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Voice of Eye

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Voice of Eye Vespers  album cover
4.00 | 2 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Waking (9:18)
2. Breathing (5:35)
3. Blooming (5:35)
4. Waning (3:46)
5. Melting (7:38)
6. Drifting (8:29
7. Dreaming (19:24)

Line-up / Musicians

- Marlon Porter / percussion
- Jim Wilson / sitar, guitar, bass, percussions
- Bonnie McNairn / percussion, bass, voice, flute
- Ure Thrall / voice, guitar, sampler (2)

Releases information

Cyclotron Industries

Thanks to philippe for the addition
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VOICE OF EYE Vespers ratings distribution

(2 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(100%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

VOICE OF EYE Vespers reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An incredible experience

Voice of Eye are the collaboration of Jim Wilson and Bonnie McNairn, who formed in Houston in the late 1980s and are now based in Taos, New Mexico. They produce unbelievably high quality "tribal ambient" sound recordings which use no synthesizer, rather, a vast array of acoustic instruments and even several home made instruments. They are played, sampled, and layered together, sometimes to ritual style percussion. With great instinct for presentation they somehow making the formless, unconventional, and the avant garde into music that is as pleasing as it is spiritually fulfilling.

The 60-plus minutes "Vespers" (meaning evening song) is a musically journey in the most literal sense of the phrase. I don't know how to describe it other than to say this is one of those albums where you need to be alone, with nothing on your schedule so you can pull all the shades and assume a horizontal position. To do this right you will need no distractions for an hour. Headphones could potentially elevate this experience to an even higher plane. The album is essentially one long track despite the "song names" presented on the CD, such as Walking, Breathing, Drifting, etc. Ominous soundscapes are the back drop with welling and softening bursts of usually indefinable sound, rarely do you know what instrument you are actually hearing. It comes and goes in random fashion, sometimes totally open space, other times a ritual feel with percussion, always some kind of unspoken meditation. Sometimes the sounds are just weirdness, random, vague, other times they can be quiet and introspective.

There are no vocals but there are occasional sections of wordless human voice, often somewhat effected and haunting. If I can point to anything to provide some frame of reference, I might say that it reminds me a bit of Phillip Glass' "Koyannisqatsi" or Oldfield's "Amarok", but only in spirit, not at all in actual sound. It may remind others of the trippiest late 60s hallucinogenic music but be comforted that the sound clarity is very good. You will hear everything that is happening. I don't want to be overly dramatic but this is music that feels as if it binds humanity together in some way, far below the surface. Listening to this kind of pure sound in an undisturbed state feels like perhaps you are getting a brief glimpse beyond the veil. Stunning, mysterious, and beautiful it is.

While I don't always enjoy albums that are this far "off the grid" I do enjoy "Vespers", quite a lot. Unlike some unstructured, non-melodic music, "Vespers" is organic human expression that is pleasing and palatable for nearly anyone, even those who don't usually venture into such realms. Some music fans will surely find such an album "boring" because there is nothing resembling rock and roll here. But others will be VoE fans after one listening. It feels like a shamanistic ritual deep in some outdoor environment, something the photos and artwork would support.

Review by Dobermensch
4 stars This highly original album begins off sounding like 'Lustmord' with large swathes of sweeping drones. However, unlike most "Drone' bands Voice of Eye are tuneful... in my mind anyway. The excellent opener 'Waking' reminds me a lot of that very creepy point in the film 'Kill List' where there's a 'Wicker Man' ritual being performed that ends in human sacrifice.

Voice of Eye have an instantly recognisable sound - which is some feat considering the wealth of similarly classed bands who more often than not sound non-descript.

''Breathing' continues the vibe nicely with very bizarre instrumentation that reminds me of 'The Empirical Sleeping Consort'. What resembles wailing cats and dogs are compressed through various filters creating an alien and unworldly atmosphere.

'Blooming' delves into ritual percussion 'Steve Roach' style, only this sounds more intense and less laid back mainly due to what might be horns being blown.

Like all of these tunes they meld into one another creating what could really be just one very long track. 'Waning' delivers that classic Voice of Eye sound with its ominous dread, where strangely stretched out horns and strings create a really dark atmosphere, but is enlivened by hand held percussion instruments.

'Melting' displays some seriously weird distorted percussion and drones, the origins of which I'm at a loss to even guess. There's some elongated human vocals in there somewhere, but this sounds like it was recorded on a planet that orbits Sirius.

'Drifting' utilises extreme phasing on female vocals which pitter-patter amongst droning elecronics and acoustic perky percussion.

The best is left for last - the whopping 19 minute 'Dreaming'. There's so much space between each sound on this recording. Voice of Eye hold the tools and know not to overload every instance with unnecessary intrusions. This is a cold, shivering, floating piece of music which flutters about like ghosts in a Victorian mansion. It' s got that odd 30 second dropout of sound that 90's bands seemed to favour when you think it's finished, only for multiple looped female vocals re-appear in a 'Rapoon' manner which brings this excellent album to a close.

With 'Vespers' you get the usual superb production values you'd expect from this band. Next to 'Transmigration' it's probably their best album. They were at their creative peak around this time (1994-96), recording albums that sound timeless 21 years later.

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