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Eyesberg: Masquerade

Here is a band that has been around for over thirty years but had yet to release an album, that is until a couple years back and their debut Blue. In late 2016 their second disc Masquerade hit the shelves and certainly caught this reviewer off guard and I mean that in a positive way.

The Frankfurt, Germany based band still has three original members from those early days, Georg Alfter (guitars, bass), Norbert Podien (keyboards) and Malcolm Shuttleworth (lead and backing vocals). Rounding out the band is the excellent Jimmy Keegan (drums).

Okay, first things first. This music is not groundbreaking or even that original sounding (there is certainly more than the occasional nod to mid '70s period Genesis and latter bands like IQ and Spock's Beard) but what the band do they do so well it is hard to not listen to over and over again. The melodies are immediately catchy even when the sounds are more introspective and moody. The musicians are all very good at their craft weaving their way around expertly crafted arrangements and making some delightfully listenable music in the process. Soaring guitar and synth work is commonplace and Keegan's drumming is of course very good but perhaps my favourite part is Shuttleworth's lead vocals. His delivery and tone are just easy on the ears, very low key but always melodic and on point. His style and timbre can be compared to Phil Collins with maybe a slight nod to Peter Gabriel.

Often the music varies among different shades of heavy and light like the first track "Joke On You" where crunchy riffs venture into heavy territory while softer sections are tinged with neo prog. The gentle moodiness of "Come And Take A Look At My Life" and the accessible and catchy "Faceless" are also noteworthy tunes. The most adventurous and complex piece is the eighteen minute "Wait And See" ending the album in fine style. Equal moments of heavy and soft with the focus on great melodies, soaring guitar and dramatic instrumental embellishments. More great vocals here as well. Really, there is much to enjoy with this wonderful tune, sitting firmly in the symphonic/neo prog styles.

Eyesberg is one of the more exciting neo/symphonic bands I have had the pleasure of hearing recently. If you appreciate melody in your progressive rock Eyesberg is a band you really should check out.

A Progressive Promotion Records release.

Track Listing:
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)

Added: April 14th 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Facebook Page
Hits: 1813
Language: english

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