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Chicago rockers Holy Roman Empire got their start near the end of 2003, and though it took the band a few years to release music or even play a show, the outfit almost immediately peaked interest, as it was comprised of alumni from various late-'90s hardcore bands. Guitarist Neeraj Kane (ex-Stabbed by Words, Sweet Cobra, the Hope Conspiracy, Suicide File), guitarist Jay Jancetic (ex-Arma Angelus, Stabbed by Words), bassist Geoff Reu (Killing Tree), and drummer Tony Tintari (ex-Rise Against, Shai Hulud) found themselves looking for a new project and randomly began discussing and playing music together. A mutual friend eventually introduced the guys to classically trained vocalist Emily Schambra (also of Longdistancerunner), who soon joined up as the missing piece to their rock puzzle. Different than many bands whose members can't write a few songs to schedule their first gig fast enough, Holy Roman Empire practiced and wrote for over a year -- inspired by a diversity of groups like Sense Field, Sunny Day Real Estate, the Cure, and Quicksand -- before ever playing live. The band's debut EP, Lost in Landscapes, boasted six songs of melodic yet somewhat atmospheric rock, and was issued in 2005 via local imprint Hewhocorrupts Inc. A short demo followed the next year before fans were finally treated in early June 2007 to a full-length album, entitled The Longue Durée, produced by Chi-town vet Matt Allison (Alkaline Trio, the Lawrence Arms). Shows supporting Rise Against and Silverstein followed through the summer. ~ Corey Apar