Norwegian prog rock band Electric Eye have literally brought a storm with them for their sophomore album, Different Sun. Whilst making the album, a hurricane swept through the the town of Bergen and the effects could be felt for a week afterwards; in the Broen Studio, where the band were recording the walls would shake from the constant thunder, lightning and wind. Luckily the band have not wasted this inspiration to create a vast musical landscape of isolation, desolation and beauty.
The opening track, Silent By The River certainly feels like the calm after the storm with Anders Bjelland setting down and eerie swirling synth intro and plenty of electro energy to help boost the track. The band continue to play with sound throughout the record; Heavy Steps On Desert Floor messes heavily with echo and reverb, it feels as though you have been cast into the depths of space where you are just floating along, before Øyvind Hegg-Lunde's dynamic drum riff reels you back in. It's all very heady and trippy. Mercury Rise has an air of glam rock about it with fuzzy guitars and a jangly psychedelic melody. Njål Clementsen's bass is the constant metronome, the heartbeat of the band, with solid runs that gives the tracks weight and depth. Never Fade Away has that sinister organ sound layered with a funk based riff. It makes you feel a little uneasy, but you can't help getting into the groove of the track.
Their lyrics are narrative, painting a picture for us continually which is enhanced by the atmospherics of the music. Øystein Braut's vocals are unflinching and dry, which fits in well with the robotic electro sound. In contrast his guitar work is tender and emotive. The intriguingly titled Part One ends the album with an uncertainty and a macabre stillness that leaves us in a no-mans land of sound, waiting for that storm to resurface, yet all we have is silence...
The album is terrifically produced and mixed by Jørgen Træen who manages to isolate the band's instruments dropping them in and out of audio domination to make the best use the texture of the soundscape. Different Sun is a well thought out album from the Nordic progsters. It's bleak at times, yet very cinematic and quietly beautiful in its execution.