Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Blind Ego- Numb
I'm going to keep this review short because I'm not quite sure what to say about this album. Although labeled as prog, this album feels a lot more mainstream to me, almost veering into modern rock/AOR. Blind Ego is a side project of Karlheinz "Kalle" Wallner, who is the guitarist of a prog band called RPWL. He has assembled a sort of prog super group composing of such people as John Jowitt and John Mitchell, who initially sparked my interest in the album. However, after listening to this album several times, I find it hard to come to some conclusion about how I feel about the album.
To my ears, this feels like some kind of cross between Demians, Porcupine Tree, and perhaps IQ. The album has a very distinct feel that I actually enjoy. It has many great moments both heavy and light. I love the guitars on this album, there are definitely some great headbanging moments throughout this album. I do miss, however, any sign of keyboards throughout this album. I'm not sure if they are sparse or nonexistant, but the lack of them really lessens the impact that this album may have had on me. But, that being said, this album is an enjoyable listen- I have no urges to turn off the CD player as I listen to it. However, on the other side, it isn't a CD I would play often, I think it is largely forgettable. Enjoyable, yet not memorable is how I would describe it.
I hope this doesn't come off as sounding too harsh, because that is not my intention. I think the band members all play incredibly well on this album and there are many moments that are truly breathtaking. It is just that, after listening to it at least 5 times, nothing really sticks out to me. Most of my favorite albums have moments that I can immediately think of when I think about the album that stick out to me and make me excited to get to those moments. On Numb, I can't recall any particularly interesting moments until I actually go back and listen and think, "Oh yeah, I forgot about that part, it's pretty good!" I think the reason for this may be more because I just can't get into a certain vein of prog rock, usually classified as "Neo-prog". I like my prog symphonic and bombastic. There are a few artists within the "Neo-prog" category that do connect with me, but the large part doesn't move me. I stick this album in with ones by Demians, Marillion, Arena and Pendragon. I just don't "get" these artists. But, Numb is an enjoyable listen, and I don't regret buying it, I just don't see myself returning to it often. If you like the bands mentioned, go ahead and get it, you might just disagree with me.