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EYESBERG

Neo-Prog • Germany


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Eyesberg biography
Founded in Frankfurt am Main, Germany in 1980 - After long hiatus reformed in 2014

Eyesberg were found in Frankfurt circa 1980 by a team of five musicians, Georg Alfter, Michael Buchner, Norbert Podien, Thomas Klarmann and English traveler Malcolm Shuttleworth, who settled down in Germany, after playing music in Israel. Apparently this early formation was not very succesful with no documents left from this premature stage. Over 30 years later Klarmann had enjoyed success as a member of ARGOS and SUPERDRAMA, so a new formation was inspired and gathered to give Eyesberg another shot. Klarmann however was not among the participants, this fresh start was made by Malcolm Shuttleworth (vocals), Norbert Podien (keyboards) and Georg Alfter (guitar, bass), but Klarmann's bandmate on Argos Ulf Jacobs was invited to join on drums. The old compositions of the band had been reworked and in 2014 Eyesberg launched their long-awaited debut ''Blue'' on Progressive Promotion Records, an album containing obvious influences from the music of IQ, PENDRAGON and FISH-era MARILLION and a must-have for all fans of the classic 80's-styled Neo Prog style.

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EYESBERG discography


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

3.81 | 51 ratings
Blue
2014
3.78 | 41 ratings
Masquerade
2016
3.92 | 30 ratings
Claustrophobia
2021

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

EYESBERG Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

3.00 | 1 ratings
Crown Land
2008

EYESBERG Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Claustrophobia by EYESBERG album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.92 | 30 ratings

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Claustrophobia
Eyesberg Neo-Prog

Review by progflame

4 stars Eyesberg: Claustrophobia (Progressive Promotion Records 2021)

Claustrophobia is the 3rd CD release of the German-British formation Eyesberg and a clear step forward. The band has planned a lot and presented a complex, multi-layered and coherent album. Based on an idea by singer Melcolm Shuttleworth, who always wanted to make a concept album, Eyesberg spreads the life and work of the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh lyrically and musically in 8 songs between 3 and 11 minutes (playing time approx. 48 min). The texts are psychograms of a tormented, constricted soul. From the claustrophobic childhood to the breaks in his biography, the hospital stays, the self-mutilation up to his suicide, a unified story is told and musically perfectly implemented. In keeping with the textual context, the music is darker and harder than what Eyesberg is used to up to now. Heavy mellotron chords by keyboardist Norbert Podien and elegiac-hymnic guitar medodies by Georg Alfter merge into a complex, dense and compelling sound that can be assigned to the melodious-symphonic (nucleus-) prog. The music is clearly based on the sound of the analogue 70s, instead of polyphonic synthesizers there is plenty of Hammond and Mellotron to be heard. The trio was again profitably supported by drummer Jimmy Keegan (ex-Spocks Beard), who also perfected the production with mix and mastering. And then the band surprises with the addition of backing vocals by Emma Edingloh, which gives the album an additional special note. The design and color of the cover and booklet match the Van Gogh concept theme. Guitarist Georg Alfter has also done the artwork and creates yellow-orange fields and blue-gloomy caves with strong, bright colors. All in all, a beautiful and exciting album that comes very close to the ideal of a "Gesamtkunstwerk" (4.5 stars).

 Claustrophobia by EYESBERG album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.92 | 30 ratings

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Claustrophobia
Eyesberg Neo-Prog

Review by alainPP

4 stars EYESBERG is a Teutonic and Grand-Breton project which began in 1980, reformed in 2014 and retracing the life of Vincent VAN GOGH for their opus in a libretto digipack; their 3rd album to date. An air that smells of GENESIS 70's and 80's, the IQ, a bit of the MARILLION of yesteryear, in short, prog-rock, a bit retro neo-prog with majestic touches of romanticism and spleen. Quickly let's take a closer look to see if they are getting close to this immortal dinosaur.

