Holy Roman Empire - Lost in Landscapes (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Holy Roman Empire

Lost in Landscapes (2005)

Hewhocorrupts Inc.

It seems that trading in your breakdowns and screaming for lighter, gentler fare is all the rage these days. While there are certainly plenty of post-hardcore bands that are really just bad indie rock, there have been a number of recent hardcore vets that took their influences and sublimated them into something more melodic, often to positive results.

Holy Roman Empire is one of those bands, a near-supergroup of late 90's hardcore refugees like guitarist Neeraj Kane (Suicide File), guitarist Jay Jancetic (ex-Arma Angelus), bassist Geoff Reu (ex-Killing Tree) and drummer Tony Tintari (ex-Shai Hulud). The only member who isn't from a well-known hardcore act is vocalist Emily Schambra, who cut her teeth in Longdistancerunner.

Vocally, Schambra sounds eerily like the ghost of Alison Mosshart (Discount) and the band itself sounds like it was inspired by other notable post-hardcore and early emo forebearers like Sunny Day Real Estate and Failure as well as other more laid back indie rock acts.

The short EP is pleasant and unassuming but relatively forgettable, as there seems to be a distinct lack of interplay between the musicians and the vocalist, and consequently far too much responsibility is placed on Schambra's shoulders. It almost sounds like the band and Emily weren't in the same room when the songs were written, and perhaps some live performances together as a band will yield a tighter and more memorable full-length.