In the music world it isn't often that you hear of many bands or artists coming out of the sleepy state of Maine. I mean let's face it, Maine isn't exactly known as being a hotbed for culture and creativity. If anything, most people just think of our country's northernmost state as the place where lobsters, blueberries and coffee brandy comes from. And as delicious as these things are (especially the coffee brandy), Maine has been known from time to time to deliver more then just the exports that reinforce its unwanted stereotypes. That said, the Portland based, prog-rock quintet aptly known as Five of the Eye's just so happens to be a shining example of one of those rare but wildly significant exports. In recent years, few bands have made as big of an impact on the Maine music scene as 5OTE. Now with the bands highly anticipated forthcoming full-length album The Venus Transit it has become abundantly clear that Portland's honorary ambassadors of rock are in it for the long haul and have set their sights on greener pastures, bigger stages, and the beautiful burden and privilege of being a full-time touring act.
The album which was produced and engineered by Jonathan Wyman at The Halo Studio in Portland, ME musically picks-up where the band left off with their self-produced sophomore EP Hierophantasm. However with Wyman acting as both producer and engineer, the songs off The Venus Transit soar to stunning new heights, previously unachievable in the confines of the bands home studio. The flawless fidelity matched by equally impressive performances by all five members, makes for a listening experience unlike anything that the band has produced to date. Singer Darrell Foster's jaw dropping voice seems bound by neither range, power, or tone and brings to mind the limitless pipes of singers like Anthony Green of Circa Survive and Cedric Bixler-Zavala of The Mars Volta. Brothers Tim and Thomas Meehan bring their biological synchronicity to the band and shred fearlessly (on guitar and bass respectively) on every track as if their lives depended on it; injecting the music with harmonious riffs, that are both as technical as they are tasteful. Drummer extroardinaire Peter Griffith holds down the backbeat with his impeccable timing, precision playing and a Tazmanian Devil level of energy that propels the songs forward at a breakneck pace. And last but certainly not least is rhythm guitarist Ned Rich whose laid-back demeanor may trick you at first, but don't be fooled people. Put the man on stage with a guitar and he's all business. Rich attacks the instrument with the tunnel-vision focus of a surgeon and the tentacle dexterity of an octopus.
The Venus Transit was mastered by Grammy award winning engineer Adam Ayan at Gateway Mastering Studio's which is known around the world for pretty much mastering every great record that you've ever heard. Ok, well not every album but just about. In short, the record sounds incredible and will appeal to and or impress music lovers of all types. To try and pigeon hole the band into one genre would be to do them a massive disservice, because while they tend to toe the prog-rock line, Five of the Eyes have dedicated themselves to creating a sound and aesthetic that is uniquely their own. Now with a stellar new album under their belt, a fall tour on the books, and a hunger to be heard, these five small-town boys are ready to take on the world one face-melting show at a time. The Venus Transit is set for release on September 29th, 2017.