Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Echolyn Echolyn album cover
3.72 | 157 ratings | 11 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1991

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Fountainhead (2:57) :
- a) Dominique
- b) Howard Roark
- c) The Banner
2. The Great Men (8:31)
3. On Any Given Night (5:03)
4. Carpe Diem (5:11)
5. Shades (11:10)
6. Clumps of Dirt (4:27)
7. Peace in Time (6:42)
8. Meaning and the Moment (7:23)
9. Breath of Fresh Air (3:42)
10. Until It Rains (5:22)
11. The Velveteen Rabbit (7:27)

Total Time 67:55

Line-up / Musicians

- Raymond Weston / lead & backing vocals, bass (11)
- Brett Kull / guitars, bass (3), lead & backing vocals
- Christopher Buzby / keyboards, backing vocals, string parts composer & arranger
- Thomas Hyatt / bass (1,2,6,7)
- Paul Ramsey / drums & percussion, backing vocals

- Katharine Shenk / violin (1,11)
- Kimberly Shenk / cello (1,11)
- Brian Buzby / alto saxophone (10)
- Jesse Reyes / bass (4,5,8-10)

Releases information

Artwork: Greg Kull with Jim Wengrenovich (photo)

CD Self-released (1991, US)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy ECHOLYN Echolyn Music

ECHOLYN Echolyn ratings distribution

(157 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

ECHOLYN Echolyn reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
5 stars Without a question ECHOLYN are one of my personal all time favorite progressive rock units. Big meaty mood and rhythm changes blended with carefully orchestrated songs and themes. As always vocal harmonies are used throughout and are in clever ways. This first album has become hard to track down as it has been long since deleted with a cassette version being still readily available (minus 3 tracks and some 20 mins of recorded material). What immediately struck me here was the depth of the band in terms of song writing and musical competency. ECHOLYN's first album still has loads of their jazz-syncopation dashes and bring yet a slighly different feel out than later albums. Brilliant playing throughout and a super groovy band that demands your listening attention.
Review by Dan Bobrowski
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's hard for me to rate any Echolyn lower than four stars and this is no exception. Most amazing is how mature this album is for a debut of extremely young musicians. The album Echolyn is not as Gentle Giant influenced as their sophomore release, but this disc is all over the map with styles and quotes. Ray Weston's voice is surprisingly developed and very controlled. Kull and Weston combine for some great harmonies. The tightness of Paul Ramsey with three different bassists (Weston, Hyatt and Jessy Reyes) throughout is a testament to his versatility as a drummer. Brett Kull flavors his playing like a grizzled veteran, many different tones, influences and touches. The standout, for me, is Chris Buzbys wonderful keyboarding throughout. The guy just has great chops. Going from Emersonion Hammond to Banks-like synth at the drop of a hat.

Clumps of Dirt, a wonderfully powerful jam, Hammond and Guitar battling over a powerhouse drumfest. The Velveteen Rabbit glides through the pleasures of childhood. Shades, a lost love in epic proportions. Carpe Diem is my personal fav off this disc. Meaning and the Moment bring forth the first taste of the Gentle Giant path taken more boldly in the future, another fav. Instrumental moments that send chills up my spine abound. At nearly 70 minutes, the time flashes by without dragging or boredom setting in. The lyrics fit the music, writing that is mature and poetic.

This disc is out of print (OOP), but can still be obtained by buying the "Little Nonsense" box set (3 CDs) and is well worth the bucks.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An excellent debut album!

Yes, this is a debut album. But. hang on a second. Take a look at the music produced by these gentlemen and you will agree with me that their music has already matured with this debut. It's an excellent album by any measures: composition (arrangement and songwriting), musicianship, performance and originality. Yes, there is a bit of similarity with early Genesis and even later generation of prog: Pallas. But, Echolyn music is truly Echolyn. However, this album is different with any of its successors as with this album I never found any style that is similar or close to the music of Finneus Gauge (Buzby's tranisition band). I never regret having this album in my collection.

The album opens with a sort of movie dialogue cuts in Fountainhead (3:48) that comprises three short parts; followed with a floating music colored with acoustic guitar fills and nice violin. I was really hit by the violin work - so cool. From the first track I can sense the sort of wonderful composition by the band. It's like watching a movie because the music is backed with an orchestra and people's dialogue. It moves to second track The Great Men (8:30) with a stunning guitar work accompanied with medium tempo music. Drums contribute its dynamic style augmented with inventive guitar and bass. When voice enters the line it reminds me to neo prog music like Pallas or Iq even though the arrangement is different. Inventive drumming and basslines are demonstrated in the middle of the track. The unique sound of keyboard has made this track enjoyable.

