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Echolyn - echolyn CD (album) cover

ECHOLYN

Echolyn

 

Symphonic Prog

4.13 | 408 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Squire Jaco
5 stars Perhaps it should be a crime to make music this great; it overtakes one's life! I find that I stay up just a little too late to hear one more song again - then another. I sit in my car in the parking lot before work to listen to the end of a disc - then hit repeat. I sneak the album into my office and find myself listening to it - instead of attending to my spreadsheets...

This latest self-titled echolyn cd is wonderful. I said it seven years ago when I reviewed their previous cd, and I'll say it again here - this band sits at or near the very top of the progressive rock world. Each song seems so purposeful and thoughtful, both in the choice of instruments and the lyrics. They are "compositions" in the true sense of the word with a message that's delivered lyrically and musically, with inventiveness, virtuosity and great melodies. Hey, they recorded this over the span of 5 years! (It was time for this one to come out of the oven.)

Two discs this time, though both are short enough to have fit neatly onto one. I'll need to examine them individually more to see why they are separate - themes? tone? they just felt like it?...

The music is sometimes complex and dense in the usual echolyn style, but I also felt that many of these songs were just a little more relaxed or organic sounding too. No mellotron is listed in the liner notes, but I hear something close from keyboardist Chris Buzby in a few spots. (Perhaps the string ensemble?) I've always loved guitarist Brett Kull's vocals; and Ray Weston's have not only grown on me over the years, but I do believe they've aged nicely, like a seasoned merlot! ;-) Both vocalists shine on this, and the harmonies are fantastic (of course). Unheralded drummer Paul Ramsey is superb again. Tom Wyatt's tasteful and melodic bass duties are shared with Ray, and he contributes with guitar, backing vocals and some lyric writing.

echolyn albums that I was reminded of at times here were the poignancy of the EP "...and every blossom", the sweeping multi-textured quality of "mei" and the sometimes more modern-sounding "The End Is Beautiful". A string ensemble, hammered guitar strings, voices and other nuances make for a very unique experience that (as usual with echolyn) rewards repeated listening.

Every year or so I find an album that I cannot stop listening to for a few days. "echolyn" is that album this year. Thanks guys.

"I hereby find the defendant, echolyn, GUILTY on all counts of stealing away my normal life priorities and replacing them with sonic euphoria of the very highest order." (I'm kinda hoping for a life sentence... ;-)

Squire Jaco | 5/5 |

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