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EYESBERG

Neo-Prog • Germany


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Eyesberg biography
Eyesberg were found in Frankfurt circa 1980 by a team of five musicians, Georg Alfter, Michael Buchner, Norbert Podien, Thomas Klarmann and English traveler Malcolm Shuttleworth, who settled down in Germany, after playing music in Israel. Apparently this early formation was not very succesful with no documents left from this premature stage. Over 30 years later Klarmann had enjoyed success as a member of ARGOS and SUPERDRAMA, so a new formation was inspired and gathered to give Eyesberg another shot. Klarmann however was not among the participants, this fresh start was made by Malcolm Shuttleworth (vocals), Norbert Podien (keyboards) and Georg Alfter (guitar, bass), but Klarmann's bandmate on Argos Ulf Jacobs was invited to join on drums. The old compositions of the band had been reworked and in 2014 Eyesberg launched their long-awaited debut ''Blue'' on Progressive Promotion Records, an album containing obvious influences from the music of IQ, PENDRAGON and FISH-era MARILLION and a must-have for all fans of the classic 80's-styled Neo Prog style.

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Buy EYESBERG Music


MasqueradeMasquerade
Import
CD Baby 2016
Audio CD$11.59
$12.00 (used)
BlueBlue
CD Baby 2014
Audio CD$14.09
$10.00 (used)
Blue by Eyesberg (2014-08-03)Blue by Eyesberg (2014-08-03)
CD Baby
Audio CD$51.97
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EYESBERG discography


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EYESBERG top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.83 | 44 ratings
Blue
2014
3.74 | 26 ratings
Masquerade
2016

EYESBERG Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

EYESBERG Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

EYESBERG Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

EYESBERG Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Crown Land
2008

EYESBERG Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Masquerade by EYESBERG album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.74 | 26 ratings

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Masquerade
Eyesberg Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars Towards the end of 2016 Eyesberg came back with their second album, this time comprising all new songs. There was no use of a drum machine this time, as they managed to secure the talents of Spock's Beard drummer Jimmy Keegan, and this has had a major impact on the music. No longer are the drums just there to keep the beat and provide backbone, this time they have become very much an essential part of the overall sound as Jimmy drives the guys along ? he never has been one to be content with just playing the beat, he knows when not to play, and when to force proceedings. No longer are the band performing as if they were around more than thirty- five years ago (although they were), now it is more of that time being an influence on what they are doing, which is far harder and heavier than last time around.

The debut album would probably be best described as retro prog, but this one is much further into neo prog territory, with a far more abrasive edge, as if they have lost the innocence of the debut and are far angrier. The two albums are quite different in some respects, and very similar in others, with Malcolm's vocals playing a key part in bringing them together, along with Hackett Genesis influences still obvious in this one, although more diluted than in the debut. Of the two I think I prefer the debut, just, but they are both worthy of discovery to any prog lover,

 Blue by EYESBERG album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.83 | 44 ratings

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Blue
Eyesberg Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars It must be said that Eyesberg are a band with something of a back story. They came together in Frankfurt around 1980, with a line-up Georg Alfter, Michael Buchner, Norbert Podien, Thomas Klarmann and Malcolm Shuttleworth. Although they wrote several songs, they never released an album, and they all went on to other things. Thomas later enjoyed success as a member of Argos and Superdrama, and this spurred some of the others to revisit the old Eyesberg songs and see what they could do with them now. Malcolm Shuttleworth (vocals), Norbert Podien (keyboards, drum programming, backing vocals) and Georg Alfter (guitar, bass), were joined by Klarmann's Argos bandmate Ulf Jacobs on drums, but neither Thomas nor other original member Michael Buchner were involved this time around.

Given that these songs were written more than thirty-five years ago, as opposed to 2014 when they were released, it isn't surprising at all that they have far less in common with modern prog, and the album has quite a retro feel. This is enhanced by the quite large use of flute sounds from the keyboards, and it certainly makes me think of the type of music that Steve Hackett was producing at the time, as well as last Seventies Genesis. It is an incredibly enjoyable piece of work throughout, and the very English vocals of Malcolm come across as a mix of Gabriel and Roger Chapman, with hints of Peter Nicholls. Overall this is a very enjoyable album and I was keen to see if they would stick around to release another.

