ALIAS EYE – In Focus

ALIAS EYE - In Focus
  • 8/10
    ALIAS EYE - In Focus - 8/10


Quixote Music
Release date: January 15, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

If you are a Prog fan, Alias Eye from Mannheim, Germany, will already ring a bell for you. Their debut album, Field Of Names, made quite a few brows rise and received excellent reviews throughout the Rock and Metal media. No surprise when you remember that the opening title track still is one of the best Prog songs of all times, and the rest of the album also did not disappoint.

Only shortly after, they took a turn to a more intellectual, Jazzy, and complex style with Different Point Of View, which earned them a spot as support act for Saga, but also took them away from the Hard Rock scene and made a German magazine put them on a pedestal with The Flower Kings. High praise, but also a label that put them in a dimly lit, far away corner of the Metal basement, which is only visited occasionally, but whenever you do visit, you discover the most delightful things that will occupy your time for hours when browsing through almost-forgotten joys.

Now, almost four years later, these guys are back, and as the second album marked a considerable change in sound to its predecessor, In Focus has a very different feel than their 2003 output. Forgotten are self-indulgence in orgies of Progressive experiments, Alias Eye has returned to straight compositions. The longest of the 11 tracks comes in at 4:38 minutes (the last track will seems to be over 11 minutes long –- don’t be fooled, there is a hidden track at the end after several minutes of silence; that is not very original anymore, but this is the only point of criticism to be voiced about this album).

Maybe this is at least partly due to a change in line-up where Matthias Richter on guitar was replaced by Matthias Wurm, who has a more down-to-earth playing style and cranks out some of the heaviest riffs in the band’s history, most audibly on “The Call.” This increased use of Rock guitar sounds makes the whole album more MER.COM compatible, without, of course, forgetting the Jazzy parts as in “I’m Your Lie,” which in contrast has the most metallic solo, or their Funky side in a track like “In Denial” -– this also being a song that reminds most of the Different Point Of View album.

But, the spices that make this a tasteful dish are the voice of Philip Griffiths, who is without a doubt one of the best singers in Prog Rock, and Vytas Lemke on Keyboards, who is just an exceptional musician that likes to experiment with sounds, styles, rhythms. You should see the guys live, and enjoy the playful virtuosity. For Alias Eye connoisseurs: On “Enlighten Them” he returns to play Accordion. How good is that? This will become a highlight in their live sets for sure.

The new chemistry between the band can be heard best in “In Denial” and even more in “Falling” when during the solo sections Matthias Wurm and Vytas Lemke alternate in soloing in such a playful and funny way that you can do nothing but smile and feel a part of the joy they obviously had creating this record. The album will still need a few spins before it unveils its delights –- apart from the obvious, awe-inspiring vocals -– but then you will agree that this is already a highlight of the still-so-young new year.

For those who can, it is definitely a good idea to enjoy Alias Eye live. For more information, please see their official Web page.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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