|Review: Eyefear - The Unseen|
Label: Dockyard 1
Year released: 2008
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Review online: December 10, 2010
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Rated 2.5/5 (50%) (2 Votes)
I'd planned on reviewing this when I first started writing for The Metal Crypt, but I put it off in favor of some promos and then I kind of forgot about it. Shame on me, as this is actually a quality album. I remember particularly enjoying this when it first came out, I was on one of my prog/power kicks and these guys had some moments that reminded me of Evergrey so I was sold quite easily. Going back to this quite some time after release, it stands up surprisingly well and I've probably enjoyed my recent listens more than I did in 2008.
For the uninitiated, Eyefear are a progressive power metal band from Australia. Their singer Danny Cecati sung with Australian power metal band Pegazus too. I heard some of Eyefear's output previous to The Unseen in passing although nothing quite stuck with me, though I do plan to visit their back catalogue. The style shown on The Unseen is fairly typical of the prog power genre, with superb musicianship and a nice clean production job which fits the material shown here very well.
The undoubted star of the show here is their singer, who delivers an excellent performance that is very powerful. At times he reminds me of Kelly Carpenter who is a singer I hold in the highest of regards. However Danny's tone is a lot lower, and in the end comes off as middle ground between Carpenter and Rob Halford. Each song on The Unseen showcases Danny's talents and he truly delivers on every level. That isn't to say that the rest of the band don't pull their weight though, the musicianship is tight and focused, never wandering off into mindless showcasing. The production gives the kick drum a very tight sound which coupled with a round yet crunchy guitar tone is aesthetically very pleasing. The keyboards are tastefully handled, and the key solos here almost outshine the guitar solos.
The first half of the album is certainly the best part, with the majority of the standout songs. After a short intro we kick off with "Illusions" which builds up from a solid groove into an explosive verse which really sets you up for the rest of the album, with an early lead break showing the guys applying their musical prowess with the lead being technically impressive yet memorable and effective. "Bridge to the Past" gives Danny a little more room to work with his vocals and he displays his excellent range and command of his talents, one of my favorites from the album. Speaking of favorites, the title track is what sold me on this band. Building up from keys and production into a full on ass-kicker of a riff backed up nicely by the keyboards. In the pre-verse section we see the most Evergrey moment of the release, with open chords over a quality drum pattern lead by some In Search of Truth-style keys. It's the longest track on the album, but for my money the best.
In the second half, we don't see as much in the way of standout tracks, although we do find "Confessions" which very nearly rivals the title track as the best of the album, the main riff in this one being simple yet highly effective and never fails to get my head banging. The build up to and including the keyboard solo is what this song is all about. It utilizes a dramatic keyboard tone, which slowly increases tempo up to a tumultuous ending, followed by the awesome solo.
Bloody hell, I didn't expect to go on as much about this album. However it is a winner and any progressive power fan would be mad to pass up the opportunity to hear this. Despite rearing off rails ever so slightly in the second half, "Confessions" alone makes up for it. This isn't the best the prog power genre has to offer, although it is a damn fine example of the genre. Recommended.
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