(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Senior Writer/Journalist, RiffRelevant.com)
In this seven song offering, the quintet of vocalist Jonathan Matthys, guitarists Ward Declercq and Kurt Van Damme, bassist Sep Custers, and drummer Fanio Van de Steene, do much to restore faith in the belief that bluesy Stoner Metal is alive. With EOTM, it is not just merely alive, no, it is living it up to the hilt and having a damn good time doing so.
Formed in 2016, EYES ON THE MACHINE are serious about writing good songs and delivering them with professional mastery. The music on this EP is quite solid and if there must be comparative similarities named then let’s go with Mastodon, Pyreship, and Steak. In other words, if you like those bands then you will surely dig this.
Powered by massive, aggressive riffs amid a scathing progressive presentation, songs like the stellar starter “The Search” and later, “Nocturnal“, are quite impressive. Emotionally intense, each yields riveting, epic flare in the music as tempests of metallic turbulence roars forth.
A real highlight of what EYES ON THE MACHINE are capable of comes in their softer, more melodic Alt. Rock or grunge style elements. Those are littered throughout several songs such as “Firewalker“, the phenomenally amazing “My Goddess” (one of my favorites) and the psyche-laden album closing instrumental, “Rebirth“.
Another favorite of mine is “Travels“, a lengthy track – over nine and a half minutes – that explores a lot of musical ground in its journey. It begins quite beautifully, a tranquil, calm unfurling that has an almost country music feel at first. The song slowly, gradually builds a bit before reaching a break point of flurried audio before giving way to a grooving masterpiece.
EYES ON THE MACHINE absolutely nail it on their first time out, coming somewhat out of nowhere with a spectacular album as their introduction. It will be interesting to see, or hear, what they do from this point forward but for now, I think this S/T EP will be a huge cult favorite in the underground.
The EYES ON THE MACHINE début was recorded live in the EOTM rehearsal room by GoToEleven and mastered at Clean And Dirty Recordings. The album’s artwork was created by Dustin Jacobus.