 Masquerade by EYESBERG album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.74 | 26 ratings

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Masquerade
Eyesberg Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Eyesberg took 34 years to cook up their debut, Blue, but didn't need nearly so long to churn out this successor to the album. It's neo-prog in a style which I'd be inclined to compare to recent Galahad - in that it's got the sort of mild Genesis influences you expect of neo-prog groups of a certain vintage, but greatly updated in terms of the electronic influences they allow to percolate into the music.

It's competently done, but it does rather feel a bit neo-prog-by-numbers at points, and in terms of the lyrical themes they explore the band indulge in the sort of what I think of as "grumpy divorced dad nostalgia" that can plague the neo-prog scene a bit. You know the kind of thing - the sort of sub-Big Big Train griping about how Things Ain't Like They Used To Be (though there's plenty of music from the good old days that reminds us that things weren't so great back then either!). Where I look to neo-prog music for something emotionally engaging - whether that's IQ-style psychedelic excitement, Marillion-esque emotional gravitas, or whatever - Eyesberg instead deliver a lot of rather clueless griping.

Take a case in point: one of the songs starts off with vocalist Malcolm Shuttleworth singing about how social media's terrible and nobody talks anymore. Now, this is a position without credibility (I could go off on a long rant about it, but suffice to say that if you believe people are using social media to the extent of cutting out seeing people in person entirely, I would say that you are either projecting your own boring social isolation onto others or fundamentally misunderstanding how people use it - it's a useful accessory to and facilitator of other interactions, not a replacement for them), but let's set that aside: Facebook launched in 2004, and Twitter launched in 2006. We are dealing here with a social phenomenon which is a decade old; the time when you could pretend to be "with it" and in tune with current issues simply by saying something uninformed and unsupported about social media is well and truly past.

I take issue with this not because I think songs about social media are inherently bad, but I would say that they've been *done already*, and if a band feels the need to do a song about the subject and then entirely fails to say anything new about it beyond some dull platitudes - and, even worse, doesn't even manage to dress up the platitudes in a way I haven't heard a dozen times before - that suggests that they are rather short of ideas. And that's how I'd characterise Eyesberg: they churn out pleasant enough material, I wouldn't rate the album below three stars, but until they start doing something I haven't heard before too many times already they're not going to get beyond three stars.

 Masquerade by EYESBERG album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.74 | 26 ratings

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Masquerade
Eyesberg Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

3 stars For yet another time I've been alerted by PA to good old German neo-prog... This is what I call pensioner's prog - prog played by 50-somethings for the 50-somethings (not there yet, but close). How can you tell? If the singer sounds like he's from Genesis and laments the effect of social media on human relationships. I don't mean to say that it's lethargic. Joke on you opens quite energetically, in fact. It's just that it doesn't explore any edges, not venturing from the middle of what this kind of music is supposed to sound like - melodic but unassuming prog-lite. Good accompaniment for house cleaning on a lazy day.
 Masquerade by EYESBERG album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.74 | 26 ratings

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Masquerade
Eyesberg Neo-Prog

