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Eva O

The Rise of Eva O

Review by Gary Hill

This is definitely not progressive rock in the traditional sense. It's probably not even rock music. It's dark, slow moving, reasonably mellow and quite odd. It qualifies as art-music, if not art rock. It has a lot of Goth in its mix, but is for artistic and freeform that I can't see it landing under that heading. Whatever you call this, though, it's clearly not for everyone. You need to have a sense of adventure and an appreciation of the morose to get it. It's quite a unique musical experience.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Mister Death
The opener is of epic proportions, weighing in at over eleven minutes. It starts with weird, ambient elements. The first vocals come in with a freaky kind of vibe over the top of that. This doesn't grow quickly, instead hanging in a moody motif. Some of the vocals are more spoken, some are more sung. It drops way down for a twist on the Psalms. It drops to just the voice in a very poetry reading kind of motif. Around the three and a half minute mark that drops out giving us some silence for a time. Then more trippy sounds join as the backdrop for the next vocals. As it moves onward there is an almost funereal vibe to it. It gradually starts to rise up driven by the vocal presence. It never rises far, though, instead remaining as a dark and sedate bit of art-rock.
Yesterday's Pain
With some atmospherics also in the mix, piano pounds in a sparse, almost classical way. Eventually some vocals come into the arrangement. Around the two and a half minute mark it shifts to the most song-like section so far. Yet, it's still dark, twisted and very art-rock like. At times I'm reminded a bit of Pink Floyd. This is quite freeform and suitably odd, though. After the six minute mark it turns to some backwards tracked stuff.
Cliff/Fade
Dark mellow oddities open this and pull it forward. It gets into more song-like stuff, but overall remains understated and trippy. There is more backwards tracked stuff mid-track. It gets into some almost classically tinged territory later. This works through quite a few changes and variants. It's another of epic scope and size at almost twelve minutes of music.
Cut
Freaky classical piano based stuff starts this number. After the half-minute mark a new section emerges that has a more melodic and purely prog-like structure. It works forward with some twisted sounds that have a dark artistic vibe to them. In a lot of ways this is a more song-like number. It works through a number of varying movements as it marches forward.
Eye See
One of the most song-like and actual prog rock based cuts here, this is still moody, but it rocks a bit more. There is a lot of psychedelia built into the number. I love the freaky section late in the piece.
Bitter
More of a folk rock based thing, this is another that lands closer to the prog rock line of things. It's one of the most song based numbers, too. There are some really freaky things here including some more backwards tracked elements.
Shadow of Death
While this is dark and strange, in a lot of ways it feels like it could be tied to the Rock In Opposition movement. It's quire freeform and morose.
Rejection
Artsy music with folk elements is merged with the same dark, funereal type sounds of the rest of the album. Around the three and a half minute mark the whole thing gets slowed to a snail's crawl via effects. It feels backwards, too.
 
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