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Echolyn - The End Is Beautiful CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 231 ratings

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4 stars Echolyn's previous album, the brilliant Mei, only consisted of one song and here they return to a shorter song format although a couple are still around the ten minute mark. Echolyn play complex Symphonic Prog and particularly with their use of vocal harmonies are influenced by Gentle Giant. As might be expected the standard of musicianship is very high here, essential to follow the twists and turns of the complicated song structures that are a trademark of their sound. Drummer Paul Ramsey and Bassist Tom Hyatt are an excellent rhythm section playing off each other beautifully and playing with subtlety when necessary. Chris Buzby's Keyboards are an integral part of the Echolyn sound, much of the time having a nice retro feel with the use of Organ and electric/acoustic Piano. Brett Kull's guitar playing is also integral to their sound, rarely in your face but intricate and always inventive. He also compliments vocalist Ray Weston with some excellent harmony singing. The band isn't averse to bringing in other musicians when they feel it's required having employed string sections to good effect in the past. Here they make occasional use of Saxophone, Trumpet and Trombone.

The End Is Beautiful is not an immediate album and takes a few plays to get under your skin but its well worth persevering with. Highlights include the up tempo opener Georgia Pine and my own personal favourite Heavy Blue Miles.

The title track displays excellent use of dynamics showing that a song doesn't have to be twenty minutes long to fit in lots of moods and time changes, Echolyn doing it easily in seven and a half minutes. So Ready has a funky vibe to it though is one of the weaker tracks on the album but is more than compensated for by the following track, The Arc of Decent, a more laid back moment from the band but it builds nicely towards the end. The album closes well with the nine minute Misery, Not Memory again displaying the bands excellent grasp of the use of dynamics.

So whilst not being their best album, The End is Beautiful is a strong release and should keep fans of the band more than happy. However anyone just discovering Echolyn might be better starting with As the World or Suffocating the Bloom.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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