Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

March 21, 2010

Eyes Of The Owl ~ Eyes Of The Owl (aka debut) (EP)

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Style: sludge, doom metal, New Zealand metal, drum & bass
Label: self-released
Year: 2009
Home: New Zealand

Members: Dan, Leigh, Matt ~ n/a

EOTO is a band that's taking the basic building blocks of metal & trying to push it further. This EP opens with a simple bassline that sounds like it's being projected from a submarine, jumping into a rhythm with the guitar & drums that's a mix of Hendrix & Sabbath, albeit their slower doomier side. Chunky yet simple, distorted but not enough so each instrument isn't clear in the mix. Nearly 3 minutes into the song comes some vocal screams, but distorted & way down in the mix, like echoes down a hall in a lost scene from Poltergeist or Saw. This is about ambiance & texture not singing with what sounds like less than 20 words. & with a guitar solo at the end of the first song that's out of the repertoire of Sunn O))), well, the stage is pretty much set for the what you're going to experience. This album isn't necessarily about surprises. This is about creating moods. Some define this style of music as sludge. The inherent meaning of sludge is not lost here. If you ever find yourself making a movie & have a scene of mud moving this is the perfect background music if you want to make the mud seem alive. Guitarists like to pose like their tearing the music from their guitar & if playing the instrument is painful. It's not but this crew actually sounds like it is & thus every note sounds like it's being torn from their instruments. In many ways Eyes Of The Owl might be the modern continuation of what the Velvet Underground was doing on many of their more instrumental tracks. Their 'Heroin' has but two chords & is definetly about repetition, mood & how the music naturally builds. I also must confess that I like the names of the titles: 'Tomb Of The Snake Where Darkness Reigns', 'Cloak Of Harsh Winds,' 'Revelation Of The Barren Conscience' & 'Passed Through The Dragons Teeth.' I don't really know if this is what I ever thought a snake's tomb sounded like ... but like a strange painting with a seemingly mismatched title ... don't worry about the details cause it's not about the individual parts but the whole picture. Even the fact that there's 4 songs on the album is a tease. It's really three parts of one with a tag. This is one of the more experimental releases I've reviewed in while. If you like an electric guitar dirge that actually sounds like it's coming out of a convent filled with inner pain & torment right out of the Middle Ages - I know a costume store that sells monk robes. I may even buy one with you. Obsequium religiosum!

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