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On disc: Blind Ego

- Mirror - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars


(Red Fam Records - 2007)

Blind Ego is the solo project of RPWL guitarist Kalle Wallner and Mirror is the first release as a solo artist. Mastermind Wallner explains that the name is a very logical choice, coz when you do a solo project you have to be egoistic and blind to outside influences. Kalle collected ideas and songs over the period of 3 years and even if it wasn't planned the lyrics reflect his life - like a mirror. After demoing he contacted some well-known musicians and got support by Frost / IQ-bassist John Jowitt (ex-Arena), John Mitchell (Arena, Frost, Kino and It Bites) and Paul Wrightson (ex-Arena) sharing vocal duties. Mitchell is singing the rock tunes and Wrightson does the more mellow ones. Musically this is in a way a heavier version of RPWL.... NeoProg rock... Art rock with Floydian sound elements.
Grooving guitar riffs opening up Obsession. Catchy prog rock and a good choice to get into Blind Ego's world. The following Moon And Sun is the first highlight on Mirror. A slow, balladesque tune with a beautiful melody which let you slip into a dreamworld. While Break You puts you under a spell. The rhythmical - partly distorted - vocals grab your attention and you can't stop listening. The song has a slight 80's electro-pop attitude.. combined with art rock elements and spherical sounds. Heavy and with a cool drum beat starts off Open Sore. An up-tempo tune has a metal appeal due to the heavy guitar riffing which builds a counterpart to the melodic sound spheres. Vocals wouldn't do this one any good, so it's a good decision to let the music do the talking. Even if I'm not a big fan of instrumentals, this one wouldn't get any better with vocals. The short Hollowed is a small piece of sounds and builds a bridge to the following title track. Mirror is more based in the progressive metal world it seems when it starts with heavy riffing, but when the vocals set in the song gets some Marillion-ish outfit. And the vocals remind me a bit of Fish... Lyrically this song is also very interesting, coz it's about self-reflection and inner strife. It gets very complex with Forbidden To Remain. A keyboard-based song which seems to be a homage to Pink Floyd, coz this has more then just reminiscences. Especially with psychedelic part makes this sound Floyd-ish. But it's the soundscapes, too.
If you are down and depressed, then don't listen to Black Despair! This song is full of sadness. Acoustic guitar and vocals - that's all it takes -, well later keyboard sounds take you into a dark, depressive world. No words needed - you can feel the sadness and you'll drown in this sadness... Don't Ask Me Why also has a sad note, but at the same time there is hope. Another beautiful song.
If you want to check out Mirror, listen to the title track, Don't Ask Me Why and Forbidden To Remain.
The last track on Mirror is a kind of bonus track. The song Artist Manqué is a new arranged version of the Violent District song - Violent District was the predecessor of RPWL - and gives a glimpse at the past of Wallner and RPWL.

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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