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BLIND EGO

Neo-Prog • Germany


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Blind Ego biography
Blind Ego is the "solo" side project of RPWL guitarist Karlheinz "Kalle" Wallner. Wallner states that the Ego part of the name is derived from his desire to make music from a very personal space. He says that Blind comes from his total commitment to this solo work.

The band assembled for this project is a prog super group. He takes on RPWL bandmate Yogi Lang as a musician and producer, but he is credited as a guest, instead of a full member of the band. Tommy Eberhardt (from Legazy and Beatfreaks) plays drums, John Jowitt (from IQ and Arena) plays bass, and the vocals are split between John Mitchell (It Bites, Arena, The Urbane, and Kino) and Paul Wrightson (from Arena). Kalle states that John was best for the more "rock like" songs, while Paul was better for the more emotional numbers. There is another guest of note on this album too. While recording Wrigtson's vocals, Clive Nolan also added his own backing vocals. I think there is a new law that states, Clive Nolan must be included in all Neo collaborations of the new millennium. For the live lineup, Rwin Reider replaces Eberhardt on drums, Wrightson takes the vocals alone, and Yogi Lang becomes full member on keyboards.

Although there is a more straightforward approach than RPWL, the metal tendencies are still there. I believe the Neo truly comes from the influence of the rest of the band. Some say that it even smacks of AOR. So, basically what we have is a metal guy trying to make some more widely accessible music. The credentials of the musicians on this project are impressive. Does it work? That's for the listener to decide.

H.T. Riekels (bhikkhu)

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NumbNumb
Red Farm Records
Audio CD$8.51
$8.51 (used)
MirrorMirror
Red Farm Records
Audio CD$24.29
$7.99 (used)

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BLIND EGO discography


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BLIND EGO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.18 | 23 ratings
Mirror
2007
3.19 | 31 ratings
Numb
2009

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BLIND EGO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Numb by BLIND EGO album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.19 | 31 ratings

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Numb
Blind Ego Neo-Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

3 stars Maybe this was meant to be concept album. And definitely prog metal, not neo prog. But I know that genres are changing. Bad thing about Numb record is that it sounds like very common metal. Not Dream Theater like, but more average one. "Death" for example is one of these better songs. Long, solid composition, full of guitar solos. After all, vocals are also good. But for power metal it's too slow, for slow metal it has too many faster parts and as for normal metal, it's definition is that it lacks progressiveness. Nothing to catch my attention, to show something new.

Therefore, 3(-)

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 Numb by BLIND EGO album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.19 | 31 ratings

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Numb
Blind Ego Neo-Prog

Review by natewait

2 stars I'm going to keep this review short because I'm not quite sure what to say about this album. Although labeled as prog, this album feels a lot more mainstream to me, almost veering into modern rock/AOR. Blind Ego is a side project of Karlheinz "Kalle" Wallner, who is the guitarist of a prog band called RPWL. He has assembled a sort of prog super group composing of such people as John Jowitt and John Mitchell, who initially sparked my interest in the album. However, after listening to this album several times, I find it hard to come to some conclusion about how I feel about the album.

To my ears, this feels like some kind of cross between Demians, Porcupine Tree, and perhaps IQ. The album has a very distinct feel that I actually enjoy. It has many great moments both heavy and light. I love the guitars on this album, there are definitely some great headbanging moments throughout this album. I do miss, however, any sign of keyboards throughout this album. I'm not sure if they are sparse or nonexistant, but the lack of them really lessens the impact that this album may have had on me. But, that being said, this album is an enjoyable listen- I have no urges to turn off the CD player as I listen to it. However, on the other side, it isn't a CD I would play often, I think it is largely forgettable. Enjoyable, yet not memorable is how I would describe it.

I hope this doesn't come off as sounding too harsh, because that is not my intention. I think the band members all play incredibly well on this album and there are many moments that are truly breathtaking. It is just that, after listening to it at least 5 times, nothing really sticks out to me. Most of my favorite albums have moments that I can immediately think of when I think about the album that stick out to me and make me excited to get to those moments. On Numb, I can't recall any particularly interesting moments until I actually go back and listen and think, "Oh yeah, I forgot about that part, it's pretty good!" I think the reason for this may be more because I just can't get into a certain vein of prog rock, usually classified as "Neo-prog". I like my prog symphonic and bombastic. There are a few artists within the "Neo-prog" category that do connect with me, but the large part doesn't move me. I stick this album in with ones by Demians, Marillion, Arena and Pendragon. I just don't "get" these artists. But, Numb is an enjoyable listen, and I don't regret buying it, I just don't see myself returning to it often. If you like the bands mentioned, go ahead and get it, you might just disagree with me.

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 Mirror by BLIND EGO album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.18 | 23 ratings

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Mirror
Blind Ego Neo-Prog

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I like Neo-Prog…but there are limits. BLIND EGO sounds extremely faceless – like any other Neo-Prog/Prog-related ban, that tries to show teeth and throws some Metal in their music (I won’t be the first to tell you that they even have stolen OPETH’s “Windowpane” opening melody). I heard KINO, ENCHANT, ILUVATAR, GREY LADY DOWN, GHOST CIRCUS etc, and they all sound as if they were listening to RUSH and MARILLION only. BLIND EGO has also this ugly Alternative side, which I dislike in “classic” genres like Neo or Symphonic Prog. Recommended only for those who loves abovementioned bands, but don’t blame me if you happen to dislike this one ;)

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 Mirror by BLIND EGO album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.18 | 23 ratings

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Mirror
Blind Ego Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German guitar player Kalle Wallner has made an interesting release here.

Obvioulsy the influences from RPWL, where Wallner has been a member for a decade or so, are noticeable. But with his side project Blind Ego, the music has more of an AOR/hard rock feel to it overall.

I presume Wallner is reaching out to an audience beyond the hardcore circle of prog fans with this release, and I do hope he will succeed in that. The album as such isn't exceptionally great though, but quite a few nice tunes and a couple of gems makes this one worthwhile checking out for the curious.

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