REVIEW: Female fronted NYC progressive rockers Eye Ra Haze release their brooding EP Eye Of The Storm progressive music is somewhat of a boys club. With the exception of a few bands that surfaced between the mid-90’s and now, the female gender has been primarily absent from the world of progressive hard rock and metal. Finally, the wait ends now with the introduction of New York City alternative/progressive quintet EYE RA HAZE. Not only featuring drummer Kevin Corcoran’s (ex-Buried Alive) thunderous beats and Berklee-schooled bassist Chris Marrone’s fresh rhythms, the band also includes the female triple-threat of seductive crooner Natasha Nicholson, striking 8-string guitarist Nicole Papastavrou (ex-Through this Defiance), and captivating classical pianist Karine Catenacci.

Musically, Eye Of The Storm is laden with intricately laced rhythms balanced by dark spatial melodies. This is music that knows the importance of leaving room to breathe between the notes and rhythms in order to create depth and atmosphere. This is not the brand of progressive rock that subscribes to musical excess as a way to flex their musical prowess. Rather, Eye Ra Haze mindfully weave thoughtful sonic constructions that demonstrate mastery through constraint and design. Natasha Nicholson delivers crisp, clear vocals throughout that are an interesting contrast to the music the float on top of. Lyrically things are a little fairly straightforward here, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This is an instrumentally dynamic offering which can be quickly digested and appreciated.

As for their background, EYE RA HAZE is the natural formation of five heavy music lovers who shared the dream of sculpting a nonpareil sound in the alternative and progressive genres. Their blend of delicate, ardent melodies and tumultuous rhythm riffs force EYE RA HAZE to stand apart from the crowd. They craft each song like a passionate, personal encounter, using dynamics to translate their mood and intentions. During the tremors of their live set, EYE RA HAZE exposes a crude display of skills, taking the audience from love to rage and leaving them hung; craving to know the source of their enigmatic dark side, and their intimidating show of beauty.

EYE RA HAZE played their first residency at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn, New York last July. The band is planning a string of live shows in the Northeast this spring and plans to return to the studio in July 2013 to record a full length with hit songwriters Bob Marlette (Saliva, Shinedown) and Jasen Rauch (Korn/Breaking Benjamin).