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Eyewitness - Eyewitness & Messiah Complex (CD)

Eyewitness & Messiah Complex
by Grigoris Chronis at 19 July 2007, 1:14 AM

Escape Music is doing a helluva work again, by releasing the (so far) unreleased (elsewhere in the world, omitting Japan) second album from EYEWITNESS, titled Messiah Complex. And, in addition, the label's good operation carries on in the excellent combo herein presented, including the band's whole same-titled debut as a bonus. A digipack remastered release, a brand new cover, a 'strong' booklet and an overall feeling that there are still labels out there caring to offer 'value for money'. As for EYEWITNESS - for whoever's not familiar with this band in prior - do not judge fast and pass by an (you think) unknown band. Ralph Santolla awaits thee…
Yes, the Raph Santolla. This charismatic guitarist, known to many for his deeds with such diverse bands/styles in DEATH, MILLENNIUM, ICED EARTH, SEBASTIAN BACH, DEICIDE. Any comments? Santolla's playing 'vibe' - one of the most notable post-80s guitars heroes I can recall right now, even if not that famous worldwide - is an attraction; the man is 'evil' or 'melodic' or 'heavy' or 'experimental' the time he wants to be so. And he accomplishes this status. That simple. As for EYEWITNESS:
Eye Witness was originally released back in 1995 (Now & Then). Assembled by Santolla, the Florida band's fame was soon to bound free, pushed higher by vocalist Todd Plant's recruitment (ex-ZION, MERIDIAN, also in MILLENNIUM later on). Todd's specific 'rough' blend (the man's also done backing vocals on albums like SAVATAGE's Edge Of  Thorns and KAMELOT's Eternity) ties like hell with Santolla's rockin' performance in the EYEWITNESS debut. Produced by Scott Burns (you know him, don't you?), the album's a wonderful mix of American Hard Rock music with enough melodic/AOR moments. Arms of Love was co-penned with WARRANT bassist Jerry Dixon while included is a prominent cover on U.F.O.'s Only You Can Rock Me classic plus a remarkable take on ZENO's Far Away obscure 'gem'. See again the names listed above and imagine the result.
Messiah Complex sees a - somehow - different approach for Santolla and Co. Things are getting darker and more mature now, while I can remember the suspicion critics and fans had against this sophomore album. The truth is that this effort is rather controversial, featuring a variety of rhythms, songwriting codes and instrumentation rotations. Still, if you wish to overcome this complex situation, you can as well try to imagine this set of songs - especially tunes like Dreamscape, Desert Rain, Cries For Mercy and the same-tilted cut - as a combo written and performed by great Rock/Metal musicians heading to a more 'cultured' direction. A 'progressive' point of view…
If you like your melodic/hard Rock music brought up - every now and then - to an extended level, then EYEWITNESS is for you. Not to forget, MILLENNIUM was born off the EYEWITNESS ashes, so there's an extra link for what you're about to hear in this important re-release. Think fast.

3 Star Rating

Disc 1

The Killing Words
Masters Of The World
Still Half Alive
All I Wanted
Far Away
Dorian's Song
Rising Sun
Can't Stop
Only You Can Rock Me
Arms Of Love
Life Goes On
A Very Minor King

Disc 2

Messiah Complex
All We Are
The Servant Has Become A Master
Out Of Sight Out Of Mind
Breaking Down The Walls
Sea Of Sadness
The Blade
Guiding Hand
Desert Rain
I Think I Wanna Die Now
Cries For Mercy
J. Todd Plant - Vocals
Ralph Santolla - Guitars
Steve Hodson - Bass
Oliver Hanson - Drums
Record Label: Escape Music


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