With similar style the next track On Any Given Nite (5:01) also starts off with a stunning guitar work followed with howling / sliding style. It reminds me, again, to Pallas music - at least its nuance. Judging from this opening only, I may conclude that this is a neo prog band. But the other tracks prove to be different. Carpe Diem (5:11) has some flavor of rock 'n' roll beats at least at its opening part, dominated with guitar work. The interlude part in the middle shows great drum sounds and powerful voice line. Shades (11:46) is another great song with excellent composition where in some segments I can sense Genesis style combining complex parts and nice parts beautifully.

Highly recommended! Overall rating is 4 ˝ out of 5 stars merely due to tight composition, strong songwriting, excellent performance and musicianship. Keep on proggin'..!

Progressively yours,

GW - Review #314

Review by hdfisch
3 stars I like this band very much cos they are one of the few ones in the Retro and Neo Prog field that don't sound like a cheap blueprint of the glorious 70s. I started to adore them especially by listening to their two most recent releases. Now after having a long rest on my shelf their (unfortunately OOP) debut found some place again in my player. And though I've to admit that it was really a remarkable one at least for those days I still have to cut back in my rating if I compare it to their sophomore releases like "As The World", "Mei" or their latest one. All songs are rather easily accessible ones with great songwriting and musicianship is flawless without any doubts. But since I prefer the more complex edge of Prog I've to say that this one is somehow overrated here compared to the subsequent ones.

Highlights are "The Great Man" and "Shades" but although being quite nice most of the songs are rather of the type to be forgotten soon after. Being certainly an excellent album in the year of its release it doesn't pass the test of time and sounds quite dated and derivative nowadays I've to say.

Would be good for 3,5 stars if half ones would be available. Not sure if I'd invest my bucks in buying the "A Little Nonsense Now And Then " box to get it.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This debut album holds some very diverse music. Just listen to the short and below average "Fountainhead" and compare it with the following "Great Men" which is full of fantasy and symphony in terms of prog. Wonderful passages (both vocals or instrumentals). One of my highlights here for sure.

This debut is just a résumé of their upcoming works. A good combination between symphonic and eclectic.

One of the weak point of this work is probably its length. Unfortunately, it won't be the unique example of "Echolyn" output. I am always wondering why bands desperately feel obliged to record some seventy minutes albums. As far as I'm concerned, I know the answer?

Of course, the lengthiest item from this album leads to one of the most complex and best song available. Great musicianship and performing vocals. Complexity is probably not the best adjective to depict this track but when you grab it as a whole: there is a definite great feel about it.

Several songs are quite average and substantially lead to a lower appreciation of the whole. The band will release better records later on. Still, there are some very good songs that can be linked with KC while tackled on the symphonic angle ("Meaning and the Moment").

I just feel ashamed that there aren't not much long pieces of music over here; but that's the way it is. "Until It Rains" sounds more as a "Roxy Mucic" tune than a true prog rock item. But the closing "Velveteen Rabbit" is quite an achievement and probably my fave of the whole.

Globally, this debut is quite a good album. Three stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. Getting to know this band has been a real journey for me. I'm just thankful I didn't give up after not really enjoying my first experience with them because now I have four albums from them that I enjoy very much. And yes this is one of the four.This one really surprised me though because most consider it to be one of their weaker albums and I couldn't disagree more. First of the song writing is fantastic and the instrumental work is tight and inventive. It's the emotion though that really makes this album a special one for me.

"Fountainhead" opens with samples from the movies which is kind of cool. It turns epic sounding 2 1/2 minutes in to the end. "The Great Men" is a top three track for sure. Nice intsrumental work early before it settles after 1 1/2 minutes and the vocals join in. So moving. The lyrics are so meaningful. Passionate vocals after 3 minutes. Check out the instrumental work after 5 minutes as well. Amazing tune ! "On Any Given Nite" settles quickly with keys and reserved vocals. It's fuller before 2 minutes. Emotion. Contrasts continue. Beautiful. It kicks in even fuller with guitar late. Nice. "Carpe Diem" is uptempo with vocals. The vocals give way to the guitar 2 minutes in but not for long. Aggressive guitar and drums late to end it. "Shades" is another top three tune for me. Acoustic guitar and reserved vocals to start. It kicks in at 1 1/2 minutes then settles back. Passionate vocals 3 1/2 minutes in. The song continues to contrast the laid back and powerful sections so well. "Clumps Of Dirt" is a nasty instrumental especially the organ work. Drum show 2 1/2 minutes in then a guitar solo a minute later.

