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ALIAS EYE

Crossover Prog • Germany


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Alias Eye biography
ALIAS EYE are a five-piece German outfit who self-produced a 3-track EP in 2000, catching the attention of DVS Records who signed them for a first official album a year later. The band's core line-up is Phillip Griffiths on vocals (son of Martin Griffiths of BEGGAR'S OPERA, who sounds just like him), Vytas Lemke on keyboards, Matthias Richter on electric and acoustic guitars, Frank Fischer on bass and Ludwig Benedek on drums. Among their influences, they name the BEATLES, PINK FLOYD, JETHRO TULL, SPOCK'S BEARD, DREAM THEATER and even a few classics (BACH and BEETHOVEN). Consequently, their music is much varied and ranges from rock, pop and funk to jazz and classical.

The EP "Beyond the Mirror" is mostly keyboard (piano) oriented and something of a blend of AOR and modern prog. A fine effort but not nearly as effective as their first official cd "Field of Names", which also features 4 guest musicians. This one boasts an amazingly clear, dynamic production and a professionalism that immediately impresses the listener. The musicianship is tight and technically faultless, yet it is the catchy melodies that really stand out. However, their third release "Different Point of You" (also featuring guest musicians) is the one that truly bears the name 'progressive'. Just about every track on it is totally different, yet the listener recognizes a typical ALIAS EYE sound throughout. Layered keyboards, lush vocal harmonies, some killer sax, bluesy guitar solos, groovy jazzy piano pieces (reminiscent of Donald Fagan), rhythmic rock songs, even a prog metal solo: all these and more combine into a veritable Disneyland of contemporary styles. It does walk a fine line between pop and prog but it never sounds cheap or commercial.

This material has such a wide appeal that I would recommend it to any music lover remotely into blues, jazz and (of course) prog. Fans of the more adventurous, free-form eccentricities, however, may find it interesting although not challenging enough.

: : : Lise (Hibou), CANADA : : :

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A Different Point of YouA Different Point of You
Progrock Records 2004
Audio CD$9.20
$7.21 (used)
In-BetweenIn-Between
PROGROCK RECORDS 2012
Audio CD$9.47
$11.48 (used)
Field of NamesField of Names
Import
DVS Records 2001
Audio CD$18.00
$24.16 (used)
In FocusIn Focus
Quixote Music
Audio CD$15.03
$14.99 (used)
Beyond The MirrorBeyond The Mirror
DVS
Audio CD$39.94
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ALIAS EYE discography


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ALIAS EYE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.75 | 49 ratings
Field Of Names
2001
3.65 | 49 ratings
Different Point of You
2003
2.72 | 24 ratings
In Focus
2007
3.35 | 25 ratings
In-Between
2012

ALIAS EYE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ALIAS EYE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ALIAS EYE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ALIAS EYE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Beyond The Mirror
2000

ALIAS EYE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Field Of Names by ALIAS EYE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.75 | 49 ratings

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Field Of Names
Alias Eye Crossover Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars I come to ALIAS EYE primarily via POOR GENETIC MATERIAL, with whom they share singer Phil Griffiths (and occasionally his dad Martin Griffiths) and drummer Ludwig Benedek. POOR GENETIC MATERIAL would not be who they are today if they had not, as en electronic duo, met up with ALIAS EYE around the turn of the century. From this encounter they incorporated Griffiths and melodic prog into their DNA. Worth a try right?

While similarities cannot be denied, largely in the vocal area but also in the attention to melodies, ALIAS EYE seems more concerned with connecting traditional song structures to more complex modern prog passages. They are less of a throwback if you will, and less given to true epic length pieces. They are also more hard rock oriented, an area in which PGM has barely dabbled. True, the heavier passages consist mostly of rhythm guitar riffs that lend muscularity to some decidedly tender melodies. In this respect they are more closely allied to SPOCK'S BEARD whom they cite as influences and with whom this album has been compared. For a more obscure reference, the Canadian project KAOS MOON is conjured.

None of this prepares one for the opening track, a full fledged gypsy/klezmer piece that includes an accordion lead just in case you missed the connection. The syncopated beat is established early and becomes a pattern through the album. "Premortal Dance" and "The Readiness is All" buddy up like two sides of the same coin lyrically, and are highlights musically, with powerful melodies, choruses and instrumental breaks, the first a cracking guitar lead and the second an outro on sax, neither of which could be easily predicted. Other favourites are "Hybrid", which describes the proceedings to a T, a blend of styles and references, and "Just Another Tragic Song".with its ominous build up and quasi orchestral break spearheaded by Vytas Lemke on keys.

