all-instrumental.
De Luca's vocal style shifts around quite a bit, mostly in a pop style, high-energy delivery; at times sounding a bit like Geddy Lee! Very interesting. All tracks contain excellent keyboard work, both on Hammond organ and Digital synths(including some clean-sounding "analog" patches). Included among the instrumental tracks is their take on Mussorsky's 'Night on Bare Mountain,'which holds up pretty well when compared against Par Lindh's version for example. While not quite up to Crovella's own Romantic Warriors, fans of UK and of primo keyboard chops can safely give Empire a shot. Free and clear to navigate.