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MaterialEyes - Inside Out CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.82 | 2 ratings

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4 stars Inside Out is the fourth studio album from Yorkshire trio Materialeyes. Their previous album Three of a Kind was released in 2021. Inside Out consists of five tracks and comes in at a tad under one hour in total.

The opening song, This World is singer and composer Dave Westmoreland's take on the effects and causes of global warming. A satisfying guitar power chord is followed by a short flute section, also provided by Westmoreland, who's vocal style has been likened to that of The Moody Blues front-man Justin Hayward. A pastoral string section follows before the finale which comprises gloriously interwoven Moog synth and guitar courtesy of Martyn Howes.

The interestingly titled Eric Upon Tweed is the second song. Composed and sung by Howes the track is in the form of a story which relates the tale of the son of a drunken coal miner who is encouraged to leave home by his mother following one particularly violent outburst towards his father. The catchy introduction on guitar, which is repeated at the end of the song, is a real ear-worm which you will be humming a good while after listening! There are further variations interspersed throughout on guitar and piano. The lyrics are amusing, if occasionally a little crude! Although to be fair, they are nothing when compared to some of the verbal offerings these days.

Longship opens with a haunting whale-like sound reproduced by Will Lawery using an e-bow on his guitar. The melancholic, yet beautiful melody supports the story of Vikings on their long voyage home. Vocals again by Westmoreland. Next up is Horsemen which was inspired by the 1921 silent film The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The song opens with an acoustic guitar which is again embellished with searing e-bowed guitar. A catchy synth section follows which leads into a quieter section on flute then violin. The "song" part has a feel of a Western film with Westmoreland providing vocals. Like previous tracks, the sections of the song jell together seamlessly. At around eight minutes in, a gloriously uplifting blend of synth, guitar and strings occurs, which is followed by a quieter jazzier section before the original song theme is revisited. Interesting stuff indeed.

The final track at over twenty-one minutes is Clay Man. This song was penned by Lawery after apparently consuming a surfeit of Wensleydale cheese! This led to him having a dream about a man of clay, who took on the woes and fears of the people he met along the way. The song starts with what is presumably the footsteps of the clay man, again accompanied by the ghostly sound of e-bow and synth. At this point the mood changes with an uplifting section containing calypso-style piano. This morphs into a guitar based theme with good use of Hammond style organ. A beautiful piano section follows, which lifts us into a livelier piece before the first part of the song, sung by Lawery. Further along is a section which to this listener has elements of Dire Straits' Local Hero. Very uplifting. The singing returns around seventeen minutes in. A song of epic proportions! The album provides new things to delight with each listen and should appeal to a wide range of tastes, although perhaps not the lover of modern thrash/metal/grunge type "prog".

m0usey | 4/5 |


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