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Eumeria: Rebel Mind

Sometimes putting a band together is a lot like being a bartender. You can mix certain ingredients that you think would go good together and the results are horrid. Then there is the times you get the blend just right and the results are something that goes down easy and taste great. This debut from the group Eumeria is definitely the latter.

Eumeria is the brainchild of former Outworld and Thought Chamber keyboardist Bobby Williamson. He enlisted his Outworld bandmate bassist Shawn Kascak and then reached across the Atlantic to England and recruited the extremely talented vocalist Jonny Tatum, the amazing drummer Kevin Bartlett (Anubis) and 20 year old guitar phenom Reece Fullwood. To say that they have found the right elixir is an understatement. This is a band that together can and has produced a dynamic progressive metal album that will bring visions of Dream Theater as you revel in the musical prowess of these guys along with the powerhouse vocals of Tatum. The comparison is easy but not meant to make you think that these guys are just clones, far from it. I mention that because of their songwriting artistry, magnificent technical abilities and the fact that both bands are from the same genre. That said, no fan of DT will think twice about picking up this absolutely stunning disc.

The album opens with Kevin Bartlett displaying why he was chosen as the man behind the drum kit as his intro sets the tempo and the mood for what is to come. As the rest of the band enters into the song "Legion" one by one with guitarist Fullwood introducing himself next followed by the perfectly textured keyboards of Williamson. This all leads to the moment when Tatum seduces you with his amazing vocals. By the time this has all come together you will be one of the growing "Legion" of Eumeria fans. This one sucked me in from the get go and I am truly grateful to have had this one become a welcome addition to the music library.

The band keeps things entertaining by changing it up with each song. The heavier aspects come out with the likes of "Delusions", the powerhouse title track "Rebel Mind" and the thumper "Dreaming Of Death". Similar to the band that I compared them to they can go heavy but never forget the melodic aspects of metal. Layers of sound makes this one an intense listening experience. Even when they calm it down a bit like with the power ballad "Father" the majestic aspects of the music captures something that sticks with you. With intelligent lyrics and Tatum's vocals bringing out the raw emotion of each song, Eumeria is an experience to feel, not just hear.

I found that by the time I got to the searing yet melodic tapestry that they call "Secret Places" that my ears, mind and emotional well being had all been bettered by this listening experience. This one is a no brainer for any prog or power metal fan as those that not only like Dream Theater but also bands like Kamelot, Avantasia, Blind Guardian etc... will get a real treat. They have the tools and know how to use them. It would be a shame to let this one slip by as it is easily one of the really good albums to come out this year. If you want to see them again, just check out my best of at the end of the year. It is just a matter of how high they will be on the list!!

Track listing:

1. Legion
2. Delusions
3. Rebel Mind
4. Father
5. Tides
6. The Key
7. Red Light Flies
8. Dreaming Of Death
9. Secret Places

Added: July 22nd 2011
Reviewer: Scott Ward
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 5195
Language: english

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Eumeria: Rebel Mind
Posted by Murat Batmaz, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-07-22 12:18:19
My Score:

Eumeria is a new progressive metal band formed by former Outworld keyboardist Bobby Williamson. You may also remember him from Thought Chamber's criminally overlooked first and only album, Angular Perceptions.

Unlike Outworld which was more a shred-based band (still with killer vocals and guitars), Eumeria tones down on pyrotechnics in favour of more cohesive songwriting. Strictly speaking, their brand of prog falls within the traditional prog metal blueprint, comparable to the likes of Circus Maximus and Andromeda in terms of song 'organization' and Cloudscape in that they, too, encompass a melodic trait throughout the whole disc. Songs are undeniably melodic, but they never get too syrupy, as the arrangements boast a healthy dose of guitar crunch and an exceptionally solid rhythmic backbone. Williamson's band mate from Outworld, Shawn Kascak, engages in a solid low end with crushing bass lines (best exemplified on the opening track) while Kevin Bartlett's drum parts are bound to impress anyone who enjoys varied and complex drumming. Bartlett employs a thick kick drum sound which he uses to tighten the rhythmic density in the songs. Also, his fills are amazing, especially on the title track and the midtempo cut "Father" (which also exudes a powerful piano theme during the quieter moments). British vocalist Jonny Tatum possesses a strong midrange voice, but he is also capable of hitting the higher notes with utmost ease. He absolutely soars on the final track and will win anyone who's sceptical of his talents over, when you hear how smoothly he shifts from his rich baritone delivery to stratospheric heights.

Bobby Williamson deserves special credit for not turning this into a solo album highlighting his keyboard playing and ignoring the concept of songwriting. He uniformly plays to the strength of the songs, applying his technique only to enhance the compositions. Compared to Outworld, he utilizes a wider spectrum of sound colours, from icy synth lines to breakneck unison solos and Middle Eastern soundscapes in order to implant an original dynamic in the material. When the guitars cut through the mix with burning intensity, he caps them with his smooth harmonic brilliance still retaining the focus of the track.

Jacob Hansen's mix and mastering job gives the album its needed sonic punch. This is actually one of the better traditional prog debuts of the year, compared to releases by Lost In Thought, for instance. Ite should appeal to fans of Circus Maximus, Andromeda, and Sun Caged (their new album kills!), but admittedly, it's no where near as supreme as these acts yet. With continued work, however, they could enter the league of gods with their sophomore release.

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