Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Einvera - In Your Image



“Folks, I’m not going to lie to you.  I’m not going to sugarcoat the situation.  This economy is hard and uncaring.  It’s terribly tough right now.  But when I look out on all of your faces tonight, I see strength and determination.  I see a dominant will that refuses to be broken.  I see the architects of our prosperous future.  And that gives me great hope!  Now I want you to take what we’ve talked about today, take this surplus of positive energy, and apply it to your job search.  While you may not be offered a position today or tomorrow, you will see results soon.    I know that you will.  Thank you.”

After the applause died, I stepped down from the stage and began shaking hands and offering individual advice to those in need.  Eventually, after I assisted everyone near me, I noticed an anxious looking man lingering several yards away among the amphitheater seats.  Understanding that he might not be able to approach me due to shyness or uncertainty, I took the initiative and approached him instead.  Sure enough, there was a reason for his reluctance. 

It turns out that he was not actually in need of my help.  No, it was his friend.  When I asked why his friend was not with us he informed me that this friend needed to speak to me privately.  I did not see anything wrong with that so I let the man lead me out of the amphitheater to a small office down the hall.  Before opening the office door he tried to warn me about his friend’s appearance.  I assured him that physical appearances were not important, went through the door, and came face to face with a skeleton pacing the room.  Well that’s new!  Thus began one of the most surreal conversations I’ve had in my life.

“Are you Mr. Penfold?”
“Uhhhhh…sorry.  Yes I am.  Can I help you?”
“Mr. Penfold, I need a job.  I’ve been going crazy inside my crypt with nothing to do.  You have to help me!  Wait…are you laughing?”
“I’m sorry, but I have never been asked for help by a skeleton before.  You’ll have to excuse me.  I couldn’t help but chuckle at the thought of you in a regular office, working in a cubicle or the mail room.”
“Exactly Mr. Penfold!  Exactly!  For obvious reasons, I can’t fit in with the everyday workforce.”
“So what is your dream job?”
“Rodeo clown.”
“You can’t be serious!?”
“Of course not Mr. Penfold.  I was just making sure you were paying attention.”
“Rest assured sir, I am.  Have you thought of a position in the health care industry?”
“Is that some kind of sick joke?”
“Not at all sir.  Surely you know it is one of the fastest growing industries in the world?”
“I’m sorry Mr. Penfold.  You have no way of knowing.  Let’s just say I went through a very traumatic experience related to the world of medicine and leave it at that.”
“Fair enough.  Do you have any marketable skills?”
“Not really.  I hire myself out as a party decoration every Halloween.  That’s pretty much it.”
“Wait a second.  You know what?  That gives me a great idea!  Have you ever thought about doing some modeling work?”
“Clothes hardly ever look flattering on me Mr. Penfold.”
“No, not that kind of modeling.  I mean posing for heavy metal/hard rock album covers.  I know several artists who would kill to have you pose for them.”
“Mr. Penfold.  That doesn’t sound half bad.”

Waveriders let me tell you a story.  Okay not a story…an anecdote.  Being your faithful servant, I am always on the lookout for something new and interesting to bring to your attention.  This typically involves reading several press releases, most of which sound exactly the same.  Monotony quickly sets in, and I let my mind wander.  This is exactly the situation I found myself in when I first looked into Einvera.  I pulled up the press release, read the words ‘multi-instrumental explosion of technical metal’, decided that I knew pretty much what to expect, and zoned out.  Thankfully my eyes kept wandering down the page.  The next thing I knew, a question seemed to form in my head of its own volition.  Did I just see the words glockenspiel and trumpet included in the same sentence citing progressive, death and black metal musical elements?  Why yes.  Yes I had.  Further inspection of said sentence yielded other intriguing words such as banjo, vibraphone, accordion, and pedal steel.  Let me tell you, my mouse would not move fast enough to the play button!  And the glorious music my ears beheld that night well…read on waveriders.

Einvera is a metal powerhouse made up of three young men (Grant, Mike, and Zach) that hails from California.  Their debut album, In Your Image, is a guided missile sent to blow the minds of intelligent metalheads/music fans everywhere.  They clearly do things differently than anyone I’ve ever listened to in the technical metal world.  Their imaginative musical mix-and-match, which is apparent from the very first second of the first track, is something I found immediately irresistible.  Is it technical metal?  You better believe it!  Is it progressive?  Only in the best sense of the word!  What about those death and black metal elements?  Trust me.  They’re found all over this album, especially vocally.  You can’t miss them.  The real mystery here is how the band is able to weave all of these disparate elements together into one seamless concoction.

Opener “Static Ascension” begins with a single snare drum crack, and then it’s off to the races!  Speedy guitars vie for space with a lyrical violin line, a very intricate bassline, and some demented drumming.  While I have certainly heard violins featured in other metal tunes, this playing is unique to my ears.  It lends the song a type of folksiness that I can’t quite put my finger on (and thus making it all the more interesting). Not unique enough for you?  Okay, let’s talk about the second song, “Let In Without A Name (Sea Of Trees)”.  Flamenco trumpet coupled with Spanish-flavored guitar almost had me fooled into thinking I was inadvertently listening to another band before the distorted metal elements kicked in and took over.  Wow!  Seriously, moments of wonder occur at regular intervals all throughout In Your Image.  There is the absolutely insane instrumental “Send Me Home”, the epic undulating title track, and the old school death metal aggression of “The Gift of a Ghost”.

To sum up if you’re a music fan who would like to find something fresh and intriguing to listen to, you’ve come to the right place.  Eivera and their album In Your Image will excite your musical tastebuds, but be careful.  This music is extremely good!  I have firsthand knowledge of how this album can dominate your listening habits for days on end.  Waveriders it may be a little premature but I’m absolutely positive that In Your Image will be among my top ten albums of 2011.  Give it a shot, and it might land squarely on your list too.

--Penfold



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