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Echolyn - Suffocating the Bloom CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.17 | 353 ratings

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4 stars I believe this to be the definitive musical statement by echolyn, even to this day.

Despite being released only a year after their debut, the band shows remarkable development. As others have eluded to, there is more of an apparent Gentle Giant influence here than in the debut, but having listened to both bands, I can say that while there may be similiarities in approach, and even occasional homages to GG on this album, particularly in songs like "In Every Garden" and "A Little Nonsense", the overall sounds of the two bands are quite distinct from one another. I happen to prefer the sound of echolyn because to my ears it flows more melodically, and I'm not as into the medieval stylings of GG.

I'm not sure I would call this a concept album, but there is certainly a unifying theme, and that is the struggle to maintain one's independence, integrity, and vision despite the pressures of the outside world. That is essentially the band's M.O.

Despite the frequent complexity of the music, which is pulled off by the excellent musicianship, the band manages to keep things always melodic, with frequently accessible and even catchy results, particularly in songs like "21" and "Here I Am." The highlight is the 11-track "A Suite for the Everyman", which depicts the struggle between music as art and music as business that the band was undoubtedly facing at the time. As a musician/songwriter myself, the theme is one to which I can empathize greatly.

The production still sounds like an independent job, which it was, but it is a vast improvement over the debut sonically and still manages to make everything quite clear.

In one sentence: This album is echolyn.

JP312 | 4/5 |


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