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Album Reviews : Eye of the Enemy – The Vengeance Paradox

By on May 6, 2014

Eye of The Enemy is a band that, for some, might be in need of an introduction; for those of you who are aware of this powerhouse of a band, kindly ignore the preceding statement. Eye of The Enemy have returned with The Vengeance Paradox, a follow up to previous album Weight of Redemption, that far outshines the bands prior works. Don’t get me wrong, Weight of Redemption is still a good album but it is clear that Eye of The Enemy have not only stepped up to the challenge of a new project, but have pushed themselves to a new level in ferocity and energy.

I realize there is not much in the way of formality here, but then The Vengeance Paradox is much the same in that regard. It only took the introductory track The Vision to indicate that this album was going to be one hell of a ride; with what it teases in its eerie orchestration, pounding drums and robust tone is a build up that would make Mussorgsky envious. Somewhat humble openings aside, there is not a moment of this album wasted, every second is saturated with the same solid rhythms and riff heavy compositions that Eye of The Enemy are known for, but there is an added strength here that was not as fully displayed on their previous outing. What do I mean by that? Whilst Eye of The Enemy have always maintained a powerful and frenetic sensibility to their music, the works on offer in The Vengeance Paradox have an almost unaccountable, vicious, but clear sheen to them; it is as if they have taken their already sharp blade, tempered it and honed it to an edge that cuts to the bone. And that is exactly what that album does.

Every note, each beat, comes out clear and striking and gets your attention. The overall feel of the album, largely dark in tone, is, for want of a better term, stirring and is an exemplary model for metal in this particular style. At times there is a real push for the emotive in The Vengeance Paradox, and whilst still in keeping with the bands milieu, the album achieves this with the juxtaposition of their typical crushing percussion and formidable rhythm guitars with some distinct and singular (if not a bit understated) melodies that permeate the entire effort. It is not for nothing either, since the album’s total run time is under forty minutes; it is enough to leave a fiery impression and not outstay its welcome. (Which I have often found in bands of this style)

Though it might sound that I am doing Eye of The Enemy a disservice by implying that their work is essentially unobtrusive, I can assure you it is the opposite. The fiery impression I mentioned earlier is most certainly a lasting one; take track five: The Shift, for example. The build up into the body of the song is modest but not without complexity, the kind of introduction to a song that doesn’t catch you off guard but more serves to construct a framework for the listener to throw themselves off of to fall into the merciless, infernal well that is The Vengeance Paradox.

The Justification is another stand out track on the album, with some subtle call backs to some traditional metal staples with a modern twist and the unmistakable Eye of The Enemy signature to it. The instantly (and I shudder to use the word) catchy, opening melodic hooks with the forceful drive of an anthem; you can just see the sea of banging heads. This is followed by The Irony (I am not sure if the titles here are a nod to Fleshgod Apocalypse’s Agony, but if they are then all the better), which maintains the anthemic responsiveness of The Justification but is more the counterpoint, a “Dark Mirror”, if you will; where one is an open, accessible track, The Irony is self- segregated and insular in purpose. Both well played and executed, both forceful and both, certainly, worthy of note.

Eye of The Enemy’s The Vengeance Paradox is a great album, worthy of being called International Level. Each song is a burst of burning and fierce choler, each with its own merits and well worth the time. The power and ferocity on display in this album is almost effortless, bordering on primal; the kind of energy that a band should strive for, both in composition and presentation. Whilst I am somewhat skeptical as to whether Eye of The Enemy will be able to carry this energy on stage and pull it off live, I remain hopeful as this is the kind of music that screams for the stage. As such, I offer a full and hearty recommendation for The Vengeance Paradox from Eye of The Enemy.

I know it has been said it before, and nearly to death, but 2014 is going to be something else.

Want to win a copy of The Vengeance Paradox on CD, as well as 5 other CD’s and a Metal Obsession t-shirt? Then be sure to enter Metal Obsession’s Monthly Giveaway #1. Competition closes May 29!

Band: Eye of the Enemy
Album: The Vengeance Paradox
Year: 2014
Genre: Groove metal
Label: Rockstar Records
Origin: Melbourne, Australia

Tracklisting:

1. The Vision
2. The Oath
3. The March
4. The Deed
5. The Shift
6. The Calm
7. The Panic
8. The Justification
9. The Irony
10. The Regret

About

Hailing from parts unknown (actually, it’s Melbourne), Tristan is a freelance writer and lover of metal, with a special place in his heart for Power and Folk metal. After playing in a number of local Melbourne metal bands, and completing his Bachelor of Arts, Tristan focuses his attention to the pursuit of writing, practicing the Liechtenauer School of swordsmanship, dabbling in Cosplay and reciting Babylon 5 quotes; in addition to hunting for a publisher for his novel. Until then, he enjoys metal, writing about metal and convincing people around his office that he is immortal and has lived for 3,000 years. (So far only the chick in HR is buying it)