POINT OF VIEW - Revolutionize the Revolutionary [Review]

Release date: October 3rd, 2012
Genre: Hard Rock
Label: Self-released

Website: www.pointofviewonline.net
Rating: 8/10
Reviewer: Kareem Chehayeb

This Dubai-based hard rock band has been around since 2005 and are among the more active bands in the United Arab Emirates. After a very long wait, Revolutionize the Revolutionary was released in October and is one of the best rock albums to come out of the region in my opinion. I've always found the Middle East to be short on rock bands, especially rock bands that release quality albums, and I have to say that Point of View did a great job with this record.

Fronted by Nik Uzi, Point of View also has Murtaza Jafar and Royden Mascarenhas on guitars, Shakil Haque on bass, and Chiradeep Lahiri on drums. The band's influences are quite eclectic, ranging from Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree, to U2 and The Police. The variety of influences is evident in Revolutionize the Revolutionary.

The production, mixing, and mastering on the album is crystal clear, and the music sounds organic and not overproduced. Uzi's singing is versatile, and adapts his different styles well. Haque and Chiradeep form a tight unit, and credit to Haque for creating a powerful presence with the bass. Both Mascarenhas and Jafar have some serious chops. The riffs are heavy, and the guitar licks and solos are versatile and differ in influences, from soulful and melodic to intense shredding. You can sense influences from John Petrucci, Slash, Steve Wilson, and John Frusciante.

No two songs on the album sound too similar, but they all mesh together well regardless. The album opens up with Third Eye, an energetic track with some groovy guitar riffs, reminding me a lot of Porcupine Tree. Uzi's voice reminds me at times of Scott Weiland's, as well as Anthony Kiedis from Red Hot Chili Peppers to a lesser extent. With the next track, Deja Vu, opening up with a more oriental melody, the track provides that similar feel, but the beautiful melodies coming from Mascarenhas and Jafar really blew me away (and thankfully, they continue to be present throughout the rest of the album).

Since we're talking guitars here, the interlude track, "Prelude in C Sharp Minor", is one worth mentioning. Original classical guitar compositions haven't sounded this fresh to me. It sounds absolutely beautiful, and makes way for another excellent track and one of my favorites, "Unreal". That track in particular has been on repeat on my iTunes. All in all, it's nice to see Point of View laying out some heavy riffs while pulling off some atmospheric and chilled softer tracks.

The lyrics on the album are well-written and vary in topic. Based on my interpretation, Third Eye and Revolutionize the Revolutionary have more political and social protest related messages. While I enjoyed that, I have to say I enjoyed the lyrics to Unreal, which is clearly a love song (What can I say? I guess I need a break from Bloodbath and Necrophagist sometimes). Another song that had some top-notch lyrics was Shades of Love, written by Mathilde and composed by Fabrice Sioul. The song talks about universal love and challenges the negative social constructs as a result of racism.

Revolutionize the Revolutionary is an album that certainly has replay value. I'm looking forward to what Point of View will come up with next, and I think many people will be wondering whether their next album will have more of a straightforward direction. Regardless of what happens, I think Point of View made a good decision taking their time and released a high quality album. The band had a release show in Dubai with Guns N' Roses guitarist, Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal, joining them, and it looks like they will be touring soon, according to their Facebook page.

Favorite tracks:
-Shades of Love
-Prelude in C Sharp Minor

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