The Eye Of Time:
Though the accompanying press release suggests that the recording should appeal to fans of Autechre, Dalek, The Panacea, and Tim Hecker, Marc Euvrie's self-titled The Eye of Time collection is closer in spirit to Third Eye Foundation, specifically the early incarnation captured on 1997's Ghost (song titles on that album like “Corpses as Bedmates” and “I've Seen The Light and It's Dark” also indicate that Third Eye Foundation's Matt Elliott is a kindred spirit to Euvrie). There's the same raw production style plus a similar phalanx of seething guitar wail and frenetic drum programming that's like some crude version of early jungle. That connection is never more evident than during “After Us,” which drenches a stuttering funk groove with gothic wailing and a bleating drone of grizzled six-strings. Generally speaking, Euvrie's music is strongly rooted in gothic-industrial electronica, but it has ties to classical, too (heard conspicuously in the opening minutes of “What am I Less? What Took the Road?” where a piano lament dominates). Though The Eye of Time is his first solo project, Euvrie was once a part of the French punk and hardcore scene, and that background is clearly evident in the tone of the album material, which was assembled from samples, electronic programming, loops, drones, piano parts, field recordings, and cello playing performed by Euvrie.
Three distinct parts are spread across two CDs, with the hour-long first presenting After Us (2006) and the fifty-four-minute second Jail (2008) and Lily on the Valley (2005). The compositional style is epic and apocalyptic, qualities also reflected in the photographic illustrations displayed in the thirty-page mini-booklet within the deluxe four-panel package. Deathly images of destruction and mayhem, whether it be a city burning to the ground or faceless humans sporting smudged, Francis Bacon-like features, dominate the booklet and reinforce the ambitious project's bleak sensibility. All of the tracks and images are intended to reflect Euvrie's views on the world, and consequently the recording plays like an in-depth transcription of his psyche, one that witnesses him dealing with depression, despair, and resignation, and exploring whether such feelings can be overcome in today's world.
Along the way, one confronts brain-addled combinations of mad Dr. Phibes-styled organ playing and convulsive breakbeats (“My Hate is a Gun, See the Smile on My Face,” “My Hope Took the Road”), blustery howls of anguish (“Away and Lost, I Cry the Error (Big Letters Are Important)”), and thunderous grooves (“Begin, Wait, Watch, Play,” “Use Your Wings for What They Are”). “Let's Party to the Death's Birthday!” surprises by first pairing a boombastic funk pulse with a blaze of multi-tracked cellos before inexplicably morphing into an exercise in nightmarish, jazz-styled swing. No fool he, Euvrie wisely leavens the doom-laden intensity with moments of contrast, such that the more relentless, beat-driven tracks rub elbows with relatively quieter settings (e.g., the gloomy synth-prog meditations “Birds and Lands” and “Once They Where [sic] Happy and Brought the Nothingness”). There are moments that resemble the squealing of a butchered pig (the blistering “Time Has Come,” where it seems oblivion is but a breath away) but also moments of delicacy and even poignancy (the opening three minutes of “The Distance Between You and the Rest”). It's not a pretty soundtrack by any stretch and not terribly subtle either, but it is honest and sincere, and furthermore a recording that'll appeal to those with a compelling need to share Euvrie's dark vision and perhaps experience some degree of catharsis of their own in doing so.