Echolyn
Echolyn (II)


4.0
excellent

Review

by menawati CONTRIBUTOR (90 Reviews)
October 27th, 2012 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Echolyn return after a seven year hiatus to deliver a rather low key effort which manages to capture the essence of traditional symphonic prog while still retaining its modern sensibilities.

After a long wait of seven years since 'The End is Beautiful' American symphonic prog group Echolyn finally released this self-titled double album in 2012. It seems rather odd that this was released as a double album since the music could have easily been crammed onto a single release. Maybe the band are trying to cash in but let us give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that it is an attempt to satisfy vinyl fans who crave a retro double-album experience and are willing to pay over the odds for the privilege.

Things get underway in a very promising fashion with the 17 minute 'Island'. Bold guitar riffing and retro synths dominate the aural landscape as we are plunged into a symphonic panorama of deviating rhythms and transient melodies that recall the prog rock spirit of the early 70's. Ray Weston's voice complements the shifting arrangements perfectly. The band have been compared with Gentle Giant in the past but there is now a very mature and individualistic essence to their music as if they have absorbed their influences fully and have tucked them away in a safe place. Unfortunately the captivating spell of the opening track is broken immediately with 'Headright' which finds Echolyn delving into straightforward pop prog. The song exhibits a standard verse/chorus structure replete with harmless melodies, irritating hand-claps and sentimental vocals.

The opening salvos belie the general personality of this album which is one of low key restraint and subtly building atmospheres. 'Some Memorial' embraces the more progressive side of their nature with aplomb. Some of the textures and Weston's vocals in particular sound reminiscent of Hogarth era Marillion and the arrangements veer from heavy symphonic rock to starker more reflective passages. 'Past Gravity' pulls us back down to earth with some delicate acoustic guitar and piano but builds into a soaring ballad with Brett Kull's hollow guitar lead weaving a spell around Weston's striving vocals. 'The Cardinal and I' greets the listener with a dark and foreboding quality that is totally out of character with the rest of the album. Kull is in fine form on here delivering a wah drenched burst of guitar but the song soon calms down into a structure which mirrors much of what pervades the rest of the album with it's constrained approach.

If there is one criticism I would level at this album it is that the tempo and general feel can become rather monotonous during the first few listens. Throughout the middle section of the record one can be left yearning for something more up-beat and immediate. If you give the album time to grow however the subtle and quite austere atmosphere that dominates the music becomes more and more compelling. While not quite approaching the heights of their earlier classics this album is still a worthy addition to Echolyn's discography. Let's hope we don't have to wait another seven years for the next one.



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user ratings (7)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 27th 2012


16023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Island - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoyegXZm9g8

stream - http://echolyn.bandcamp.com/album/echolyn-cd-quality-441khz-16-bit

Digging: iamthemorning - Belighted

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 27th 2012


19756 Comments


i'm done trying to keep up with you menawati, you're the machine not me! lol

another good review i promise some day i'll check all your shit out

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

ViperAces
October 27th 2012


12430 Comments


Are you jokin Atari? You rated like 300 albums in 3 weeks.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 27th 2012


16023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol im not in a race dude, i do these reviews at work during lunchtimes, but thx for reading ;]

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 27th 2012


19756 Comments


i know it's not a race bro just keep it up

@viper,

how would you know how many albums i've rated? lol

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 27th 2012


16023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hes in MOSSAD didnt u know ?

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 27th 2012


19756 Comments


@Viper, I listen to music 40 hours a week at work so yeah i've probably rated that many. I also went through and rated a bunch of old albums i'd already heard before.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 27th 2012


16023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

if u rate something he likes really low he'll infiltrate your house and kill you with a gun made from
a bicycle pump

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 27th 2012


19756 Comments


lol i always underrate albums at first i don't just give out 5's

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 27th 2012


16023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

im the opposite its a bad habit just 4.5/5 dont feel the same as 9/10

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 27th 2012


19756 Comments


really? well 4.5 out of 5 means it's pretty damn close to perfect but not quite. however as i've explained many times some of my 5's are based on nostalgia.

ViperAces
October 27th 2012


12430 Comments


My dad's uncle was in the Mossad but dont tell!
I actually have a dont mess with the mossad t shirt.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 27th 2012


16023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

damn cool, did he hunt Nazis ?

CaptainDooRight
October 27th 2012


29132 Comments


def has been a while and a fine rev Pos'd

got some of their early stuffs, gd band

Digging: Kangding Ray - Solens Arc

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 27th 2012


16023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks capt, ye they are decent

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
October 27th 2012


4424 Comments


Yeah, this band is pretty cool. Good review, man. POS'd.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 27th 2012


16023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cheers my good man

greg84
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2012


7391 Comments


Great review. Have a pos.

Digging: Lo-Pan - Colossus

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 28th 2012


19756 Comments


WTF now you're getting troll neg'd too?

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 28th 2012


16023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol ye sucks, but whatever, its part of the sputnik experience



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