Eyesberg - Claustrophobia - 2021


“... the life of vincent van gogh ...”


"Claustrophobia" is the successor of "Masquerade" and it is the third studio album of the German band Eyesberg. The music on this album is inspired by the life and times in which Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh was living.

Vincent Willem van Gogh (Zundert, March 30, 1853 - Auvers-Sur-Oise, July 29, 1890) was a Dutch painter. His work falls under post-impressionism, an art movement that succeeded nineteenth-century impressionism. Van Gogh's influence on expressionism, fauvism, and early abstraction was enormous and can be seen in many other aspects of twentieth-century art. The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is dedicated to the work of Van Gogh and his contemporaries. The Kröller-Müller Museum houses the second-largest Van Gogh collection in the world. Van Gogh is considered one of the greatest painters of the 19th century. However, this recognition came late" (source: Wikipedia®).

"Claustrophobia" once again features drummer Jimmy Keegan (ex Spock's Beard, Pattern Seeking Animals), who also was responsible for the production and mix. The female backing vocals on this album are from singer Emma Edingloh.


George Alfter - guitars, bass; Norbert Podien - keyboards; Malcolm Shuttleworth - vocals; Jimmy Keegan - drums; Emma Edingloh - (backing) vocals                


Like the previous two studio albums "Blue" and "Masquerade" the music you will find on this fine album could be categorized under the subgenre Neo-Prog. You can find eight new compositions on this album; "Claustrophobia", "Strange Boy", "Walking In Storms", "Salamander Tree", "Sacrifice", "We Want You Out!", "Into The asylum", and "Final Ride".

Vincent van Gogh's work is famous for its beauty, emotion, and color. He struggled with mental illness and remained poor and virtually unknown throughout his life. Apart from his paintings, he is best known for cutting off part of his ear. He shot himself and died from his injuries on July 29, 1890. A sad story you wouldn't expect when you see his colorful and beautiful paintings.

The album opens with one of the highlights of the album, the title track "Claustrophobia". A female voice is calling Vincent several times before lush keyboards take the upper hand. The band is going full throttle with fat keyboard layers, delicious drumming, and melodic guitar parts. The music breathes Genesis during the Phil Collins era. Not only with the keyboards but also because of the voice of Malcolm Shuttleworth which has a resemblance with the voices of Phil Collins (Genesis) and Aragon's singer John Carson. What a great opener this is! "Strange Boy" has great melodic vocal melodies and impressive drum work of Jimmy Keegan. Love the little instrumental accents with the full keyboards and bass (pedals). In "Walking In Storms" the music is more uptempo and sometimes a little bit more hectic. You can enjoy lovely fat bass parts and nice piano and synth melodies. And even some guitar references to the music of Genesis. In the later part of the song, the music becomes more melodic and the fans of Tony Banks (Genesis) will be pleased. The song develops into another personal favorite of mine. The opening of the shorter song "Salamander Tree" has some influences of the old Genesis (Peter Gabriel era). But as soon they came they also disappear. Especially when the vocals of Malcolm Shuttleworth are supported by the vocals of Emma Edingloh. After this little melodic rest point, the band goes full throttle again in "Sacrifice". And again you can enjoy lush keyboards and melodic guitar parts. Towards the end, the tension of the music is building up towards a nice and surprising (anti) climax. "We want You Out!" opens with aggressive guitar parts. One of the shorter songs and because of the rockier guitar work not quite my cup of tea. Luckily this is followed by another highlight, "Into The Asylum" in which the beautiful melodies are returning. Delicious keyboard and guitar parts. I like the vocals of singer Malcolm Shuttleworth more in the slower parts of Eyesberg's music. The song has a little strange ending. Like the opening of the last track "Final Ride". In my opinion, this breaks the consistency of the album a little bit. But I love the fat keyboards in this ending piece. However, in the uptempo parts, the voice of singer Malcolm Shuttleworth is in my opinion over the top and gets a little bit irritating to me. But maybe this is just a personal taste of mine.


Besides my little comments on the uptempo vocals in the more rocky parts, I really enjoyed this fine Neo-Prog album. Maybe it is not so original but the music is simply delicious. Especially for the fans of the Phil Collins era of our beloved Genesis. Check this out for yourselves and find out if this album is an album for you. Enjoy the music!

author - date - rating - label

Douwe Fledderus - April 2021 -  - Progressive Promotion Records