Well, that was surely one of the most anticipated albums of the year, as far as I’m concerned… after all, I’ve been waiting for this album for over a year now and the teaser video for “Rebel Mind” had left me breathless back then.
But let’s take things from the very start… what started to be Bobby Williamson’s solo album became Eumeria… a progressive, melodic heavy/power metal band that will surprise you nicely from the very first listening. Bobby Williamson is a well-known keyboardist/songwriter from Texas, a former member of the famous/long gone Outworld and Thought Chamber. Bobby had started together with his friend and bassist Shawn Kascak (ex-Outworld as well), whom he knew from Outworld for many years then, he found this impressive, young – 21 year old – guitarist Reece Fullwood and they both agreed to play in his solo album. Finally, Bobby turned his solo album into Eumeria… a collaboration between Europe and America… so comes the name… the guitarist also proposed his friend Kevin Bartlett for the drummer’s position and after the audition he took his place in the band. Along came the singer Jonny Tatum (ex-Timefall) and Eumeria’s line-up was ready.
In truth to be told, these guys are very skillful and talented – all of them – and they can perform music at a high level, but that’s not the case here… we are not listening to this band only for the skills of its members, but because they can write excellent progressive and melodic metal music at the same time. Just to give you a hint, Eumeria combine elements from bands like Circus Maximus, Outworld, Conception, Dream Theater, Symphony X, Andromeda, Sun Caged, Darkology, Kamelot… and they filter them through their own musical personality. Eumeria is a band that’s not copying and playing easy/safe music (although the members can do such a thing easily), but is offering something really fresh here that has the trademark of the musical background of its members.
The album begins with a great drums intro… then, a heavy aggressive riff that bursts into a melodic/prog song… “Legion” opens the album… an excellent song that needs several listens… till it becomes one of your beloved songs of the album.
“Delusions” has a heavier orientation and many melodic elements on the refrain of the song as well… a good one.
“Rebel Mind” is the hit of the album… a perfect melodic prog metal song – one of the best songs of the year. I have listened to this song so many times and still can’t get enough of it… extraordinary! This is how I like progressive metal music to be!
“Father” is a very pleasant sounding and touching song at the same time that has a tremendous refrain, you will totally love…
“Tides” is a heavy/prog song with some dark/moody elements… a tune for the prog fans.
“The Key” is one of the songs that I have heard some time ago as a demo. I utterly love this song, it’s heavy, powerful with melodic prog elements. Jonny’s performance is radiant here… a great song.
“Red Light Flies” is the more atmospheric tune of the album…
“Dreaming of Death” is a “mysterious” heavy/prog song… great performances by the band… a song that needs several listens as well!
Last but not least, the fantastic “Secret Places”… the demo version of this song was called “Eyes of Peril” (if I can recall)… one of the best songs of the album… an exceptional heavy/power hymn…
The guys have arranged all things by themselves, the recordings & the designs… they took care of all the creation of the final product. The album was recorded at Origin Sound studios in Spring, Texas with producer Craig Douglas (Helstar, Unjust, Bitter End,). Some additional guitars and the drums were recorded at Smash Room studios in Telford, UK. Finally, the album was mixed and mastered at Hansen Studios in Ribe, Denmark by producer Jacob Hansen (Merceary, Nightrage, Volbeat, Anubis Gate, Tyr, Heaven Shall Burn, Beyond Twilight, Leatherwolf among others). So, as you can imagine the final result production is great & absolutely professional!
Eumeria is one of the best progressive metal bands that appeared in the last decade in the metal scene… The line-up, the music and the performances are showing that this band is here to stay. This is not your average everyday band that has nothing to offer. Eumeria is a terrific group and we must support them. “Downloading” is a “must” in our time but after that, buy the album that you actually like… that’s how you will support the bands & artists in order to go on releasing new music. After all, a band (of that magnitude) that risks releasing an album independently, needs our full support in every aspect. “Rebel Mind” is a stunning album, undoubtedly one of the best prog metal releases of this year… do not miss this one…