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Echolyn - Suffocating The Bloom CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.17 | 298 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Here's where things get really interesting.

Let's make on thing clear: Echolyn is truly great. They have a vital creativity on par with the greats of the 70s. Their influences aren't just Genesis, Yes, and Marillion. You can hear Stravinsky, Pat Metheny, and the Raspberries on this album if you listen hard enough. (On one song you can even hear Harry Chapin, but the less said about that one the better.)

This is their first album of five (to date) with the lineup of Brett Kull on guitars and vocals, Ray Weston on vocals, Chris Buzby on keys and background vocals, Paul Ramsey on drums, and Tom Hyatt on bass.

This album was good enough to get a prog band that everyone seems to write off as the "American Gentle Giant" a major label contract. In 1994. Let that sink in for a moment. This is the age of In Utero by Nirvana. One of the bigger hits of that year was the B-52's covering the theme songs to the Flinstones, for God's sake.

Go out and buy this record right now.

Still dubious?

"21" is an angular piano-led rocker which somehow remains joyful and happy. It's got more hooks than a tacklebox.

"Winterthru" is the best song about global warming since "Monkey Gone to Heaven" by the Pixies.

"Memoirs from Between" begins austere and almost neo-classical before becoming pastoral before rawking out. One of Brett Kull's vocal turns.

"In Every Garden" is a metaphor stretched until it breaks. But oh, oh, oh, oh...that guitar climax.

"A Little Nonsense" is among their best songs. So good I hardly ever listen to it anymore. You know you do that too. I haven't listened to "Squonk" on Trick of the Tail since Clinton was president.

"Here I Am" is what Gentle Giant would've sounded like had they drank Budweiser instead of mead.

"Cactapus" features the band doing their Pat Metheny circa American Garage impression. They aren't there yet, but they'd get there during that 7 second interlude stuck in the middle of the last song on "The End is Beautiful".

"Suite for the Everyman" is a 28 minute long middle finger to the record labels for all the rejection letters. Later, Sony would sign them and return the middle finger by dropping them and leaving them saddled with personal debt, but that's another story. The song starts off with some 12-tone music, then it gets romantic, then angry, then goofy, then angry again, and then mystical and then there's a weird part with marching band percussion that I still don't get. But then it all comes together in the end. Great song.

If you like this song, or Echolyn in general, its worth it to snag a copy of the Progday '95 cd. The concert was between shoes dropping vis-a-vis the Sony debacle and it features the most ferocious vocal performance I've ever heard. It's like Ray Weston is hoping that his voice is enough to destroy the music industry.

The title track finishes the record. It is unspeakably beautiful. It contains the only good bass solo that isn't on a New Order record.

Get the record.

bigjohnwayne | 5/5 |


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