November 20, 2004

CD Review: Eyes of Shiva: Eyes of Soul

This is a band I had never heard of before, but the description including phrases like "melodic metal," "bombastic, hard rocking sound," and "combining progressive themes, orchestral arrangements, and even local folklore" was very attractive to me. It sounded like something that I would really enjoy. Upon starting my listening of the album, I immediately heard something that I really liked. Heavy, melodic, progressive, everything the description said. It reminded me of bands like Dream Theater, Iron Maiden, Queensryche, and Iced Earth. A blending of different sounds in a distinctively progressive metal environment.

The band is from Sao Paulo, Brazil, which I believe is the same city that gave us Sepultura. I have noticed that bands from other countries give us some very interesting music. Coming from a culture separate from my own, they integrate different perspectives on music making. Not only influences from American bands, but from their culture and local stylings, combining to give us something new to listen to. A blending which can reinvigorate a genre. I noticed this with Sepultura when they released Beneath the Remains, now Eyes of Shiva could have an invigorating effect on progressive metal.

I've listened to this album through a few times, each time I come away hearing something new. I have seen other reviews which compare this album, unfavorably, to the works of bands like Shaman, Angra, and Stratovarious. I can neither confirm nor deny this, as I am unfamiliar at this time with those other bands. What I can say is that this album is a strong piece of work. There are many layers to be peeled away, each time gaining a new listening experience. The instrumental parts are tight presenting us a nice crisp sound which can batter it's way in as easily as it can lull us with it's beauty.

The album starts with a nice little instrumental intro leading us to the speedy progressive assault of Eagle of the Sun. The album shifts gears to an odd little dance like intro that leads to a speedy little progression taking us to the uptempo rhythms of Lampiao. Then we step into the strongest piece of the album, Psycho's of the New Millenium, each member gets to present their work as well as all melding into one heavy song. The album takes a mellow turn, a cool down period if you will, with Pride which showcases the power of vocalist Andre Ferrari. The Title track brings us yet another side of their sound, opening with acoustic guitar and flute, then the growing presence of guitars mixing to give a unique mix of old and new sounds. Next up is World Tomorrow, which is very reminiscent of 80's Iron Maiden in vocal and guitar interplay. Future builds with the bombast of Queensryche, but with their own distinctive flavor, giving way to staccato riffs and smooth interludes. Next for a change of pace, I didn't see coming, is a cover of Heart's Alone. Their version actually sounds very good, a bit heavier, one of he better cover tracks I've heard recently. To close out the album we have Just A Miracle. This is probably the fastest song on the album, featuring some excellent double bass work and guitars in harmony, this is a very strong song bringing us to a close.

In closing, this is a strong a,bum from some new faces to American audiences. Strong vocals, crisp guitars and a tight rhythm section, all accompanied by an array of other instruments, strings, voice, flute, keyboards. They combine to give an impressive debut for this 5 piece act out of Brazil.



Post a Comment