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ECHOES OF GIANTS

Crossover Prog • United States


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Echoes Of Giants biography
ECHOES OF GIANTS is a band from Missouri, United States of America. This trio consists of Wes BOLTON playing guitars and programming, Tracy THOMAS on keyboards, Malletkat (a mallet-driven synth controller), drums, percussion and programming, and Rick KAUFMANN on bass.

Their first album was released in July of 2013, and contains a mixture of neo-progressive rock, laid-back midwest rock, and PINK FLOYD flavored moodiness.

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At the End of MyselfAt the End of Myself
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3.95 | 76 ratings
At The End Of Myself
2013

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ECHOES OF GIANTS Reviews


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 At The End Of Myself by ECHOES OF GIANTS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.95 | 76 ratings

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At The End Of Myself
Echoes Of Giants Crossover Prog

Review by admireArt

2 stars Elton John is Prog?

Mainstream Rock, with some "Prog" keyboard's touch. No "masterpiece", not even close. If PA takes these kind of bands as Proggers, well, we are in for trouble. I have tried to find the "prog" side in ECHOES OF GIANTS's, first release "At The End Of Myself", and well it "crosses over" to Synth/Rock as such, more than real "prog". BUT not even that kind of Synth/Rock is novel nor original. Not much to really highlight this work for, besides the mystery of having been included in PA, above real "proggers", who have not yet being included. (Tuxedomoon, just to mention one). Besides that, you are in for another, not daring, more "cliches", of the "Synth/Prog/Rock" formula music, that I have heard through this 2013 more than once.

Some Keith Emerson's/ Rick Wakeman's like keys in the long run are not enough to pull this work above its limited musical language. The guitar work, although well produced, can't escape that either. The Elton John like voice, with Elton's kind of song writing, does not help neither.

So, overrated falls short, unless you are a secret admirer of Elton's music, but ashamed to admit it. I myself could not care less for this or that. I hope this band trascends in their next effort, all of this one's musical composition limitations . **2.5 PA stars.

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 At The End Of Myself by ECHOES OF GIANTS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.95 | 76 ratings

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At The End Of Myself
Echoes Of Giants Crossover Prog

Review by DavidA

5 stars I've listened through the album a couple of times now and I feel I can give some of my thoughts. Initially, I wanted to give a blow-by-blow but then realized I was writing like five or six comments per song. If I had done that this already overly long review would have been much longer. So, instead, I'll be a bit more general.

I think this is a fantastic album. I think they achieved a very lush sound throughout, even in the soft sections (excluding the soft sections in which they didn't want lush which, appropriately enough, had a lot of space). I think the tones they chose and the finished mix is very good. They've achieved a full sound without either destroying the ability to appreciate every instrument.

I think this is an extremely musically mature album. The proggy parts are complex and meaty without seeming overly showboaty; and the straight-forward songs are tasteful and interesting with great hooks and aren't mind-numbingly dull (as so many overly simplistic songs seem to me). That's a tough balance and I think they pulled it off well. Regarding the more straight-forward songs, my strong impression, even ignoring the proggy stuff on the album, was that they were composed by skilled musicians playing below their ability so as to serve the song; and that's evident in the final composition. That's part of the overall maturity. Well done.

One of my favorite things about the album is the emotional progression of the music. I'm not a huge lyric guy, but from what I understand of the lyrics they revolve around a character starting in a dark place, finding God and eventually coming to a place of peace/happiness/joy/fulfillment/something positive. I apologize if that's not accurate. But, I think the music, itself, strongly, though subtly, echoed that progression. The first part of the album seems to me to have a morose, bleak quality to it. It has a sadness. The music then develops a restrained hopeful quality. And, finally, the album ends joyfully. I don't know if that was intentional or not but I really enjoyed that the music had a strongly evocative element.

To give some specifics, here are a few of my favorite parts. And these are just a few; there are certainly more.

I loved the funky, proggy vibe in Shadows and thought it was a fantastic extended intro into Pushing Forward. The solos in Pushing Forward were awesome. The lullaby quality near the end of Finale was a great touch. The jungle-like intro into Walls I Build was cool. Alone had, I think, some of the coolest showcasing of each of their skills: the bass work throughout the song but especially the riff at around 2:17, the guitar solo at around 3:27 was sick, and the drum work starting around 4:10 was awesome. The guitar lick in Pushing You at around 2:20 had, to me, a great deal of attitude which I thought was really fun. And I loved the softness and piano work in much of Let It Go. In fact, in keeping with my above comments about the emotional progression of the music, the composition of Let It Go had a very relieved quality, like a musical sigh of relief.