"Claustrophobia" and its explosive intro, instrumental in the lineage of a MARILLION, a PINK FLOYD or even a CARPENTER, a neo-typical voice à la FISH, then rising to that of COLLINS and "duke". The damaging influence of the mother is explained then after the verse and Malcolm's voice drifts, the progressive doors open wide and send you to the stylized sounds of "Abacab" with changes in structure, rhythm and melody. A 70's and 80's alliance with Jimmy's metal shells and Georg's slide guitar on the front and a very progressive track. "Strange Boy" on the lonely childhood of the hero in spite of himself for a title smelling good the GENESIS of the 80's "abacab" and "mama" from drums to keyboards, rhythmic tune, Phil COLLINS percussion, spleen guitar and synths à la Eric SERRA plus an atmospheric ending to conclude. "Walking in Storms" for the second big title, walk in a tempestuous nature and a sound of "Duke" or "Wot a Gorilla? ", Minimalist metallic synths, soft intimate piano break, plaintive guitar, it sounds more vintage up to" Wind and Wuthering "; solos that intertwine, giving a very pleasant Genesis atmosphere, a bit of SPOCK'S BEARD for the climate; the combination of drums, bass, keyboards and spleen guitar is enjoyable. "Salamander Tree" for a color course by the artist and a short track surfing on phil's vibe, for both vocals and percussion hits; a bucolic ballad with her little flute and Emma's back voice. "Sacrifice" for the notion of the bruised ear; a track here at "The Lamb Lies On Broadway", fast paced track; drawer with a fruity keyboard bringing spice, it goes up and we come back to the sound "Duke" again, a bit also on IQ, Malcolm mimicking the archangel here; The guitar takes precedence and leads for an interesting, energetic progressive digression with the keyboard that goes well with it, ending with a fairground organ to conclude this gesture of madness, of love? "We Want You Out! "And a sound apart in the album, heavy rhythm, catchy, a nervous riff, the voice typed for the moment of the hospital discharge; Georg and Norbert respond to each other in an energetic way to give a supercharged retro sound; the voice pulls between that of Phil and Peter, singular as a sensation, the twirling synth resembles that of BANKS. "Into the Asylum" on the various voluntary or forced hospitalizations, when its creation was the strongest; a track which brings back to CLEPSYDRA, on MARILLION, on BIG BIG TRAIN for the voice and the instrumentation; we come back with the languid guitar solo of Steve HACKETT as melancholy as it is filled with hope, the prog oxymoron is there with its paradoxes. The title that ultimately stands out the most from its ancestors to give its own signature. "Final Ride" follows here with the rhythmic finale, synths and percussions forward for a quick more rock title; a last heavy, fat, plaintive solo by Georg gives a glimpse of the inevitable end of this genius of art, Génésisien finale, spleen, melancholy, introspective with the tempered keyboards of Norbert very with the fact which reminds me of some notes of "Los Endos" .

EYESBERG combines the palettes of VAN GOGH and GENESIS with vibrant colors. This album is at the border of a tribute, a cover, an album halfway between remixed GENESIS and EYESBERG, a regressive bridge brought up to date, strange and singular, few headaches, just a moment of musical freshness; an album that will surely make you want to immerse yourself in those years when prog was revolutionizing, an album that is easily and pleasantly listened to, perhaps too much given the similarity.

 Masquerade by EYESBERG album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.78 | 41 ratings

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Masquerade
Eyesberg Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German band EYESBERG has a history that go back some decades, but as recording artists they first appeared three years ago with their debut album "Blue". Two more years would go before their second album "Masquerade" would appear, and as with their first studio production it was released by German label Progressive Promotion Records.

While I do not see that Eyesberg's second album will convince anyone not already fond of neo progressive rock of the 80's variety to the charms of this particular approach to progressive rock, many of those who tend to enjoy this style of music should find this CD to be right up their alley. An album that merits a check by those who enjoy the classic neo progressive bands of the early 80's as well as Genesis as they were in the last few years before they opted to create more regular pop music.

 Masquerade by EYESBERG album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.78 | 41 ratings

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Masquerade
Eyesberg Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Towards the end of 2016 Eyesberg came back with their second album, this time comprising all new songs. There was no use of a drum machine this time, as they managed to secure the talents of Spock's Beard drummer Jimmy Keegan, and this has had a major impact on the music. No longer are the drums just there to keep the beat and provide backbone, this time they have become very much an essential part of the overall sound as Jimmy drives the guys along ? he never has been one to be content with just playing the beat, he knows when not to play, and when to force proceedings. No longer are the band performing as if they were around more than thirty- five years ago (although they were), now it is more of that time being an influence on what they are doing, which is far harder and heavier than last time around.

