At times the single, “Empty Man” by Scobie Ryder (Ex-Hellfire Club frontman and Gold Awarded Songwriter/Producer) and Martin Hanisch (a top German session Guitarist/Writer Producer), better known as the duo itso, feels incredibly elegant, not something I’d say about rock music usually, but they make it work surprisingly well. It is more than just the production, the sublime instrumentation, or the vocals, which all deliver stellar performances. The single is a melting pot of varied influences and continuing maturity, which results in another polished release.

Fans expecting the gritty sound they’ve been used to in previous work won’t be disappointed as the track – the project’s fifteenth single release – offers plenty of rock nostalgia. However, there is a distinct direction towards wondrous atmospheric tones that harmonizes itso’s established sound.

The song title boldly declares the theme explored, which delves into the transition from childhood dreams and aspirations to the harsh realities adulthood. “As I wonder through this maze of possibilities. Start to wonder who I am, why am I here,” recites the opening lines, as Scobie Ryder unfolds the narrative.

His voice is the perfect foil to the ever-evolving arrangement. Ryder’s engaging croon, the urgent attitude of Martin Hanisch’s guitars and the heavy bellow of the sound in the chorus section are all anchored by confidence.

With each passing release, it becomes more and more apparent how their songwriting skills keep improving from their first recordings. Every song has unique structures, unique dynamics, and a plethora of superb production embellishments. This duo have progressed light years ahead of what I’d have thought possible when I first started listening to them, and it’s both refreshing and rewarding to see they’ve found their niche.

Powerful, dynamic, and unwaveringly entertaining, “Empty Man” is another stunning display of songwriting and performance, poise and ability. The beautiful vocals glide along, until the guitars start to shimmer, and take on a thundering quality, nothing could fit this song more perfectly. “Empty Man” is rock music at its eclectic best, able to pummel, soothe and hypnotize with equal prowess.

With their red-hot sound and incendiary vocals, itso are working towards blazing a trail far and wide, within the rock arena. Scobie Ryder and Martin Hanisch have always had a creative forward momentum propelled by their skyscraper ambitions, which are fully realized on this single. “Empty Man” doesn’t just meet expectations, it completely surpasses them.

Yet again, itso have stepped into exciting musical territories, and they’ve pulled it off at even greater heights. “Empty Man” is more than just an exercise in cashing in on the hype of rock nostalgia; it is a mission statement and a path forward.

Beautifully adorned with their heartfelt grit and charm, as well as dazzled with the brilliance of their guitar-driven energy throughout, the single shows us why itso are masters at what they do in the rock genre.

It is incredibly gratifying to hear itso continue to challenge themselves and sound in tiptop form on “Empty Man”. The magic they create on this track is undeniable.


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