If there was any doubt that Rob Rock could hang on his own without the support of Chris Impelletteri, Rock put those fears to rest with his last solo outing Rage of Creation. Now, with this new release Eyes of Eternity, Rock has made all of us wonder why he wasn't doing this solo stuff from the get-go cause this blows away any of the Impelletteri albums I've heard.
I can just see the Massacre Record reps just laughing their heads off right about now cause they scored someone this talented who just keeps getting better with age. And if anyone thinks that musicians mellow out with age, just take a little listen to songs like "Stranglehold" or "Conqueror's Hymn" or "The Everlasting" and you'll be eating your words. This entire album on a whole is much heavier than Rage of Creation and with the extra heaviness comes even better quality songs. I don't know about you all, but the amount of quality metal has been astounding the last year and this release further drives home that point.
On Eyes of Eternity, Rob Rock again is surrounded by the talents of Roy Z on all guitars and Butch Carlson on drums. Not to mention all the guest musician appearances which I'll get into later. Rock and Roy Z have written some very interesting songs on this disc that really have some staying power. I can easily see this being a favorite of Rob Rock fans many years in the future.
Rock's vocal performance on this album is nothing short of breathtaking. He absolutely astounds with his incredible range. He seems to be much more aggressive on this album as well. Simply put, Rock is one of the best and most talented vocalists in metal today.
Standout cuts are definitely numerous, but my favorites would have to be "Stranglehold", "The Everlasting", "Conqueror's Hymn", and the amazing album closer "The Hour of Dawn". This song is 12 minutes long and is packed to the brim with action. The song starts out kind of slow, but slowly builds to an awe-inspiring crescendo that includes close to 5 minutes of guitar solos that include 16 separate guitar solos by 13 different people. This song just freakin' rules!! The guests on this song include Carl Johan Grimmark (Narnia, Saviour Machine), Howie Simon (Tamplin), Jack Frost (Seven Witches), Jimi Bell (Wayne), Gus G. (Dream Evil, Firewind), and Tom Naumann (Sinner) among others. Great way to end a great album!
Since this is just a Massacre Records promo in a little cardboard sleeve, I can't comment much on packaging, but the cover artwork is pretty sweet. Lyrically, Rock does a magnificent job. His faith in Christ is evident in the way he writes, but he reveals it in a very creative way. My favorites include his cool take on the Biblical story of Pharoah and his bondage of the Israelites in the Old Testament. I also like the fist-pumping "Conqueror's Hymn" that declares that we are "...more than conquerors!!!!". Great stuff.
This excellently produced power metal feast is easily in my top 5 so far this year. Do yourself a favor and support some American metal by buying this disc. If you say you like metal, I see no reason not to. (Review by Matt)