None of the tracks are weak but the rest have too many ersatz qualities to captivate me with regularity, and their instrumental breaks quite outshine the vocal parts, notwithstanding Griffiths' imposing pipes. Still, this is a pretty likable album on its terms, and worth exploring if melodic modern prog with a twist or two falls within your depth of field.

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 In-Between by ALIAS EYE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.35 | 25 ratings

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In-Between
Alias Eye Crossover Prog

Review by Progulator
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Alias Eye straddles the line of progressive rock, hard rock, and progressive metal in wonderful ways. From balladesque piano movements to crunchy guitar riffing and even good ol' bluesy rockn'roll, In Between manages to be everywhere on the map yet maintain a very distinct sound. In other words, you never get the impression that these guys simply didn't know what kind of music to write. Their style is tight and distinct, and their execution of songs is clear and skillful. Phillip Griffith's vocals are clear and spot on, recalling a bit of Damien Wilson meets 90's hard rock in a good way. While his voice isn't my favorite type of sound, Griffith is a phenomenal singer and his delivery across the album will please fans both old and new. If you like good rocking melodies and a band that can deliver good tunes that will get you moving as they combine catchy with smart, this is an album for you.

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 In-Between by ALIAS EYE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.35 | 25 ratings

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In-Between
Alias Eye Crossover Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'In Between' - Alias Eye (7/10)

Despite the fact that their most publicized selling point is the fact that their singer Phillip Griffiths is the son of BEGGAR'S OPERA's Martin Griffiths, ALIAS EYE proves to be a strong force in an area of progressive rock too often burdened by cheese and tedium. Having been around for a decade or so, this band's fourth album enjoys the sort of experience and maturity that could only come with playing together for so long. Although ALIAS EYE's focus on melody in prog rock takes a little warming up to, 'In Between' is a notable album from this German-based act.

Although it may seem counterintuitive to think that a focus on melody would mean that 'In Between' takes time to grow, it's simply not something that many bands under the prog rock banner aim for. When they do, alas, the result is one which often leads to bland power rock with the occasional synth solo, presumably in an attempt to convince listeners that whatever they're hearing is prog. There is not a song on 'In Between' where ALIAS EYE do not build around bombastic vocal melodies and choruses, but there is a much greater ambition than the arena rock drones that first made me wearing of prog's melodic face. Although those starved for song suites and half-hour flute solos will stay hungry here, the songwriting manages to find a fairly comfortable balance between more conventional 'rock' songwriting, and more left-of-centre arrangements. To the seasoned progger, many of these experiments (like the title track's flirtation with jazz) will seem tame, but taken in the context of such concise songwriting, these small leaps of ambition may seem more adventurous than they actually are.

Phillip Griffith's voice is arguably the highlight of ALIAS EYE's sound. While the instruments- particularly the guitar- are handled very well, Phillip's voice is the focal point of the songwriting. To his credit, he sounds much like his father Martin (of BEGGAR'S OPERA) who also makes a cameo on the album. Coincidentally, Martin Griffiths offers his vocals on a cover of his own band; the minor hit 'Time Machine'. Not to mention that this song feels a cut above the writing on the rest of 'In Between', it is very cool to hear the collaboration between father and son, although the two admittedly sound a little too similar to totally tell apart.

The softer, piano-driven 'Stars Shall Fall' is another great track here. Not only does it feature some of the best vocal work on the album, the piano and additional keyboard work are lushly orchestrated. It also works as something of a divide between two stylistic 'sides' of the album. Up to this point, ALIAS EYE plays a fairly conventional form of rock, made 'proggy' with its use of synths and light experimentation. Where ALIAS EYE arguably have the most promise here is on the second half of the album, which takes their melodic brand of prog and boosts it into a relative stratosphere of experimentation. 'All The Rage' is a head- scratcher after a relatively grounded string of rock songwriting; fusing metal, dance music, pop and funk into something oddly reminiscent of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE. 'Take What's Mine' could be interpreted as what SUPERTRAMP would sound like if they were playing DREAM THEATER-style progressive metal. All in all, it does not feel like the band lose their bearings completely on the second half, but they definitely save the wealth of their risk-taking for late in the album, and it's frankly a fair bit more engaging to listen to.

