Review Summary: Excellent, raw progressive rock featuring one of the greatest vocal performances in recent memory.
The thing that seems to always turn people off of this album never fails to be the production. It possesses a raw, in your face quality reminiscent of the style that Isis went for with Panopticon
, but in a more progressive fashion. Typically, this type of sound never normally suits music like this even in the slightest, but Eidolon
exists as the soaring exception. Though occasionally delving into cheesy territory with its sometimes overblown lyrics, the entire record has a way of cutting to the listener's core by means of hard hitting guitar riffs, seamless flow, exceptional musicianship and one of the most talented vocal performances ever delivered in the genre. Be rest assured that Eidolon
proves to be one hell of an emotional ride.
One of this aspects of Eidolon
that makes it so great would its sense of flow that most albums do not have. Every song is perfectly placed and no song on the album should ever be skipped over during its roughly 55 minute journey. Most tracks demonstrate (most notably "Eidolon Alpha") exemplary musicianship that is well beyond their years. Guitarist David Gillet, bassist Sean Rydquist and drummer Jesse Smith all show considerable talent that really makes one wonder why their raw power was never discovered by an immense portion of the general public. Luckily, they recently reformed and came back into the scene with a reckless abandon so hopefully their talent will finally get some much needed spotlight in the progressive scene.
The most unique track off of Eidolon
, which is preceded by the very ambient opener "Prosag," would be "Freaks and Animals" and oh boy what an eccentric song this is. It happens to be the perfect opening track that serves as a tough-in-cheek parody of all of the perceptions made by people about the entertainment industry as a whole. It also informs the listener about the incredible listening experience that is surely to come. The lyrics both send chills down the spine and also induce quite a bit of chuckles at the same time which is hard to do. Andrew's unique vocal delivery is breathtaking as well is the perfect instrumentals accompanying him.
The next notable song is "Pandora." It is quite melancholy, but that is far from a bad thing. It covers an incredibly thought-provoking view on depression with metaphorical lyrics and a climax in the last minute that won't soon be forgotten. The same goes for "Alchemy Alice," but this incredible song suggests that Alice was high. Not to mention the fact that Andrew gives the performance to end all performances, showing stunning range and endless versatility. "Disco Biscuit," another drug centric song, unfortunately shows the band at their most derivitive as a result of their Tool esque performaces which is sure to turn some people off. Thankfully, "Zdzislaw," which happens to be its preceding track, provides a more engaging experience by means of disturbing lyrics and an atmospheric introduction. "To Tame The Temporal Shrew" also shows the band at their atmospheric best, boasting their Tool side more admirably here with vast guitar riffs and an awe inspiring climax featuring Andrew belting out seemingly sky high notes.
Then, eventually the listener will come to "Eidolon Alpha." This track is by far the best on the album. Every band member gives it their all and Andrew really shines as the centerpiece of it all. His chanting in the beginning is haunting and once again showcases an incredible climax. The same can be said for "Omega" which also showcases the band's Tool side quite will. "Shades" also closes out the album quite nicely with a beautiful atmospheric ride filled with amazing lyrics, fantastic guitar work and Andrew's pained wailing at the end.
This album is a must listen to any fans of atmospheric progressive rock. Sure, they can delve into derivative territory, showing a bit too much love for Tool, but this doesn't take away from the talent and potential that the band delivers here. The rawness can be a little too much for some people too. However, any lover of progressive music should not pass this hidden gem up because Andrew's performance alone should keep the headphones glued into anyone's ears.