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ICI D'AILLEURS

Third Eye Foundation

Wake The Dead

    There was a time when The Third Eye Foundation was the mirror of the world from which the group drew its substance. But the reflection faded and dirt accumulated so it only provided deformed images and gradually became the world's shadow. This willingness to look at and express images and words about humans and their environment has since been embodied in the completely open face of its founder, Matt Elliott. Thus, The Third Eye Foundation is a discrete entity, the opposite of what Matt Elliott may otherwise represent.

    The Third Eye Foundation is not a project based on openness. The Third Eye Foundation builds walls topped with barbed wire. The Third Eye Foundation captures you, locks you into its universe and keeps you there. It is no longer a question of finding a balance between dark shadows and light. Eight years ago already, The Dark already portrayed this state of affairs. Today, Wake The Dead is banging the last nails into the boards that make up the barricades. If you want to wake the dead, you have to get into the right shape and frame of mind. You need to accept that black is the only valid colour and that it is futile to rely on your imagination to create a way out. Death is a prison for the living. To enter and abandon yourself is a way of temporarily waking those whose absence haunts your memories.

    Wake The Dead is like a key which attempts to open the doors of memory. Waking the dead is not a question of meaning but rather of sensations. Free will and free thought have no place here - in the universe of The Third Eye Foundation, humans are no more than a simple product of their environment. This may seem extremely violent and dehumanizing but it is not the case at all. We just need to get rid of our certainties, empty ourselves and put ourselves on the same level as those we consider to be "the other". And that's probably the greatest quality of an album like Wake The Dead. 

    The new Matt Elliott album The Calm Before, its 7th under his own name. Matt has once again requested producer David Chalmin and the musicians appearing on his previous record to deliver six new masterpiece songs following the "A Beginning" intro. While one could consider these new songs are a logical continuum to his previous records, a deeper listen reveals a strong work of both the musical and lyrical content, showing once and for all what Matt Elliott's art is about. Folk guitar virtuosity playing influenced by mediterranean countries as well as eastern Europe countries, songs starting from whispered melodies to full noisy storms, his deep and strong voice reaching another singing level, and his tendency to avoid any well known way of making the music, writing epic anthems.

    But one should also consider Matt's poetry as an art on its own. We tried to ask him to develop the themes of these new songs, but Matt hates talking about his lyrics, preferring to leave the meanings of the songs open to interpretation. But we took everyone and everything Matt loves and put them in a room and threatened it with fire until he actually told us what the hell the songs on "The Calm Before" are about. Here's the result : "'The Calm Before' is obviously a reference to the expression 'The calm before the storm'. The song itself is about those points in life when a storm arrives, be it a circumstance or a person & the mix of feelings, turbulence, trouble that comes with it but a storm also brings something, it clears the air & can push you into a new situation."

    'The Feast of St. Stephen' is a self explanatory song about his thoughts about his childhood & the psychological pressures, abuses and manipulations present in all social groups in organised religion. To him : "'I Only Wanted to Give You Everything' needs no explanation, the lyrics are clear and the music expresses the frustrations of rejection. 'Wings & Crown' is a song about those who ride high oblivious to the precariousness of their power. "'The Allegory of the Cave' is very obviously about Plato's famous allegory and if you don't know that then you should probably just give up and walk into the desert… . But seriously the allegory is about humanity in relationship to the great universe and what lies beyond the Pale. Matt Elliott delivers with The Calm Before another masterpiece, adding a precious stone in his path through contemporary folk music.

    "Howling Songs" is the magnificent third and last part to the 'songs trilogy'. This is a very haunted and personal piece of music which is the testimony of a unique talent where moving melodies follow other moving melodies balancing between ballad songs and folk music, madness and reason, revolt and despair. "Howling Songs" sympathizes with the surrounding world; it is a definitive observation in which one can feel, throughout the songs, an outraged sensitivity which is the signature of the artist. It is all the more sensitive that Matt's voice is sometimes present without any chorus in the background, bringing to the whole both confidence and unquestionable heat. "Howling Songs" is, without a doubt, the most introspective album by Matt Elliott and the one which carries best his musical personality. Fans of Nick Drake, Yann Tiersen, Crippled black phoenix, Wovenhand will enjoy Elliott's powerful songwriting and outraged sensitivity.


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