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TRACK LIST: 1. The Anger of Zeus 4:33 2. Bilbo Is Back 2:35 3. Vamos a Ver 3:58 4. Skydiver 5:07 5. Once Upon a Time 2:09 6. The Coronation 3:46 7. Inner Visions 4:57 8. Meta Luna 4:55 9. Sleeping Beauty 5:41 10. Desperado 4:57 11. Lumania 10:42 12. Peace Piece 3:12 All tracks: by Mueller. SOLO PILOT: Alfred Mueller - keyboards; sampling & programming
Prolusion. The third output by Germany's one-man project Soniq Theater is traditionally titled rather simply: "The Third Eye" and is, still, a homemade recording.
Synopsis. I am well acquainted with both of the previous albums by Alfred Mueller: >"Soniq Theater" and >"A Second Action". But while I was trying my best to support this musician before, I feel I can't and I shouldn't do it any longer. I pointed out weak spots to Alfred more than once, so now I see it was useless to do so and give him pieces of good advice as well. On his regular recording Alfred, as usual, plays synthesizers and electronic percussion and uses a drum machine, "emulated guitars and bass", as well as the sounds of some acoustic instruments. According to the album press kit, he also sings on Inner Vision and Sleeping Beauty, but there is nothing but the spoken titles of the tracks, just repeated a few times. In short, "The Third Eye" is an all-instrumental electronically symphonic substance, just like both of the other albums by Alfred, and is very much in the same vein. You may laugh, but I am not going to continue describing it, at least not in any detail. It's enough to read the review of the previous Soniq Theater album to have a rather clear idea of what the new one is about, frankly. Overall, nothing has changed with regard to the style, composition, performance, mastery, etc, either. Of course, the sound is still very synthetic, plastic-like, as well, and this is the principal drawback (glaring defect!) of everything created by the project.
Conclusion. Compositionally, "The Third Eye" is a good album showing that Mueller is a decent composer and arranger, who, in addition, plays keyboards well and is able to manage modern synthesizers. On the other hand, however, it shows that Soniq Theater and stagnation have become convertible terms (quite logically). The heights that many other one-man projects, such as his countryman Arne Schafer's >Apogee, just for instance, have reached will never submit to Alfred until he changes his semi-professional, if not to say amateurish, approach to producing music.
VM: April 13, 2004
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