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Eyesberg: Claustrophobia

You could be forgiven for thinking that Claustrophobia, the third album from Anglo-American-German progressive rock outfit Eyesberg is a comment on the current world situation and yet, while this collection is indeed a concept album, it actually tackles the life, work and death of Vincent Van Gogh. Themed albums might not be a particularly rare beast in the world of prog, but that Eyesberg have decided to go for a slightly left field topic for their tale, is to their credit and a good fist they make of transporting you to the turmoil that the grand master’s life often was. Musically we are also harking to the past here, Gabriel era Genesis being the main touching point for almost everything you’ll experience, although a few more up to date (by that I mean 80s neo-prog!) aspects are sprinkled on top for good measure.

Vocally Malcolm Shuttleworth is very much a Gabriel-alike, both in attack and phrasing but with a strong characterful approach it’s a weapon he uses well as Georg Alfter, who handles bass and guitars, Jimmy Keegan (Spock’s Beard) on drums and Norbert Podien (keys) combine to weave a keen mix of considered and majestic set-plays that capture the imagination. For some the adherence to a sound that has been played out countless times by numerous bands over the years might initially be a turn off and yet there’s a vibrancy at the heart of this album that allows the likes of “Sacrifice” and “Into The Asylum” to sound reasonably fresh as they follow a vintage path.

As you might expect though, it’s the longer pieces such as the opening title track and “Walking In Storms” where Eyesberg really open out and revel in their clear ability to fashion some exciting musical passages. And that really is where the main strength of this release lies, with scintillating musicianship bolstered by interesting arrangements and a story that easily melds with the sounds it accompanies without ever once taking too much of a leading role. This will be an album that those of a Genesis persuasion will get real mileage out of, with Claustrophobia, despite its name, actually being a very broad and inclusive journey.

Track Listing
1. Claustrophobia
2. Strange Boy
3. Walking in Storms
4. Salamander Tree
5. Sacrifice
6. We Want You Out!
7. Into the Asylum
8. Final Ride

Added: April 2nd 2021
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Eyesberg @ facebook
Hits: 872
Language: english

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