Artist: Burning Ships
Album: Empty Hold
Review by Rhonda Readence, Music Critic
Burning Ships is an explorative journey through the world of music. San Francisco Bay area artist Fritz Limner is the mastermind behind Burning Ships, and his creativity flows with ease during the 15-track album Empty Hold. With futuristic elements coupled with alternative techno rock, the smooth groove and intricate composition will hold listeners captive. The opening piece is a brief interlude that features a wonderful soundscape of space-like elements and a robotic voice that welcomes us to the world of Burning Ships. Aptly titled “Atmosfearica,” this track lays the foundation for the rest of the album.
“Insecurity Guard” is the second offering and it is rife with energy and a captive guitar hook that carries a sense of nostalgia for the days when good music was simply good, without a lot of filler and hype. The lyrics will compel listeners to actually think, and if this is any indication of how the rest of Empty Hold is going to go, we are in for a treat.
There are many pieces on the album that hold a sense of some futuristic world that humanity has only barely begun to understand. “Comes and Goes” is a fantastic instrumental offering with a sound quality that far surpasses expectations. The ethereal and haunting essence of this track is exquisite. Likewise, “Love and the Painter’s Djinn” is a fascinating journey into a place far from here, one where the imagination is free to run wild. The otherworldly soundscape and crystal clear production are simply enthralling and this track will enlighten and open the mind to many possibilities.
One of the more standout pieces on the album is “Be the Zero” and it should be noted that Empty Hold should be listened to consecutively, from beginning to end, to fully enjoy the spectral essence of this epic album. Limner is not only a very skilled musician and composer, but an artful storyteller as well, and this album is indeed a story. “Be the Zero” homes in on this facet and the elegance with which this piece is performed is out of this world, literally.
Not only is the composition and performance of each offering exceptional, but the sound quality is consistently stellar. Tracks like “Passage Euphonica (Theme)” and “Sooth” are excellent examples of what every artist should strive for in production and engineering quality. The sound is absolutely amazing, with a clarity that lends itself wonderfully to the ethereal vibe this album strives for.
Limner’s artistic creativity and vision is made evident throughout Empty Hold, but “Lorelei” stands out because of its contagious rhythm and graceful light flow. The lyrics are deliberate and delivered with precision. One gets the feeling that Fritz Limner does nothing without a purpose and each song is well-crafted from beginning to end. This artist knows exactly what he is striving for and has succeeded admirably.
Closing with “What If” and “Of No Account,” Empty Hold leaves us with a sense of having traveled to distant lands within our own minds. When music has the power to take the mind on a journey, it is indeed something special to behold. “What If” is well-written with lyrics that many will be able to relate to, and “Of No Account” is the apex of the album. The dramatic closing piece is rife with electronic beats and spectral elements that make it the perfect song to exit on. This wonderful and exquisite album by Burning Ships is by far one of the most well organized and thought-out pieces of art out there in the music world today. You don’t need to work very hard to let this incredible work take you into a new place. Just put your headphones on, turn the volume up, close your eyes, and let Burning Ships take you away, to Empty Hold.