Miraje - What You See is What You Get (EP)
Self Financed
Hard Rock
3 songs (14:47)
Release year: 2005
Reviewed by Mike

Miraje is essentially a one man band. One man has written, composed, and produced the three songs that appear on this EP. Also, the musical performances (except for the vocals) are performed by one man, but put together to sound like a band.

From these three tracks, I can gather that this man is a very talented guitar player, especially given the fact that he has only one hand due to a disability. There are some very nice solos to be heard, and the lead guitar work is pretty good. The riffs were unspectacular and not so sharp at times, but the soloing and leads are good. Obviously, the guy is a big fan of 70’s and 80’s traditional rock / metal, as that it clearly the vibe of the EP.

Particularly during Thunder Lightning Bolt, the song itself sounds akward. The bass and lead guitars aren’t synchronized, sounding very disjointed and sloppy. In general, I feel that the bass and drumming is substantially lacking on this album. They are very monotonous, often sounding out of time when compared to the lead guitar and solos. Furthermore, the bass just sounds like it is being played in slow motion, taking a lot of energy out of the music.

As for the lead vocalist, there’s no way to sugar coat this; she’s terrible. Her sound is very monotone, and her delivery is lacking intensity and power. In other words, she sounds very thin in her delivery, and unable to carry a melody to save her life. In addition, she sounds like she struggles to hit the right pitch more often than not. Her attempts at an aggressive, growling delivery in Sanity are just laughable. Perhaps the brainchild of this band should have taken a stab behind the mic as well; he almost certainly couldn’t have done worse than this bottom of the barrel vocalist.

The songs themselves weren’t all that memorable, in my assessment. As I mentioned before, the soloing is quite good, but the riffs aren’t so sharp nor are they memorable. Combined with the vocalist’s inability to carry a melody and the lack of any chorus lines or catchy hooks to sink my teeth into, these songs are very forgettable. As this is a self financed EP, the production is very much of demo quality. Even so, I do think it could have been better, but that’s really a minor point in the large scheme of things.

In my opinion, the man behind Miraje has some talent and great potential, but I think that potential would be best realized as part of a band. His soloing and lead guitar work is up to snuff, but his riffing could improve. If he could just focus on this instead of EVERY instrument, I think that would be to his advantage. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Bring in a rhythm section to form a solid backbone for the sound. I just think the bass and drumming isn’t that good, and that lead guitar is the man’s forte. Focus on being a lead guitarist (you already have a great start), and surround yourself with some other talented musicians to round out the band. It’s pretty much a given that a new vocalist should be sought, so no need to beat that point to death. The added benefit of additional musicians would be a group effort in terms of songwriting. At this point, the songwriting just isn’t good enough. Get some additional ideas, and good things will happen.

Killing Songs :
No song really comes together enough to be considered a "killer."
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