From a progressive rock standpoint, the music of ALIAS EYE is tame and at worst, harmless, although that may be judging too harshly. Where the band's strength lies is their penchant with melody, and their skill with fusing elements of prog canon into songwriting that feels neither pressured nor forced. A deceptively eclectic album from a band I'm glad I took the time to warm up to.

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 In-Between by ALIAS EYE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.35 | 25 ratings

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In-Between
Alias Eye Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars German band ALIAS EYE has been around for close to 15 years now, and as such they probably merit the description of being an experienced act. "In-Between" is their fourth full-length production, and was released by the US label Progrock Records at the start of 2012.

"In-Between" isn't a CD I imagine will find much favor amongst those looking for capital P progressive rock. Innovative features are few and far between, and if you love encountering challenging escapades this disc is one you most likely should avoid. But if you tend to enjoy accessible art rock, and especially if you enjoy classic rock and what's commonly referred to as AOR, then this is a band and a CD that might warrant inspection.

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 Different Point of You by ALIAS EYE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.65 | 49 ratings

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Different Point of You
Alias Eye Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Like their previous album "Field Of Names" I find this to have some good songs that are fairly straightforward. Some guest Spanish guitar on one track as well as sax on two songs.

"A Clown's Tale" is my favourite, I think because i've heard it before on some compilation cd. It opens with crickets and the sound of a party in the background as sax comes in then the full band.Vocals are next and a fairly heavy rhythm. A catchy tune with some good guitar as well. "Fake The Right" opens with guitar as sax and a full sound kick in including vocals. Not a fan of this one at all. "Your Other Way" features the Spanish guitar as well as keys, a beat and vocals. A mid paced tune with harmonies. "Icarus Unworded" opens with piano as reserved vocals join in. Some lazy guitar melodies follow with light drums. Not a big fan of this one. "The Usual Routine" is catchy with a bit of spice.

"Drifting" is a short song with acoustic guitar to start as fragile vocals join in. A mellow tune. "On The Fringe" opens with pulsating experimental sounds as keys then vocals join in.The experimental sounds fade away.The tempo picks up after a minute with synths coming and going. Not a fan of the backing vocals. "The Great Open" opens with synths washing in as reserved vocals come in. It does kick in pretty good before 3 minutes and even more a minute later. "Too Much Toulouse" is not the best way to end the album,at least for my tastes.

Not as good as "Field Of Names" (3 stars) hence the rating of 2 stars.

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 Field Of Names by ALIAS EYE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.75 | 49 ratings

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Field Of Names
Alias Eye Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is another project that vocalist Philip Griffiths is involved with. He's also the singer for POOR GENETIC MATERIAL and the drummer Ludwig Benedek also plays for both German bands. It's interesting that Philip's dad Martin was the vocalist for BEGGAR'S OPERA and sings on one track here.The music here is pretty straight forward to be honest with the piano, vocals and drums usually leading the way. Some good songs here even if it isn't that proggy. By the way you'd think from the album cover that this was a Metal album.

"Field Of Names" opens with the guitar soloing then the drums kick in. Bass and vocals follow when the guitar stops. It's fuller on the chorus. Some tasteful guitar before 4 minutes. "Premortal Dance" opens with piano as reserved vocals join in. A beat after a minute then it turns fuller. Organ after 3 minutes as it settles.It builds with some good guitar coming in before 4 minutes. "Wasteland" becomes fairly uptempo with vocals and drums standing out. It settles before 2 1/2 minutes as reserved vocals join in. Aggressive guitar 4 minutes in as it picks up. "Just Another Tragic Song" features intricate guitar and fragile vocals early on. A fuller sound follows.The piano becomes prominant before 4 minutes.

"Driven" is mellow with bass, gentle guitar, piano and vocals. It does get fuller.It settles with piano 5 minutes in before picking back up. "River Running" is probably my favourite. It's uplifting and I like the piano interlude before 3 minutes. "Hybrid" is uptempo with piano,drums and vocals standing out.Great sound late. "Mystery" opens with piano but it kicks in quickly with vocals. Some nice guitar comes and goes. "The Readiness Is All" has some tasteful guitar with bass and a beat as reserved vocals (Martin) join in. It kicks in at a minute as contrasts continue. Some guest sax 4 1/2 minutes in. "An End In Itself" has these pulsating keys as soft vocals join in. Piano follows.The contrasts between the mellow and fuller sections continue.