Review by Rayx

5 stars EYESBERG burst onto the progressive music scene two years ago with the release of their album BLUE ? a collection of 30-year-old songs that had been re-recorded and revamped using modern technology. BLUE quite rightly received rave reviews and now they are back with the follow-up MASQUERADE ? this time a collection of new material. And what a gem of an album it is. A dynamic mix of hard and heavy sounds, breathtaking guitar and synth solos, awesome melodies and intricate, diverse arrangements that somehow magically blend together. The scene is set with the opener JOKE ON YOU ? as heavy guitar-laden and organ passages, augmented with driving drums and bass, are suddenly replaced with gentle lilting harmonies from guitar and vocals. The song then builds into a wonderful crescendo as mini moog and lead guitar take over. COME AND TAKE A LOOK AT MY LIFE is a very poignant track, the lyrics dealing with the refugee crisis in Europe. Here lyricist/vocalist Malcolm Shuttleworth really comes into his own with some wonderful vocal work, especially during the chorus, featuring the wonderfully Gabriel-like lyrics: "Loitering with intent to hang around?" FACELESS is a unique song for a progressive album. It could actually be a hit single. That said, the song is extremely complex with fine guitar work by Georg Alfter and superb flute solos. (Which I can only assume came from the wonders of modern technology, as no flutist was credited on the sleeve.) I love the line: "Faceless on Facebook, what's up with Whatsapp?" HERE AND NOW is simply superb. Haunting melodies (especially the flute intro), meandering solo guitar throughout and a nice driving drum rhythm ? played by guest musician Jimmy Keegan of Spock's Beard. The middle part features several subtle touches from keyboarder Norbert Podien. STORM FLOOD is perhaps the album's low point. A rather-long-winded instrumental that does not really go anywhere. STEAL YOUR THUNDER is one of those spine-tingling songs that is hard to describe. Perhaps the most perfect song on the album. Outstanding vocals, quite wonderful piano, exquisite guitar parts, great melodies. A true masterpiece. EYESBERG save the best until last. The 18-minute WAIT AND SEE, which apparently tells the band's story, encapsulates what this wonderful band is all about. Drama, suspense, diversity and majesty all rolled together in an epic song that simply cannot be surpassed. A fitting end to a truly remarkable piece of work. Overall a wonderful production, sounding fresh and extremely well-produced. The only thing EYESBERG need to worry about is how they can possibly follow this?

RAY X ? Cologne 2016

 Blue by EYESBERG album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.83 | 44 ratings

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Blue
Eyesberg Neo-Prog

Review by maryes

3 stars 3,5 stars !!! This album is a enjoyable surprise, because , on the contrary of most of the Germany bands , the music in EYESBERG "Blue" is very "graceful" and "light" in instrumentation in comparison with "mainstream" of musical style from German bands. Although, some people could think " is a simple remake of the British neo-prog style" (with a certain reason) but, I really not think this. However be iimplicit in almost 12 tracks of the disk the presence of influences of Marillion, IQ, Iluvatar and obviously Genesis ( the vocals is very close to Phill Collins) the album reserves some great moments which make to deserve at least one audition. The first of this moments is the Track 2 "Epitaph" with strong Genesis "appeal", mixing energic and soft moments and a flute intermissions which gives a certain "pastoral landscape" to the track. Other of these moments is the track 4 "Winter Gone" a very beautiful ballad, and finally the last track ". Detachment and Replacement " full of "energy" and great instrumental moments. In spite of some "weak" moments , such as track 5 "Impulsive" ( almost a disco-music) and track 9 "Porcelain" with a certain "techno-pop" inspiration. In a general way is a good album , my rate is 3 stars !!!
 Blue by EYESBERG album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.83 | 44 ratings

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Blue
Eyesberg Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German band EYESBERG was originally active from the late '70s until the early '80s, but without ever recording any material in their initial phase of existence. A few years back the band was resurrected, and from what I understand, their belated debut album "Blue", released through Progressive Promotion Records, primarily consists of material from the band's initial phase some 30 odd years ago.

A few late tracks aside, "Blue" comes across as a charming take on the more accessible side of Genesis sometime around 1980, with compositions that combine accessible features and a progressive rock-oriented approach in an elegant and keyboards-dominated manner, complete with a lead vocalist with a voice and tone reminding of Phil Collins. As such an album that those with a taste for Genesis as they appeared sometime around 1980 might want to investigate.

 Blue by EYESBERG album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.83 | 44 ratings

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Blue
Eyesberg Neo-Prog

Review by Gerinski
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Eyesberg are a veteran German band who were playing already in the late 1970's and early 1980's but their original music never got released. 30 years later three of the original members (guitar & bass player Georg Alfter, keyboardist Norbert Podien and Germany-based British singer Malcolm Shuttleworth), encouraged by the modern easier possibilities to record and release an album, decided to rework their old stuff and finally release it.

Fortunately they got the collaboration from drummer Ulf Jacobs from Argos, a band formed by another of the original Eyesberg members Thomas Klarmann, instead of having to resort to programmed drum tracks. Ulf's drumming is really good and fits the music well.

