Coming from an unexpected source of pathos and adventure, Middle Aegis shows yet another solved side of the artistic Rubik’s Cube that is Ender Bowen. An author, videographer, comedy aficionado and musician, Bowen’s eclecticism has translated into a diverse creative talent.
Seemingly taking cues from Peter Gabriel, Dream Theater, U2 and the generally hopeful reverberations the 1990s had for the potential of the unknown future, the narrative of Middle Aegis is still something of a sci-fi-leaning mystery that prompts a pleasurable speculation. The album as a whole does lack a sense of congruence, and occasionally the vocals feel like they are out of range (instead of being worked around). But standout tracks like “The Patient,” “Words,” “Once Again 2010” and the finale, “The Old Hotel,” do pop out at the listener, suggesting that the artist might actually be better live, as though the recording studio is chaining him to a desk instead of allowing an all-out shred session.
Final verdict: Ender Bowen still has room to grow, but has enough progress going for him that he warrants a visit. Check out his website and his badass album art.