Review: Eidola – The Great Glass Elephant

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-Greg’s Take-

To fully understand what we are about to discuss, you need to realize one of life’s major differences. There is music that you tell your friends about and there is music that will make you want to lock everyone you know in a room until they fully absorb every beat, lyric and lick from each and every song on the album.

Make no mistake about it; Eidola will have your friends fearing for their freedom.

The Great Glass Elephant is a twelve track, well-orchestrated, musical journey. It peaks with the ferocity of Seether, staggers with the elegance of Jim Morrison and soothes with the ambience of De-Loused in the Comatorium. In fact, I have not had this much fun truly discovering an album since De-Loused.

The quintet from Spanish Fork, Utah warps your sense of depth with their sound. They will shred apart your psyche with their rock and will shape your dreams with their breakdowns. One minute, you’ll be backed against a wall of shrieking metal vocals, and the next you’ll drift through weightlessness on a beautiful carpet ride of guitar elegance. Though dynamic, and that is an understatement, never, not for a moment, does the album ever lose you. These five have harnessed an ability to seemingly slow you down in a world that is racing around you at an unrelenting pace to the point of feeling every moment of their art. Before you know it, you will be breathing slowly, staring blankly and your jaw will be on the floor and those around you are staring in an odd misunderstanding.

If you’re looking for a breakdown of songs to pay attention to, here they are:

Pugna E Eterna
Going Nowhere
A Night With Frank Sinatra, Two Tabs of Mescaline and A French Tranny
Argue
Yahrzeit Homily
Bastard’s Fire
Houses Movement II; Selling Worth
Jagannatha
The Alchemist and The Architect
The Golden Rule Is, There Is No Golden Rule
Ours
What Lies Beneath The Mountains

Yes, each and EVERY track. In order. Over and over again. If you want to get your feet wet, “Bastard’s Fire,” with its “Five to One” like sullen stomp last half, is easily my favorite. But be sure to not discount any of the other tracks.

The album is a musically cinematic experience. And the fact Andrew Michael Wells, Matthew Stephan Dommer, Matthew Hansen, James Johnson and James Riding self-recorded, self-produced, and self-released The Great Glass Elephant is just awe inspiring. These guys, this album, are all that is great with independent music.

Eidola is a rare experience; they are talented and The Great Glass Elephant is fantastic. This record will make my top discovery list of 2013. The only question is can there possibly be anything that can knock it from number one?

-Clay’s Take-

Let’s pause for a moment to address everyone’s favorite hipster: the “I was into that band back in [Album X] days” guy.  He’s the best.  And by “the best” I mean “really annoying.”  There’s generally an art to being “I knew them before X” guy; you can’t pick the album right before they broke big.  That’s like having a fake ID that says you’re 21; you need a couple years of distance to throw everyone off of the scent.  Chances are, your friend with the electric blue “Virginia Is For Lovers” t-shirt and the reading glasses he doesn’t really need got on board with the band when they broke big and went retroactive in their library and claimed that as his starting point.

You know you want to beat that guy at his own game.  That’s what we are here for: to point you in the right direction.  Want to get on the Knowing A Band Before They Broke Big bandwagon?  Hop on: it’s parked in Utah and it is driven by the fine individuals of Eidola.

Their debut album, The Great Glass Elephant, is a 61 minute tour-de-force of experimental rock that dares you to deviate your focus from it and begs to be put on repeat.  It shreds, it wails, it bends your perception, and at the end gives you pause.  It will not change the way you think about music, but it will make you look at your pop albums and make a dismissive “pffff” sound for at least a few hours.

Make no mistake, this album is not for everyone.  There are prerequisites: you have to have an attention span since several tracks clock in at the five to seven minute range, you like to listen to albums as a whole and not track-by-track (the anal-retentive older brother of the first prereq), you need to appreciate all facets of rock including progressive, and having an imagination helps.  If you have those, this album will be the antidote to your needing new music malaise.

The twelve tracks traverse a lot of ground and do so in waves as to give the album a sense of acts.  After opening with the wax track faltering timbre of “Pugna E Eterna,” Eidola comes crashing out of the gate with some straight up rock ‘n roll mixed with metal, blues and dare I say, a little emo.  There are punchy riffs, double-bass drums, vocals that range from gravelly to wailing falsetto, and face melting guitar licks.  After the crunching “Bastard’s Fire,” an edgy homage to the Doors mid-years, the album shifts to the experimental side of rock.  Guitars take on a dreamier approach, drums become ambitious, edges soften, dreams unfurl like a sail and the listener starts to drift on a different journey while steering back into heavier rock waters now and again. The sound crests into a grandness of sound with “The Alchemist and The Architect” before drifting back to earth on the final three tracks.

While the album is huge and expansive beyond its freshman debut, it is still raw.  Spending six months recording helps iron out the kinks and creates a sound beyond the early stages of Eidola’s career, but I can’t help but think about what their potential is.  What is the ceiling of this band from Spanish Fork, Utah?  Did they give it all with their first attempt or do they have something to build upon?

Either way, I am excited for a future of music that includes Eidola.  The Great Glass Elephant is out there for the taking.  Go grab a copy off of Bandcamp, pop in your earbuds and get on the bandwagon.  And make sure to save a seat for your hipster friend, even if he claims he was in the back the entire time.

 

Eidola

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