Eyes of Eva | Temptation | Self-Released

Local Review: Eyes of Eva – Temptation

Local Music Reviews

Eyes of Eva

Street: 03.31
Eyes of Eva = The Rigs x Halestorm – Skillet

Have you ever had your high school sweetheart rip your soul out and found yourself staggering home on a rainy, autumn night? That’s about how I felt after listening to Eyes of Eva’s debut album, Temptation.

For any late-20s adult who grew up with edgy rock ballads from the likes of Shinedown or All That Remains, this emotional nu-metal group breathes new life into the music genre. Fairly fresh to the music scene, guitarist Brandon Watson and bassist Dustin Ballew had been jamming out together for many years. The two teamed up for a new project in 2021: A physical, picture-perfect mouthpiece of the art style and music they’ve loved for so many years. That’s when they brought on eerie percussion from Damon Evans and topped off their hardcore, Rocky Road sundae with the soulful cherry—vocalist Shawnii Beeler

Along comes Temptation, the band’s 10-track launchpad that feels like cracking open a time capsule from the early 2010s. All that’s missing is a stretchy, hotrod pink “I love boobies” bracelet and a crisp Kony 2012 poster and I’d be living. The album revives the style to full power and holds its weight out more than just a “blast from the past” tribute. With robust, catacomb-echoing guitar work and Beeler’s slasher vocals,  the album stands pretty fucking high above most of the Salt Lake rock scene. 

Their somewhat self-referencing track “Eva” drills at an angsty somberness. It gives a slow, headbanger vibe from the finger-plucking groan at the start to the slow-motion chorus that hangs you on every word and an everlasting lyric that still sticks with me: “Help me find the light again.” For some ungodly reason, this lyric evaluates me, only to drop me directly through numbing hellfire. The last song to floor me with sheer goosebumps like this was from the bellowing shouts off of P.O.D.’s “Alive.”

The track “Firefly” spills oily tones into a tarpit of utter grit. Dreary and warped drones interplay with a dusty New Order drum kit for a mix that could easily fit on the soundtrack for Zach Snyder’s Sucker Punch. It makes me want to throw on a silky schoolgirl outfit and dominate steampunk robots in a WWI trench—what more could you want?

A few of the tunes, such as “Liquid Burn” or “Hollow,” might not pack the punch of the first two, but their grainy, Southern drawl could easily rest in a Magna dive bar’s jukebox; they’re the slow-burn jams that keep the barstool warm and make you want to stay till last call. The track possesses a melancholy akin to System Of A Down’s “Lonely Day” but doesn’t make your viewpoint completely hopeless: It’s more like brushing off those bad moments, getting a rest and trucking on.

As much praise as I want to give, there will be a fair share of eye rolls. Some rock listeners might find the band’s sound repetitive of a past rock methodology; something old is something “nu,” per se. The band shows their true colors by sticking with what they know and love, and I respect that more than anything. Through the vast wasteland of shoddy dad rock or the rerun-to-shit metal classics that pollute radio sound waves, Eyes of Eva really gave some balls back to a genre that’s become a mockery. –Alton Barnhart 

Read more on local metal:
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