The debut album would probably be best described as retro prog, but this one is much further into neo prog territory, with a far more abrasive edge, as if they have lost the innocence of the debut and are far angrier. The two albums are quite different in some respects, and very similar in others, with Malcolm's vocals playing a key part in bringing them together, along with Hackett Genesis influences still obvious in this one, although more diluted than in the debut. Of the two I think I prefer the debut, just, but they are both worthy of discovery to any prog lover,

 Blue by EYESBERG album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.81 | 51 ratings

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Blue
Eyesberg Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars It must be said that Eyesberg are a band with something of a back story. They came together in Frankfurt around 1980, with a line-up Georg Alfter, Michael Buchner, Norbert Podien, Thomas Klarmann and Malcolm Shuttleworth. Although they wrote several songs, they never released an album, and they all went on to other things. Thomas later enjoyed success as a member of Argos and Superdrama, and this spurred some of the others to revisit the old Eyesberg songs and see what they could do with them now. Malcolm Shuttleworth (vocals), Norbert Podien (keyboards, drum programming, backing vocals) and Georg Alfter (guitar, bass), were joined by Klarmann's Argos bandmate Ulf Jacobs on drums, but neither Thomas nor other original member Michael Buchner were involved this time around.

Given that these songs were written more than thirty-five years ago, as opposed to 2014 when they were released, it isn't surprising at all that they have far less in common with modern prog, and the album has quite a retro feel. This is enhanced by the quite large use of flute sounds from the keyboards, and it certainly makes me think of the type of music that Steve Hackett was producing at the time, as well as last Seventies Genesis. It is an incredibly enjoyable piece of work throughout, and the very English vocals of Malcolm come across as a mix of Gabriel and Roger Chapman, with hints of Peter Nicholls. Overall this is a very enjoyable album and I was keen to see if they would stick around to release another.

 Masquerade by EYESBERG album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.78 | 41 ratings

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Masquerade
Eyesberg Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Eyesberg took 34 years to cook up their debut, Blue, but didn't need nearly so long to churn out this successor to the album. It's neo-prog in a style which I'd be inclined to compare to recent Galahad - in that it's got the sort of mild Genesis influences you expect of neo-prog groups of a certain vintage, but greatly updated in terms of the electronic influences they allow to percolate into the music.

It's competently done, but it does rather feel a bit neo-prog-by-numbers at points, and in terms of the lyrical themes they explore the band indulge in the sort of what I think of as "grumpy divorced dad nostalgia" that can plague the neo-prog scene a bit. You know the kind of thing - the sort of sub-Big Big Train griping about how Things Ain't Like They Used To Be (though there's plenty of music from the good old days that reminds us that things weren't so great back then either!). Where I look to neo-prog music for something emotionally engaging - whether that's IQ-style psychedelic excitement, Marillion-esque emotional gravitas, or whatever - Eyesberg instead deliver a lot of rather clueless griping.

Take a case in point: one of the songs starts off with vocalist Malcolm Shuttleworth singing about how social media's terrible and nobody talks anymore. Now, this is a position without credibility (I could go off on a long rant about it, but suffice to say that if you believe people are using social media to the extent of cutting out seeing people in person entirely, I would say that you are either projecting your own boring social isolation onto others or fundamentally misunderstanding how people use it - it's a useful accessory to and facilitator of other interactions, not a replacement for them), but let's set that aside: Facebook launched in 2004, and Twitter launched in 2006. We are dealing here with a social phenomenon which is a decade old; the time when you could pretend to be "with it" and in tune with current issues simply by saying something uninformed and unsupported about social media is well and truly past.

I take issue with this not because I think songs about social media are inherently bad, but I would say that they've been *done already*, and if a band feels the need to do a song about the subject and then entirely fails to say anything new about it beyond some dull platitudes - and, even worse, doesn't even manage to dress up the platitudes in a way I haven't heard a dozen times before - that suggests that they are rather short of ideas. And that's how I'd characterise Eyesberg: they churn out pleasant enough material, I wouldn't rate the album below three stars, but until they start doing something I haven't heard before too many times already they're not going to get beyond three stars.

 Masquerade by EYESBERG album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.78 | 41 ratings

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Masquerade
Eyesberg Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

3 stars For yet another time I've been alerted by PA to good old German neo-prog... This is what I call pensioner's prog - prog played by 50-somethings for the 50-somethings (not there yet, but close). How can you tell? If the singer sounds like he's from Genesis and laments the effect of social media on human relationships. I don't mean to say that it's lethargic. Joke on you opens quite energetically, in fact. It's just that it doesn't explore any edges, not venturing from the middle of what this kind of music is supposed to sound like - melodic but unassuming prog-lite. Good accompaniment for house cleaning on a lazy day.
 Masquerade by EYESBERG album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.78 | 41 ratings

