|Band:||No Man Eyes|
Firstly take some Heavy Metal, add a teaspoon of Thrash, a little of Melodic Death and then Prog Metal to taste: et voilà, here you have "Cosmogony", the second album of the Genoese group No Man Eyes, to be listened to whenever you like.
Apart from recipes, the band has been active since five years ago and explores throughout this disc, in addition to a vast and varied range of sounds, themes linked to science fiction, spirituality and nihilism. Right from the intro "Lord" it can be sensed the presence of problems related to mankind and its search for «Life, the Universe and Everything» [quote], focusing on its role in the world. Intro's melodic and slow sounds fade away to leave room for a more animated "Dreamsland", in which the previously listed melodic death and progressive elements melt properly. Fabio Carmotti's voice, as singer, is clean but aggressive when it's needed, even though it tightens over the high pitches. Indeed it proves to be a sharp song and offers a good general depiction of the band, also providing a preview of what would have followed. A sentence impressed me:
«We're machines made of flesh and bones
Destined to failure despite our vivid dreams
Yet we still strive for a hope that negates our nature
And takes the terror away».
Though man is but a weak creature, not even destiny can totally annihilate its will. Not always, at least. Speaking of the following "Huracàn", I really like its chorus vocals; overall, the song contains few repetitions and yet it's still clear and easy to remember, even from the first listening. The next track has the doom inside and it's filled with a lot of cymbals, too: we've arrived at "Bound To Doom", a song which features once again the topic of unavoidability of fate, against which there's nothing we could possibly do. Now Fabio's vocal performance is definitely of the highest level, while the instrumental base provided by the other musicians sounds great, also due to a fairly appreciated keyboard solo, and here I've been quite impressed by the guitar of Andrew Spane. As we meet "Spiders", we dive into an old man's melancholy for he had lost his mental sanity, his family and every single reason to keep on living, finding himself wandering in the darkness; it's impossible not to see the contrast between the verses' melody and the aggressiveness of the choruses, and here, once again, there's a remarkable guitar solo by Andrew.
The first notes of "Blossoms Of Creation", as long as the last bridge of the song, strike me in the heart as they remind me of Nevermore's "Dreaming Neon Black"; the rest of the song, anyway, evolves differently from what I imagined: guitars are heavy, riffing is thick and drum fills are both sudden and rapid, with generally more harsh vocals. As the disc goes on, we find a glimmer of hope, salvation and redemption inside "All The Fears", an almost familiar Progressive Melo-Death shaped-shell. At least until this point, I noticed that the vocals have never ceased to evolve and vary, proposing always better performances, more precise and perfected.
Song number eight's title is an existential question, "How Come My Faith Has Gone", and a possible answer to it could be found inside the track itself: «taken apart by the sight of this world». The world we're living in is quite often disappointing and it shouldn't surprise anyone if sometimes everything we believe in vacillates. In spite of guitars' distortion, I cannot avoid to feel a certain sadness within, suddenly interrupted by the following, violent "The Death You Need", in which all the musicians seemingly speeded up.
Once again, as I listen to "Cosmogony", I feel that Nevermore and their good old days' guitarist Jeff Loomis could be part of the main influences of the band, being it a completely instrumental song in which the guitar plays a long, heterogeneous solo, followed by Alessandro Asborno's bass and Michele Pintus on the drums. Even if I sensed from the very first song the presence of Tony Macalpine and Jason Becker — among the others — between the lines of the inspirations of the band, just here lies the proof: better later than ever.
And with "Children Of War" I'd dare saying that No Man Eyes left the best for the end: three and half minutes of speed, groove changes, unforeseeable rhythm and even scales which sound almost oriental-ish. Speaking of themes, instead, we're finally meeting the victory of optimism: «there is always a way», this can be read in the booklet.
Now that I'm at the end of "Cosmogony", I can say that the influences of the band are definitely more than I did expect: there are both Power and Symphonic Metal and Symphony X's authority shows itself clearly, especially in the last track. It's an unexpectedly good mixture of genres, most of which I'm not really fond of nor used to, but that melt and collaborate very efficaciously and satisfactorily in this second work of No Man Eyes: totally worth to be listened.