Under the Eye is the third full-lenght of Harald Mentor's ritualistic black metal band Ride For Revenge. Eschewing the basic traits of black metal, fast songs with tremolo riffing with notable lack of low-end in the production, Ride For Revenge write songs that are slow, ritualistic and dark.

Other notable features of band's music is the favouring of low-end, in the beginning to the point where guitar and bass were quite hard to distinguish from each other. On this album there has been changes in the production as guitar is far more disorted than it has been in the past and the mix is more balanced. The production with the songwriting give this album an extremely dark, brooding atmosphere, becoming one of the few black metal albums that actually deliver on atmosphere front and doesn't feel like pointless pretending.

The song-writing has become more experimental than in the past, too, both in basic song structures and additions of strange synths and pieces of noise between and during songs. While before the songs were primaly slow and carried by simple drum beat here there are faster parts, more innovation within the confines of the basic structure of Ride For Revenge's style and generally the album is more memorable affair than the two previous.

Harald's involvement in noise/power electronics started to become part of Ride For Revenge in time of Wisdom of the Few LP and became even more pronounced on the bands third full-lenght. Even more songs incorporate pure noise/rumbling that would not be out of place in some power electronics tape. These parts accentuate the dark atmosphere of the songs and are certainly designed to be parts of songs rather than random pieces thrown in just because band wanted to have some noise in their songs. These coupled with strange synth sounds, more experimental song structures and better production values make this best Ride For Revenge album thus far.

Packaging of the album is quite suitable, coming in gatefold covers. Instead of cliché imagery the band have chosen to feature prominently a design of hawk on the front cover. There is a picture of eagles eye and a man riding a horse on the packagin too but other than that there is only text. Lyrics are included with the packaging and while the english used in the songs are somewhat weak a feeling of honesty and that they contain something deeper than mere sounding evil to sound evil permeates them.

If it hasn't yet become clear, I love this album. To me, this is one of the best black metal albums I have heard and recommend to anyone looking for black metal and is tired of the countless masses of Darkthrone/Burzum/Mayhem clones.

10 / 10