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Echolyn - Echolyn CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.07 | 511 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars It's been a long wait; seven years to be precise, but here at last is the new album from Echolyn. Is this eponymous album worth the wait? Absolutely! In fact I'd go as far to say that this is the bands best release to date. It's a 2 disc set, obviously done to split the album into two halves as it could easily fit onto a single disc, each disc containing 4 tracks apiece.

The 16 minute Island kicks things off in fine style with a typical Echolyn instrumental workout of well over 3 minutes, twisting and turning through a myriad of changes before settling down into the vocals. This is not typical of the album as a whole - overall it's less complex (on an instrumental level at least) with fewer jaw dropping instrumental sections than earlier releases like As The World for example. Echolyn obviously feel they no longer need to show off their virtuoso prowess as frequently, though as the opening shows, they clearly still have it. Instead the strength of this record is the fantastic melodies. They're not immediate, but repeated plays bring them to the surface. They can be subtle and complex, taking the listener into unexpected places as they build and develop before shooting off at a tangent to a new high.

Whilst Island is the best of the bunch, it rarely dips in quality with Some Memorial a close second and whilst the second disc is in generally more laid back territory it still possesses power with some stunning melodies like the sublime Past Gravity. Don't get the idea though that Echolyn lacks the great playing of the past; it's still here and the band play brilliantly and it all sounds fantastic, it's just not the priority.

If there's a past album to draw parallels with I'd say it's Mei. Here they also make use of a string section, as they have done previously, particularly Mei. But it's more than that; there's a vibe and feel here that brings to mind that excellent album.

Well worth the wait then, Echolyn have released the best album of the year so far. Hopefully we won't have to wait another seven years for the follow up. Simply stunning!

Nightfly | 5/5 |


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