A good album no doubt but it doesn't do a lot for me.

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 In Focus by ALIAS EYE album cover Studio Album, 2007
2.72 | 24 ratings

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In Focus
Alias Eye Crossover Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Third album by date from 2007 named In focus, well Alias Eye needed 4 years to come with a new release, and to be fair is less consistent then previous two. A little to modern in sound to my taste but keeping the same attitude like before. The guitar player from previous record choose to leave, and his replacement brought with him a new musical philosophy, the album being a little more simple in arrangements but yet accesible and good. The album overall is more on rock side, the progressive parts are now limited to some lements here and there, not bad really, but the result is quite pale, but not bad in contrast with the first two records. Here are aswell funk moments, some jazz elements thrown in , and the variety of the pieces is all over. Again Philip Griffiths is an important element hre, his voice being good, but the excellent moments are kinda far. The album is from good, to inconsistent with some fillers , but taken as a whole is a good one, who desearve 3 stars. Best parts are History Lesson, very good guitar arrangements and the mellow piano orientated piece Books, the rest are so so. Definetly less great then before, and I think they run out of ideas here, is to much variety in pieces. 3 stars, still enjoyble from time to time.

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 Different Point of You by ALIAS EYE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.65 | 49 ratings

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Different Point of You
Alias Eye Crossover Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Alias Eye is one of the pleasent surprises I've come across lately, knowing this band not for long, around last year being very impressed by their music and by the vocalist too. The vocalist Philip Griffiths is the son of the singer from Beggars Opers ( a symph prog band from early '70's ) being here very sure of his talent and has some magnific vocal arrangements. The music Alias Eye offers is something between Saga, some neo prog elements remind me of dutch Egdon Heath, and overall is pretty good record. The pieces are well constructed right from the beggining I was struck by opening track A Clown's Tale with an arabian feel embraced by heavy riffs and pleasent arrangements, here the voice of Philip Griffiths truly shines, are some traces in his voice taken from his father tone, specially when he reaches high notes, but as a whole he is a fantastic singer. Anothe rexcellent piece is The Great Open, simply brilliant track, full of super musicianship and inventiv passages. Also there are some piano interludes and even saxophone passages, that goes very well in this context, from melacholic side to a more happier moments, Alias Eye did it with this album for sure. To me this second release from 2003 - Diffrent point of you is more mature as the debute as shows strong musicianship and excellent vocal moments. This is accessible and yet pleasent progressive rock album that may not be as challenging as some other albums or bands from neo prog zone but in the end is a quite rewarding record that will please many listners. 4 stars for sure. Great cover art aswell.

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 Field Of Names by ALIAS EYE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.75 | 49 ratings

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Field Of Names
Alias Eye Crossover Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars Absolutely catchy, proggy, interesting and surprising. Well, not so shocking at all, because after I've heard their "Different Point of You", I was interested in their other work, so I acquired this one. And it's one of the best bands I have witnessed. Their music is very promising (I mean that you expect something well known to be hooked on and something new to be satisfied - something that they offer in fair percentage here). And as with "Beardfish", they're using all these sound patterns, that you wouldn't normally expect in prog music (or maybe you would), which sounds little bit crazy, but you can enjoy it a lot. There are no disadvantages, my favourite here is River Running and I can recommend it to everyone.

5(-) for all these things + being either melodic, or interestingly in other means.

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 Different Point of You by ALIAS EYE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.65 | 49 ratings

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Different Point of You
Alias Eye Crossover Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars Melodic VdGG without crazy factor ? Or at least some tracks here seems like it to me. Songs aren't all the same, they differ a lot, but with one uniting element, specific guitar solos. Nice ones, like in Neo-prog. But every one of these songs have something weird (and interesting) inside, saxophone (you'll understand if you listen it) in surprising song Fake the Right, or accordion in Your Other Way (it has to be good old acco, what else) . To put it simply, this music is breathtaking, I feel like in land where my dreams are fulfilled, because this music has everything I want. Melody, good instruments handling skill, diversity of these musical instruments, listen-able vocals, quite long songs (but not so long to make epic song) and is tasty at all.

5(-) for wonderful music that can bring very various music into your life.

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