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Echolyn - As The World CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.95 | 298 ratings

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Dan Bobrowski
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars First off. This is NOT a remaster of the 1995 release of As the World. Sony finally gave the masters back to the band and, since it has been Out of Print (OOP) for a long time, the band re-release it with new art-work and a live DVD of a concert performed at the RITZ in Roseville Michigan, just outside Detroit.

As the World is simply one of the best prog releases during the 1990's. Powerhouse tunes like the title track, Dear Mr. Wormwood, Uncle and the Cheese Stands Alone, are wonderful pieces that should be played loud from every progholes car when idling at a streetlight on a warm summer day. Hell, if it's snowing, roll down them wndows and crank it! These are songs of rebellion, standing up in the face of mediocrity, facing your fears, expressing your individuality. Playing prog in an age when sex sells. Get the point?

The DVD is a low budget local access cable station recording this event and the camera work shows. Just when Brett Kull rips into his SG, they pan to Ray Weston reaching for a cup of water, or some liquid beverage. No close ups of Tom Hyatt on bass and Paul Ramsey stays hidden behind his kit throughout. A few good close ups of Chris Buzby's busy fingers pop up here and there. But what is really important, at least for me, is the chance to see Echolyn at this point of their career, right before SONY gives them the big wazzoo. These guys are tight. Not just because the are crammed on a small stage, but musically and vocally, they explode and bring these tunes to life. Kull and Weston are one of the best singing duos I've heard in a long time. Pulling off tough harmonies, hitting high notes with power. Sure, there's a few clams, but they rock on without looking back. Tom Hyatt really smokes whenever the mix smooths out enough to hear him clearly. The audio track is pretty good for a raw show, such as this. "Here I Am" and "21" from Suffocating the Bloom are played along with many of the ATW tracks.

The packaging is new, but I would have to say that the shrunken head cover of the original was much better. Unfortunately, the lyrics aren't included. No real extras in the packaging, except for an excerpt from Greg Kulls poem, the Anatomy of Man. I hate to say it, but expected more in the packaging, like photos, or lyrics.

To sum it up. If you already own ATW, this is NOT essential, unless you really want to see them live. If you don't, this is a MUST for a true proghole. As the World is one of the best modern prog albums, period.

Dan Bobrowski | 4/5 |


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