Never twiddling

For those not steeped in the modern prog world, the easy reference point is the Mars Volta. Five of the Eyes also subscribes to the more-is-more approach when it comes to speedy, technically-insane playing. The energy on these songs never flags.

Five of the Eyes
The Venus Transit

That reference, though, can be deceiving. It is just as easy to hear elements of Rush's first two albums (particularly Fly By Night) and even pieces of other heavier 70s progsters like (duh) King Crimson. So when I say that these boys have managed to fuse the old school with modern prog, believe me.

More importantly, these songs sing. They are songs, they have defined construction and are much more than bowls of noodles. Indeed, most of the proggy ventures within each piece are attached firmly to the core. The wigs are on fire, but they're still attached to the skull.

Sorry. This set deserves much better metaphors than that. This is the first full-length from these Portland (Maine) boys, and my guess is that there will be plenty of clamor for more. Few bands manage to merge technical brilliance with inspired songwriting as demonstrated on this album. Thrilling.

Jon Worley

return to A&A home page