Released By: Limb Music
Release Date: November
Genre: Progressive Metal
Danny Cecati – Vocals
Con Papazoglou – Guitar
Seb Schneider – Keyboard
Zain Kimmie – Drums
Evan Harris – Bass
3. Eyes Of Madness
4. The Inception of Darkness Part 1 – Transcending
5. The Inception of Darkness Part 2 – Reborn
7. Perfect Images
In a recent review I briefly mentioned the different types of progressive metal I prefer. Well, something just came up to make me remember one style I forgot to mention before, that isn’t as common but can still be extremely impressive when done right. That would be a more atmospheric style of prog, where the music is more about creating a chilling atmosphere than it is about any technical showcase or complexity. I say this because of Australian band Eyefear and their fifth full length release, “The Inception of Darkness”, one of the finest examples of atmospheric metal of any kind I have heard. My favorite progressive band who I’d say can be atmospheric when at their best is Evergrey, though as they have departed somewhat from that style, Eyefear have done more than just taken over, instead creating something slightly less emotionally engaging but much thicker in terms of atmosphere.
From the very first note the keyboards are what instantly impressed me, and instantly made me feel uneasy, but in an awesome way. From beginning to end, this is a very gripping album where the intense riffs and at times downright scary keyboards never seem to let you go until the very end. Often times the keys here sound like they could have been taken straight from a symphonic black metal band, with how dark and creepy they can sound, and with how dominating they often are. Keyboardist Seb Schneider definitely deserves a lot of praise for the unsettling moods he’s managed to create here, giving the album a very unique feel for a prog album. Be it the spooky piano sounds, the occasional use of more normal keys, or the more black metal-ish keys I mentioned, this album has some of my favorite keyboard work I’ve heard on a metal album. But if you prefer more aggressive guitar work mixed in to balance out the keys, there is no need to worry, as guitarist Con Papazoglou does a great job as well, and the album is quite heavy at points. While the musicianship is absolutely stellar throughout, it should be noted there are very few flashy solo sections, and the songs aren’t terribly complex, which to me is a good thing (by that I mean, even though there’s a lot going on, I was already feeling comfortable with every song by the end of the second listen so it’s fairly easy to follow).
Another strength is vocalist Danny Cecati, who is rather versatile and very powerful. At times he goes full force with awesome grunts and sounds quite a bit like Jorn Lande, though he is much grittier, and he’s just as effective at doing softer vocals which really showcase his emotional side. This is a great fit for the more atmospheric sections, particularly on the two part title track. As much as I praised the keyboard work, the vocals here are just as impressive, and often just as important as many sections simply wouldn’t be as effective if not for how good and how unique a singer Danny is.
But all this technical brilliance would only manage to hold your attention for so long if the songwriting sucked. The good news is, that isn’t the case at all. In fact, the songwriting here is as tight and as consistent as you could possibly ask for. So consistent, it’s very hard to pick favorite songs, though I can certainly do my best for that. The band could not have picked a more perfect opening track than “Redemption”, which instantly shows off those atmospheric keys I kept going on about, and the way the song opens with just those keys before mixing them together with the heavy guitars that soon come crashing in is really cool and really shows just how crazy things can get. From there, the song is mostly mid-tempo prog, though there are some occasional bursts of speed, with the chorus in particular having some power metal elements. The whole album works that way, as most songs are rather slow for the most part, but the band never goes more than a few minutes without adding in some brief speedy sections, which is a nice touch.
On the whole the album is very cohesive, and much less about seven individual songs than it is about one 43 minute experience. With that being said, the two part title track is far and away the highlight of the album, and it is easily the darkest and most atmospheric song on the album. The keys are at their absolute creepiest and most effective throughout these two tracks, and this is where that symphonic black metal feel really comes in. Adding even more to the surreal feeling of the song are the excellent harsh vocals provided by Be’lakor’s George Kosmas, which show up a few times on both parts. The second part also has a very brief, but very nice appearance from guest female vocalist Sarah Parker, who blends in very well with Danny. The last big highlight is “Legions”, which is just as strong and just as good within its place as a closer, as “Redemption” is as an opening track.
For prog and power metal fans looking for something truly unique, there aren’t many better choices than “The Inception Of Darkness”, with it’s dark tone and often haunting atmosphere. Eyefear have delivered something both original and masterful, driven by brilliant performances from the vocalist and keyboardist in particular. I’ll definitely need to check out their earlier albums if they’re anything like this.
Written by Travis
Ratings Travis 9/10
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