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(51:00, Progressive Promotion Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Joke on You 5:19 2. Come and Take a Look at My Life 6:33 3. Faceless 5:13 4. Here and Now 4:37 5. Storm Flood 6:02 6. Steal Your Thunder 5:18 7. Wait and See 17:58 LINEUP: Georg Alfter - guitars, bass Norbert Podien - keyboards Malcolm Shuttleworth - vocals Jimmy Keegan - drums With: Oliver Wenzler - percussion
Prolusion. German band EYESBERG has a history that go back some decades, but as recording artists they first appeared three years ago with their debut album "Blue". Two more years would go before their second album "Masquerade" would appear, and as with their first studio production it was released by German label Progressive Promotion Records.
Analysis. Eyesberg is one of those bands were it is not at all difficult to place them and define them within a progressive rock context. These guys belong firmly in the center of the neo progressive aspect of the genre, and the main questions for bands of this kind is just how good they are in terms of exploring this generally accessible aspect of the genre. For my sake I think the word satisfactory describes this production very well. It yields few real surprises, but what we are provided with holds a high quality throughout, and should satisfy most people with a taste for this style and take on progressive rock. Wandering, plucked guitars and firm guitar licks and occasional riffs support an array of gliding and fluctuating keyboard textures. The verse parts tends to be gentler, emphasizing the Phil Collins style delicate and controlled lead vocals, while the instrumental sections tends to be a bit more dramatic and intense. Those fond of elegant, swooping keyboard solo runs will get their fill of those, and the tight bass lines as well as the excellent rhythms that comes courtesy of Jimmy Keegan on this occasion provides us with a firm foundation that everything else plays upon. While many of the songs swoop in on what I'd describe as a classic 80's neo progressive sound, there are quite a few nods to early 80's Genesis to be found as well, especially when we are served organ and guitar combinations. And while the songs often have more of a positive to gentle melancholic atmosphere to them, darker toned textures are carefully applied in select places to give the songs a bit more grit, the massive concluding epic Wait and See a good example of that, as well as those effects being used a bit more extensively on this composition. Elegant flute details and some good, old Mellotron also flavor the soundscapes here and there, enriching the total experience.
Conclusion. While I do not see that Eyesberg's second album will convince anyone not already fond of neo progressive rock of the 80's variety to the charms of this particular approach to progressive rock, many of those who tend to enjoy this style of music should find this CD to be right up their alley. An album that merits a check by those who enjoy the classic neo progressive bands of the early 80's as well as Genesis as they were in the last few years before they opted to create more regular pop music.
Progmessor: October 24, 2017
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