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Masquerade
Eyesberg Neo-Prog

Review by Rayx

5 stars EYESBERG burst onto the progressive music scene two years ago with the release of their album BLUE ? a collection of 30-year-old songs that had been re-recorded and revamped using modern technology. BLUE quite rightly received rave reviews and now they are back with the follow-up MASQUERADE ? this time a collection of new material. And what a gem of an album it is. A dynamic mix of hard and heavy sounds, breathtaking guitar and synth solos, awesome melodies and intricate, diverse arrangements that somehow magically blend together. The scene is set with the opener JOKE ON YOU ? as heavy guitar-laden and organ passages, augmented with driving drums and bass, are suddenly replaced with gentle lilting harmonies from guitar and vocals. The song then builds into a wonderful crescendo as mini moog and lead guitar take over. COME AND TAKE A LOOK AT MY LIFE is a very poignant track, the lyrics dealing with the refugee crisis in Europe. Here lyricist/vocalist Malcolm Shuttleworth really comes into his own with some wonderful vocal work, especially during the chorus, featuring the wonderfully Gabriel-like lyrics: "Loitering with intent to hang around?" FACELESS is a unique song for a progressive album. It could actually be a hit single. That said, the song is extremely complex with fine guitar work by Georg Alfter and superb flute solos. (Which I can only assume came from the wonders of modern technology, as no flutist was credited on the sleeve.) I love the line: "Faceless on Facebook, what's up with Whatsapp?" HERE AND NOW is simply superb. Haunting melodies (especially the flute intro), meandering solo guitar throughout and a nice driving drum rhythm ? played by guest musician Jimmy Keegan of Spock's Beard. The middle part features several subtle touches from keyboarder Norbert Podien. STORM FLOOD is perhaps the album's low point. A rather-long-winded instrumental that does not really go anywhere. STEAL YOUR THUNDER is one of those spine-tingling songs that is hard to describe. Perhaps the most perfect song on the album. Outstanding vocals, quite wonderful piano, exquisite guitar parts, great melodies. A true masterpiece. EYESBERG save the best until last. The 18-minute WAIT AND SEE, which apparently tells the band's story, encapsulates what this wonderful band is all about. Drama, suspense, diversity and majesty all rolled together in an epic song that simply cannot be surpassed. A fitting end to a truly remarkable piece of work. Overall a wonderful production, sounding fresh and extremely well-produced. The only thing EYESBERG need to worry about is how they can possibly follow this?

RAY X ? Cologne 2016

 Blue by EYESBERG album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.81 | 51 ratings

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Blue
Eyesberg Neo-Prog

Review by maryes

3 stars 3,5 stars !!! This album is a enjoyable surprise, because , on the contrary of most of the Germany bands , the music in EYESBERG "Blue" is very "graceful" and "light" in instrumentation in comparison with "mainstream" of musical style from German bands. Although, some people could think " is a simple remake of the British neo-prog style" (with a certain reason) but, I really not think this. However be iimplicit in almost 12 tracks of the disk the presence of influences of Marillion, IQ, Iluvatar and obviously Genesis ( the vocals is very close to Phill Collins) the album reserves some great moments which make to deserve at least one audition. The first of this moments is the Track 2 "Epitaph" with strong Genesis "appeal", mixing energic and soft moments and a flute intermissions which gives a certain "pastoral landscape" to the track. Other of these moments is the track 4 "Winter Gone" a very beautiful ballad, and finally the last track ". Detachment and Replacement " full of "energy" and great instrumental moments. In spite of some "weak" moments , such as track 5 "Impulsive" ( almost a disco-music) and track 9 "Porcelain" with a certain "techno-pop" inspiration. In a general way is a good album , my rate is 3 stars !!!
 Blue by EYESBERG album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.81 | 51 ratings

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Blue
Eyesberg Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German band EYESBERG was originally active from the late '70s until the early '80s, but without ever recording any material in their initial phase of existence. A few years back the band was resurrected, and from what I understand, their belated debut album "Blue", released through Progressive Promotion Records, primarily consists of material from the band's initial phase some 30 odd years ago.

A few late tracks aside, "Blue" comes across as a charming take on the more accessible side of Genesis sometime around 1980, with compositions that combine accessible features and a progressive rock-oriented approach in an elegant and keyboards-dominated manner, complete with a lead vocalist with a voice and tone reminding of Phil Collins. As such an album that those with a taste for Genesis as they appeared sometime around 1980 might want to investigate.

Thanks to apps79 for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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