The music and sound are reminiscent of 80's ' 90's Genesis mixed with 80's Camel and other Neo bands like Illuvatar, Quidam or Everon. Shuttleworth's voice frequently sounds similar to Phil Collins, occasionally adopting a more theatrical style which can remind of Fish, although with a more positive spirit instead of the frequent sombreness of the latter.

Highly melodic and easy-listening tunes, where the progginess comes more from frequent breaks and tempo and section changes rather than odd time signatures per se or technicality show-offs. Most songs are relatively short (around the 5 min mark) and yet they contain several sections so they flow nicely, nothing gets too long and the transitions are always fitting and nicely resolved, unlike other bands whose transitions sound patchy and forced.

Guitars are Rothery / Latimer influenced, melodic and never too distorted. Soloing by guitar and keys are often more melodic lines rather than traditional rock soloing. Flute sounds are frequently used, even in some uptempo sections, giving some Camel-esque or Quidam-esque vibe, although no flute player is credited so I assume they are produced with the keyboards.

The tracks contain a variety of tempos and dynamic patterns and they are well arranged in terms of sequence so the complete album has a nice dynamic flow. I find the last two tracks rather weak and they could have been dropped making a better 50 min album, and 'Winter Gone' is a bit cheesy, sounding like a Phil Collins ballad but it's not bad, and for the rest all the tracks are at a similarly good quality level. The production is good and clear from what I can say from listening to the album on Progstreaming via my computer and hi-fi system.

There's nothing too spectacular in this album but the music is well composed, arranged and performed. I would say, excellent addition for Neo fans, while harder-edged proggers will probably find it a bit bland.

 Blue by EYESBERG album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.83 | 44 ratings

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Blue
Eyesberg Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars EYESBERG is a British-German outfit consisting of Malcolm Shuttleworth on vocals, Norbert Podien (keyboards) and Georg Alfter on guitar and bass that I accidently discovered on progstreaming that captured my attention from the very first few seconds, a serious bunch of older gentlemen who seemingly are seasoned pros in the art of divine prog , sprinkled with clever melodies, sparkling soloing and a truly inspiring lead vocalist, all conspiring to dilute the interval between accessible and creative. They enjoy muscular deliveries, remindful at times of Spooky Tooth, Saga, Supertramp, as well as obvious Genesis and early Marillion, applied with deliberate talent and zealous confidence. Each piece has a gargantuan melody, garlanded by smoking keyboards, furious beat and manly guitar, I mean the instrumental foundation is absolutely first rate, I even caught myself wondering 'who are these older dudes'? Recently, via a poll on PA to find vocalists who could sing like Phil Collins (beyond his son Simon), there were only a few candidates like Nad Sylvan (Unifaun, Hackett) as well as Glenn MacLaughlin of Iluvatar but my vote goes to Malcolm Shuttleworth , who can ,and often is, a dead ringer for the ex-Genesis frontman.

Effervescent synthesizer salvos greet the unsuspecting listener, as a power riff cruncher then takes over with solid rhythmic pressure courtesy of veteran drummer Ulf Jacobs (Argos). "Child's Play" introduces a typical neo-prog atmosphere, a stories universe of sound and verse that exudes both warmth and intelligence. This is a fine opener, a harbinger of what is to come, a series of bright, crisp and attractive compositions firmly encamped in the neo camp.

The spectacular "Epitaph" has Malcolm shadowing Uncle Phil Collins rather brilliantly without any overt drool, just a hefty load of melodrama to spur the moment along. Norbert Podien has his ivories harrumphing like a slew of elephants in a peanut gallery, blitzkrieg guitar flurries help to elevate the pleasure but the rich melodies are the main attraction.

Right behind is another winner, the divine "Closed Until the Resurrection" (now that is wordplay if I ever read one) which motors right from the start with guzzling guitar and slippery synth whooshes, the Collins reference is immediate and strangely comforting, as if re-mindful of what Genesis could have been , had it decided to remain firmly a symph/neo-prog spearhead. A spooky keyboard mid-section does wonders for the soul as Shuttleworth gets into his storytelling mode , here closer to Fish than anyone else. The guitar is both brash and splashy, equally entrancing in rhythm or lead mode, highlighting an already delicious track.