"Peace In Time" is a pleasant and uplifting track. Vocals after a minute. Tasteful guitar 3 1/2 minutes in. I like this one a lot. "Meaning And The Moment" is the other top three. Acappela singing to start followed by music that builds. This one is too good for words. Again the lyrics are so meaningful. "Breath Of Fresh Air" is what this album must have been like to prog fans in 1991. Another feel good song. "Until It Rains" has some great sounding synths in it early on with growly bass. Vocals after a minute then it picks up. Sax 4 minutes in. "The Velveteen Rabbit" touches on childhood with the question "Remember when...?" coming often.This isn't the only track to talk about our childhood on this album. I just get lost in this song. There's so many tracks that could be my top three which is saying a lot.

I love this album and would list only "Cowboy Poems Free" as perhaps one I like more. An absolute pleasure. I have to thank Prog-Traveller (Mike) so much for the honour of hearing this album.

Review by Warthur
3 stars The debut album by echolyn gets overlooked a lot, and perhaps part of that is down to the way it's tended to sit out of print, with the most recent reissue I am aware of being on the 3CD odds-and-sods compilation A Little Nonsense. That said, I think there's more to the story than that: the reason this echolyn album isn't quite as widely celebrated as their other two major albums of the 1990s is that it doesn't quite sound like we expect an echolyn album to sound.

Specifically, on this release echolyn practice a well-honed neo-prog style which shows little evidence of the Gentle Giant inspiration which would make Suffocating the Bloom such a characterful and unusual release. The complex interweaving vocal harmonies they worked in there, in particular, seem to be more or less missing - you get some, but they remind me more of Kansas's experiments on that front.

What you get instead, though, is a well-polished and accessible neo-prog album which is a pretty decent listen (though I could do without the occasional pandering to classic rock traditions that could perhaps be left to quietly die out, like the rather dull drum solo in Clumps of Dirt).

There is, in particular, a certain warmth to the album that sometimes feels like it gets a little lost on subsequent echolyn releases, which means that if you are fond of the band I honestly think it's worth your while to track it down in whatever form it's available in and give it a listen, because whilst this doesn't sound like the echolyn we know, it's still an echolyn which might be worth your attention. That said, I feel like there's a really solid 4-to-5 star album in here of about 40 minutes duration, obscured by about 20 minutes of cruft; songs like Until It Rains, which I think was the attempt at a vaguely radio-friendly number, don't do that much for me at all.

Latest members reviews

4 stars The deeper you go into any genre, the more one shot wonders you find--bands who emerged fully formed and put out an energetic debut, only to follow it up with one or more mediocre efforts. Say: Jadis. (Indie rock, with its inherent hype machine is especially full of these guys: Clap Your Hand ... (read more)

Report this review (#1450941) | Posted by bigjohnwayne | Sunday, August 9, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After hearing several times this first disk of the band Echolyn, some things were very clear ; - 1° In my opinion this disk deserves 5 stars. - 2° - few times I heard a combination of symphonic/ecletic/heavy prog music so well done . - 3° didn't get to identify with so much evidences (at least ... (read more)

Report this review (#304948) | Posted by maryes | Sunday, October 17, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Though I enjoy this album, I would strongly disagree with folks who claim that Echolyn had already matured when this album was written. Though the musicianship is great from the get-go, the songwriting on this album is far from perfect, and I think Echolyn had a lot of growing to do (which they o ... (read more)

Report this review (#226621) | Posted by ods94065 | Tuesday, July 14, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars It's a bit of a warmup for what echolyn would accomplish on their next two LPs, but the debut shows a lot of the band's promise from the start. Compositionally, the band hadn't quite found its voice, as some of the songs seem a little bit too "generic" pop rock. Lyrically speaking, there is a g ... (read more)

Report this review (#87360) | Posted by JP312 | Wednesday, August 16, 2006 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of ECHOLYN "Echolyn"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.