CD Review

Ninth House - “The Eye that Refuses to Blink”

By Marcus Pan

The Eye that Refuses to BlinkNot badly done by any means, Ninth House have a solid gothic rock feel and make-up. They put on a damn good performance having played a show with me once(1) (where I actually picked up the CD for review) and sound just as good on stage as on CD. Made up of Mark Sinnis (vocals/bass/acoustic guitar), Bernard San Juan (guitar) and Francis Xavier (drums), their keyboarding seems to be programmed and used sparingly enough to liven the atmosphere.

The Company You'll Keep has a Last Dance(2) sound to it and Sinnis carries it off well. The only problem with Ninth House is I get that "been there" feeling with it, though it's nice to visit this type of sound every now and again. Xavier pushes the pace a tad faster on the following Murder, standard stuff but competently done. You Can Blame it All On Me has too strong of an overhashed sound that I can't get too into it. It's starting to fall a bit behind me now, comfortable to work with and listen to but nothing reaching out and grabbing me.

Jealousy is low down and smooth, a slow moving ballad that while not far reaching still has a nice groovy tone throughout. Once in an Ordinary Life becomes the best songs on the album, brightening up the atmosphere and speeding up a bit after the plodding Follow the Line. Almost pop in its make-up, its one of the few I'll remember after the CD finishes spinning. Sinnis pulls out all stops on belting this one out.

Forsaken Psalm retains this vocal flair of goodness with a hymn style tune with in depth lyrics and a strong baritone voice. I find myself digging this tune more and more as it picks up steam and grooves out funkily. Their Send Me An Angel remake is quite nice as well.

The Eye That Refuses to Blink is one of those goth rock albums that's good, but will fade from my mind somewhat fast after spinning. It's a little hum-drum, really, but the trio here do a good job of performing it, especially live, even if it doesn't burn its way into my memory banks. Hard review to write, this was.

(1) Dominion @ Club Rare, Manhattan NYC, August 13, 2005.
(2) Their latest, which I really liked, was Whispers in Rage and reviewed in Legends #139.

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