The delicate flute ponders its place in the mixture, veering initially into Ant Phillips circa The Ghost and the Geese territory, as "Winter Gone" could have easily been a prog radio hit as the tune just blooms into a lovely balled dripping with Trick of the Tail era magic. Everything impresses immediately and is extremely enjoyable.

This same aura is repeated on the following "Inquisitive", another lively affair that remains brief but playful. Prog-pop is admittedly not everyone's cup of tea but on occasion, you need some simple snack food to calm the urges and satisfy the hunger for easily digestible fare. This is just pure fun, nothing more, nothing less.

The obvious crowning achievement here is "Feed Yourself" an 8 minute prog slice that has a slow burning fuse intro that will sweep one off their feet, a howling mellotron hurricane that will blow you sideways. Malcolm really comes across as a cool lead vocalist, doing a fine mix of Phil Collins, Fish, Cy Curnin (The Fixx) and Michael Sadler. The guitar blasts furiously, always in a riotous exaltation, Jacobs slamming hard, while the synthesizers carve their stone. Richly dense, the groove is relentless and awe-inspiring! This should be heralded as a classic 2014 prog epic, a suave box of candied musical arrangements and dramatic vocals that cannot disappoint even the distant fan.

After a brief intro, five songs are featured in intervals of 5 and 3 minute pieces, showing their more accessible side. "Faces on my Way" is perhaps a bit weaker than all the previous glory but is still not filler by any stretch. Just a slight jazzier approach, with fluid guitar and keyboard interventions that inspire another solid vocal performance. The 3 minute "Porcelain" is fast and furious, catchy and fun as well as featuring some nimble back and forth soloing between synths and axes. The attention to details is obvious, a carefully clever manipulation of the senses, as the music balanced between familiar and unexpected. This is best exemplified in glowing colour on a track such as "If I told you the truth", a pop song with balls, commercial at first but the musical prowess soon shows itself to be seductively overwhelming. I could have done without the 'baby' pseudo-R&B inserts but that is nit-picking, the piece is a well-crafted, bombastic and toe-tapping ride. "SII" is almost like a modern version of "Smoke on the Water", staunch guitar riffing with juicy solos and escorted by slippery supersonic synths flying overhead, you will cream your jeans here, boys and girls! Smooooookin'! The intent is again to highlight a sense of enjoyment and not necessarily a stab at crowning the hopeless charts, as music like this will never appeal to the current market anyway, too many solos and sharp playing for such an apathetic crowd. The disc finishes off with a Spooky Tooth/Uriah Heep vibe on the next one, 'a real rockinrolla'! bullied by a vituperative organ and a choppy blues style. "Detachment and Replacement" is a fine finale.

This is an ear catching debut album with some great pieces, their next one should determine their place in prog . I for one suggest to expand the progressive tendencies even further and delve into even more complex arrangements as well as wilder tonal explorations and maybe even reconnoiter some more profound themes. A pleasant azure artwork seals the teal (oops I mean, deal), a fantastic discovery that needs a wider audience. Devout Genesis fans unite and search out "Blue"!

4 floating ocular cubes

 Blue by EYESBERG album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.83 | 44 ratings

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Blue
Eyesberg Neo-Prog

Review by OneOpinion

4 stars Very enjoyable album from a new group out of Frankfurt, Germany. They have played together before in other bands and it shows. They do not sound like a new band. Their decades of experience shines through. The production is very clear allowing every instrument to be heard. The vocals are quite good and on a few songs I hear traces of Peter Gabriel. Those particular songs even have an overall Genesis vibe to them. He does have a varied delivery so that on other songs the vocals are different. No accent either, not that that always bothers me. He actually sounds English! Ha, that's because he is. He, M. Shuttleworth, is apparently the only non-German member. The album is filled with great guitar solos. Keyboards have a prominent role as well. Very enjoyable. The guest drummer, Ulf Jacobs, is excellent. I would sign him up permanently if I were the band. There is also some good flute work on some songs but not listed in the credits. Great debut! Highly recommended. Looking forward to their next one.
Thanks to apps79 for the artist addition.

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