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Echolyn - As The World CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.95 | 286 ratings

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4 stars While I don't feel that As the World quite lives up to Suffocating the Bloom, I still deem it to be an overall exciting album by a band striving to gain wider acceptance.

Consider what popular music in the U.S. was like at the time. The initial grunge wave had subsided, but a host of "alternative" bands, bands that would have been deemed too weird or quirky five years earlier, had been swept up by the major record labels. It's really a shame that echolyn didn't get to go along for the ride, as this album deemed them more than worthy, but perhaps the music was just too complicated for mass consumption.

The production of this album strikes me as remarkable even now. Every instrument and every vocal has a richness to it that wasn't possible on the earlier efforts. The keyboards and synthesizers provide some truly spine-tingling textures at times. The vocal harmonies also come to the forefront here; I frequently enjoy singing along to many of these songs in the car.

Unlike Suffocating the Bloom, there is no apparent all-encompassing theme here, other than the "Letters" tracks in the middle, which are loosely linked together in a life-cycle progression. Some of the lyrical subjects tread on familiar ground along the lines of the previous albums. Compositionally, the melodies are fairly strong, though perhaps a little edgier. I have noticed that several of the tracks seem to have an obligatory "random" sounding section in the middle, which can seem to disrupt the flow of the songs somewhat. But the instrumentals are played meticulously as always.

I think that the aftermath of this album, namely the band getting dropped by Sony and breaking up soon after, adds some weight to the urgency of the material. This is a band trying to prove themselves, with mostly positive and some negative effects. It smacks of the pressure to succeed, and for the most part, it does.

JP312 | 4/5 |


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