In the new millenium, Australia's metal scene is as loud and as productive as it ever was. Despite the Internet and increasing globalisation, the Ozzie scene lives by its own rules. And that is a good thing, because bands from "down under" remain exotic and - musically - almost fully uninfluenced by trends. Australian bands always have to deliver a bit more than the rest of the global scene, which is illogical, but true. Melbourne's Prog-Power metal band EYEFEAR has known that since it was founded back in 1994 and work accordingly. Thanks to their extraordinary albums, the quintet has gained an exceptional reputation over the years. A full four years after the highly praised album, "The Unseen",
EYEFEAR now present their most expressive work yet, a true benchmark production. "The Inception Of Darkness'" offers a near perfect synthesis of progressive and power metal with a refreshingly individual note and unmistakeable trademarks.
Founded in Melbourne in 1994 by Con Papazoglou, Rob Gorham, Zain Kimmie and Ken Taylor, EYEFEAR quickly gained the reputation of a superb live band with its own style.
As early as the end of 1995 they began recording their debut album, "Edge Of Existence", which received tremendous reviews in Europe. The rest of the world, too were highly impressed and in well-informed circles, EYEFEAR was soon the topic of the day. However, shortly after the release of their debut work, the first line-up problems cropped up and the newest member of the band, singer Jason Smart left.
Despite that the remaining members began work on new songs, which resulted in the EP, "Dawn-A New Beginning" which was recorded using new band members. This EP contained two re-recorded songs from their debut album, as well as new material in the form of "Illumination Fades".
Band-internal problems escalated and turned into more lineup changes, which were finally solved in 2000. New in the band were keyboarder Garrett Ryan and ex-PEGAZUS singer Danny Cecati. It was primarily Danny who brought a new kick to the band. It took four years though, until EYEFEAR could hold a new album in their hands. "9 Elements Of Inner Vision" was mixed by Andy LaRoque (King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Death) and was released in 2004.
But even before the release could be celebrated, another important line-up change was necessary, which led to the new keyboarder, Sammy Giaccotto having to re-record all the keyboards parts on "9 Elements Of Inner Vision". The musical path taken on this album formed the future trademarks of the Australian band, who forthwith set new levels by their majestic mixture of Prog- and Power Metal. Their live performanced had so far been limited to the Australian continent and it remained that way after the release of "9 Elements Of Inner Vision", even though the band was now under contract to a German record label. Not wishing to sit around twiddling their thumbs the lads began working on new songs, which became the album "A World Full Of Grey" and which was again mixed by Andy LaRoque. Not only that, LaRoque also appears in a short guest spot on the album, which was released in 2007. Just before the release of the album, the band played in the US at the first ever Bay Area Rock Festival San Francisco - headlined by Jon Oliva's Pain -and were joined on stage by DC Cooper (ROYAL HUNT, SILENT FORCE). By now the band had changed labels and again there was no immediate chance of playing in Europa, although they were able to open bands such as Blind Guardian, Evergrey, Queensryche and Jon Oliva's Pain on their Australian tours. The band upped the pace and in 2008 they released "Unseen", their second album on the Dockyard 1 label. On this album the Australians are musically much darker and more aggressive and once again reap reviews underlining their extremely high standard by the worldwide metal press. Now keyboarder Sammy Giaccotto left the band for personal reasons and they were lucky to quickly replace him with Seb Schneider. The band were still unlucky with their labels. After their two albums, Dockyard 1 went out of business and the Ozzies were without a recording contract.
Things became quiet but the band didn't give up and started work on a new album. Now, in 2012, with a new label supporting them and a superb album in their hands, EYEFEAR are pulling the rudder around and crossing the starting line at full speed. Their chances are excellent. The album, mixed and mastered by Tommy Hansen (TNT, DAD, Hellowen...) in the Jailhouse Studios shows EYEFEAR at their highest standard yet, and with broad musical auspices.
'The Interception Of Darkness' does not only stand on the known progressive and powerful passages for which EYEFEAR's sound is so popular, but also on vocal elements untypical for them, from growls to feminine, opera-like vocals.
The eight track work, which the Australians themselves describe as the most complex and darkest album in their history, glitters with excellent compositions, which straddle the entire width of the genre. The hammering opener,
'Redemption' makes it clear that the lads are playing more aggressively and with astounding self-confidence. Despite the complexities, the band never loses sight of the melodic thread and, reigning supreme above all this impressive musical activity, there is the remarkable voice of Danny Cecati, who again knows how to display the wide range of his world-class vocals to their best advantage. The title track is split into two parts and is amongst the most complex works in the album. Countless changes in speed and rhythm, ass-kicking death metal growls, done by BE'LAKOR vocalist George Kosma, battle against the operetta vocal inlays of Sarah Parker. "Perfect Images" reminds one here and there of old Dream Theater, without any attempt at copying them, for the riffs are too much their own. It is quite remarkable how well EYEFEAR were able to work in special melodies in the deeply structured songs without unbalancing the works themselves. The best example of this is the monumental number "Eyes Of Madness". In addition to the eight tracks on the regular release, this version contains three bonus tracks with "Redemption" (Radio Edit), 'Eyes Of Madness' (Orchestral Version), and 'Reborn' (Orchestral Version), which round off the entirely successful and moving Prog-Power album in excellent style.