EYOT is a band comprised of Dejan Ilijic (piano), Milos Vojvodic (drums), Marko Stojiljkovic (bass) and Sladjan Milenovic (guitar) that have played a surplus of shows and festivals in many countries around the world spreading their unique blend of music. Their talent has not gone unnoticed as they were also winners of the Umbria Jazz Balkanic Windows competition 2009 and MIDEM OFF Showcase 2012. They recently released an eight-song album entitled Similarity that is a blend of jazz, ambient, rock and other places in between, the most notable genre being jazz.
Let’s get this out of the way first. These guys are seriously gifted musicians. The pure technical ability alone is enough to enjoy this album. There were times I had to back up the track I was listening to just to make sure what I was hearing was real. For example, the drummer on the second track “Druid” breaks out a jazz beat that is so in sync and in the pocket you would think he is a human metronome.
The first track “How Shall the Dust Storm Start” is a great opener that shows the creative and technical ability of the players. What's fun about the music is you can zero your attention in on one aspect then listen to it as a whole. The bass line is a barrage of notes, the guitarist plays all over the neck while the piano delivers what you could call the focal melody. All the instruments are doing something very different from one another but when it becomes one it is a whirlwind of engaging sounds that work well together
One of the highlights was the third track “Similarity,” which flirts with otherworldly alien type sounds that sound a bit similar to a Theremin (if not an actual Theremin). This track has a very loose feel as if the band is improvising but also is able to hit a couple of dynamic climaxes that establish their way of rocking out. The song becomes very intense and before it ends you hear the final sustain of the guitar.
The band rocks out quite hard on “Nirvana.” They don’t waste any time by busting out of the gate with distorted guitars and crashing drums. The closer “Blessing” is an eight-minute epic full of rich instrumentation and peaks and valleys. I especially enjoyed the way they implemented the horns into this mix.
Similarity is a good album overall and one of the few jazz-based albums this year that really kept my attention.
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