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Echolyn - Progfest '94 - The Official Bootleg  CD (album) cover



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3 stars Well, since no has reviewed this yet, I'll take the plunge.

I don't remember what I paid for this, only that I got it by emailing someone (their webmaster at the time? can't recall) and sending a check. It arrived as two CDR's, with the the title and CD number on each. The sound quality is not bad for an official bootleg, but not exactly outstanding either. However, the instruments and vocals come through fairy clearly and there is not much in the way of excess noise. The audience is audible, but not overwhelming the performances at all. So, how is the music. Well, this was done not long before As The World's release, and much of CD1 is taken up by this material. They stay pretty much true to the album versions, which is impressive in itself, considering just how much is going on in these songs. A couple of songs from Suffocating are thrown in as well, though not two of my favorites, still good songs. CD2 is taken up mostly be a 30 minute rendition of Suite for The Everyman and this is where they really show their stuff. An excellent rendition, only about a minute or so longer than the original, but the venom with which they deliver the lyrics shows that even at this early stage things were not necessarily going well with them and Sony (who released ATW early the next year). The musical delivery is no less intense and certainly surpasses the album version in energy and drive. The concert finishes with an equally energetic performance of Carpe Diem, from their first album.

What strikes me the most about this whole live album is the sheer amount of energy that comes across, even on a not so perfect sounding live recording such as this. There is a punk type of urgency to their performance that isn't really hinted at in the studio albums. It's a shame they would pack it in a year or two from this performance........though all members stayed active in music until they got back together in the 00's.

I don't know if this is even available anymore, but if you are a fan it is well worth having. I can't give it the highest rating due to the somewhat inferior sound quality and less than definitive set list (well, a matter of taste I suppose), though Suite for The Everyman makes it worth having all by itself. I'll give a solid 3.5 stars as this isn't likely to have mass appeal, even on this site, but is a good snapshot of the band at an important point in their career.

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Posted Wednesday, May 2, 2007 | Review Permalink

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