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A beautiful kinda weird...! - 95%

KantQontrolMyself, January 30th, 2006

This album has to be the perfect mixture of avantgarde and progressive rock/metal out there...or at least NEAR perfect. Man, this album is seriously some amazingly epic stuff. There's a great variety of instrumentation with outstanding lyrics and interesting yet nicely delivered vocal presentation. It's easier to explain once going through each individual song, because each is rather significantly different.

Marathon- 9/10 The first track kicks right off with some wonderful guitars played in quite a strange time signature, and then morphs into a string part. Then it builds into some doom metal with some growls in the background, and then strecthes a really soft part until the end of the song, which sounds fantastic. As it closes up, Mr. Driver finishes off with, well, a kinda cheesy, but very nicely spoken passage, and then the track is over. Definitely a great starter.

A Pitcher Of Summer- 9.5/10 This is indeed the NICEST song on the album. It has a mostly soft tone throughout the entire song, with very nicely sung vocals and only a little amount of time for a fairly heavy part. It may be the shortest song, but it's certainly splendid.

The Manifold Curiousity- 10/10 It's either between this or The Antique for my favorite track on this album, but I'll go with this because there's more happening in it. Starts off beautifully, and then slows down even more with an acoustic passage. The vocals are sung with a very strange distortion, but it's not hard to decipher here. Then it morphs into some heavy metal after a while with trumpets and guitars a blazin'. Then yet again, it slows down for more spoken words, done with multiple layers of course. Next it starts to get heavy again, and the crescendoes more and more and speeds up as it goes along until it goes to about Dillinger Escape Plan speed, and Toby's screamin' his head off. Then some slightly slower guitar chuggin' and it abruptly ends. This track is definitely the most action-packed out of all of them, and it's nice because it's the 2nd longest at 14:30!

Wayfarer- 9/10 This is a great song, but I personally don't like it as much as the others. It begins with acoustic guitar with some strings in the background, and more beautifully sung vocals. It's basically like A Pitcher Of Summer, but with the opposite emotion, and twice as long. And unlike APOS, we actually get more heavy parts in, but don't last too long. However, there is a really nice solo that kicks in later on. As the song closes, we get some loud orchestral sections, and then finally ending with a quickly played acoustic guitar riff.

The Antique- 10/10 Now this one takes a long-ass time to build up, but it definitely helps with the doomy atmosphere. After about six minutes of getting bigger and bigger, we get more deathy doom metal as Toby growls s'more. Then, it starts to get acoustic for a second, but then blasts into DEP speed again like it did in Manifold Curiousity, but I find the speed-up in this song to be much more abrasive. Then it starts to do some weird acoustics-meets-blastbeats thing, which I find is really damn cool. Then comes the most beautfiul part of the album. Now, let's paint a picture. We got a wonderful piano passage. We got Kermit the Frog. We got the weird vocal distortion. We got Kermit with the weird distortion singing the beautiful thing ever. And then as it builds up to the end, we replace some of the piano parts with a bunch of trumpets. Then when it's over, every single freakin' trumpet plays the same awesome note at the same time. I know it took a while, but this part was worth waiting through the doomy part, for sure.

So in conclusion, this album is definitely one of the best serious avantgarde releases out there. However, I did dock some points and choose Manifold Curiousity over The Antique because, well, I personally would've liked completely clean vocals on that beautful part because 1) I can hardly understand him. And 2) It actually kinda ruins it, even if it is interesting to listen to. But for the most part, the combination of instruments is fantastic (I know I didn't name all of them, but there's just so much going on!), the vocals are quite impressive if not experimental, the guitar work and drumming is indeed done well and fits the music, and it's got one crazy and intriguing story behind the lyrics. So for those who love an interesting and lovely-sounding CD, get Choirs of The Eye. Though I can see how people wouldn't like this album, I know the people who can see the true beauty behind it will appreciate it like crazed fanboys, or...well, at least have it at the top of their list for favorite CDs. I know I can hardly stop listening to it!