Eye - Vision And Ageless Light album review

US stoner quartet emerge into the prog psych light for their fourth album

Cover art for Eye Vision And Ageless Light

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It’s heartening to hear a band who wear their retro influences as readily as Eye. They’re partial to a Sabbath-like din, though the Ohio four-piece seem better suited to the kind of synth/mellotron excursions of Yes or early Floyd. Factor in some primetime ELP, plus plenty of Hawkwind’s whoosh and flutter, and you get the idea.

Founded in 2011 by drummer/percussionist Brandon Smith and keyboard player Lisa Bella Donna, the band have gradually emerged from the stoner pack and become something altogether more proggy. Vision And Ageless Light feels like a well-planned journey, beginning with moody instrumental Book Of The Dead. By the time Kill The Slavemaster kicks in, they’ve plugged in the guitars and started to motor, fuelled by some jazzy fusion on keyboards. Searching is the heaviest track here, the band settling into a riffy chug while they sing of the quest for meaning in a new age of paganism. All of which builds steam for the epic finale, As Sure As The Sun. Attempting to cram everything that’s gone before into just under half an hour, it would work better without the showy guitar shredding and needless drum solo, but it does at least prove they’ve plenty of chutzpah.

Rob Hughes

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2008, and sister title Prog since its inception in 2009. Regular contributor to Uncut magazine for over 20 years. Other clients include Word magazine, Record Collector, The Guardian, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and When Saturday Comes. Alongside Marc Riley, co-presenter of long-running A-Z Of David Bowie podcast. Also appears twice a week on Riley’s BBC6 radio show, rifling through old copies of the NME and Melody Maker in the Parallel Universe slot. Designed Aston Villa’s kit during a previous life as a sportswear designer. Geezer Butler told him he loved the all-black away strip.