I only have one minor constructive critique, and not enough to knock the album down in stars. (I don't knock it down in stars because I realize this critique may be entirely personal preference, such that had they gone my suggested route others may have critiqued my suggestion.) In Walls I Build there is the pre-chorus with the low building guitar and vocals ("I can't see all the walls I've built which isolate me" and so on) which gives way to an instrumental chorus section with ascending chords. In the pre-chorus I kept wanting the singer to... explode, or get bigger, or belt, or something. I think there's room there for a little vocal fireworks. And the ascending chorus section I thought could have used more active drums than just the straight kick with snare on 2/4 (or 3 depending on how you count it). I think there's room there for a full blown drum solo, but I realize that could negate the somewhat somber tone of the song. Nevertheless, I thought the drummer could have been, at least, a bit bigger. As it stands with the drums being fairly simplistic at that section, it feels a bit plodding. However, this is really a minor comment. I think the song is, overall, excellent.

Regarding the drummer (I single him out because I am a drummer), I think he did a fantastic job. He's obviously an extremely gifted drummer. He was consistently tasteful and interesting, and that one drum solo section I mentioned above was awesome. If I had to offer a critique of him, which I would hesitate to do as he is really an excellent drummer, it would be that sometimes he felt a little overly restrained. I could have used a bit more flash here and there; and I think the music is complex enough to have warranted it. At any rate, that is a very minor comment against otherwise superb drumming.

So, overall, the album is fantastic. I highly recommend it to anyone, prog fans and not. Echoes of Giants have created something really special.

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 At The End Of Myself by ECHOES OF GIANTS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.95 | 76 ratings

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At The End Of Myself
Echoes Of Giants Crossover Prog

Review by troyrickertsen

5 stars I've waited for a long time to hear Echoes first album. I am slightly biased, as I know some of the band members, who reside in the Columbia, Missouri music scene. I remember hitting play, taking in each song, realizing early into that first listen that it's an album of depth and layers. I love the originality of their individual and collective approach to the songs, as well as using their musical abilities tastefully. A very rewarding thing to hear, as a listener, was the climatic way the album grows, especially in those final songs. A brilliant piece of work by some extraordinary musicians, who I know to also be some amazing human beings.

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 At The End Of Myself by ECHOES OF GIANTS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.95 | 76 ratings

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At The End Of Myself
Echoes Of Giants Crossover Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams

5 stars I don't know, where do I start on this album? Sometimes you'll listen to an album and be crushed by the weight of its musical awesomeness. Other times, however, you will connect on a very personal level with both the music and the lyrics. Echoes of Giants' debut album "At the End of Myself" is one such album. I admit that it caught my eye mainly because of the Riverside-esque title, but this band is nothing like Riverside musically.

Echoes of Giants is a band from Missouri, USA, which isn't exactly the hotspot for prog in the US. But these guys have something that many bands completely lack: soul. This music has spirit, soul, and intelligence that are beyond so many others. There is an emotion within this album that feels so alive and palpable, so undeniable and engaging. So human. I found a connection with it that is so intensely personal that I feel that this album will be one of my favorites for many, many years to come.

But what is that connection? The general theme of this album is found in its title: learning to let go of one's self. This album addresses personal feelings of wretchedness, thoughts of depravity, and hope in a cure. It's a journey of sorts, a spiritual one. "Can a filthy rag be made clean?' Yes, it strikes me deeply. It addresses groanings too deep for words. And it does so without an iota of cheesiness.

The lyrics, however, would be nothing without great music, and Echoes of Giants gives us that in spades. This band has a keen ear for beautiful melodies, and also gives attention to time signature changes that really mean something. Sometimes, I find bands trying to be so technical that any amount of technique begins to mean nothing. This band is mature enough already to understand what technique is really meant to do: to supplement the music. They do quite a good job with structuring this album, as the first seven tracks are all part of the title song. There is also another three track song called "My First Breath" later in the album that I find to be both lyrically and musically compelling. The band just has a way of making nostalgic guitar lines that are further bolstered by the excellent keyboard work. Their musical and vocals hooks really grab you.

Therefore, this album is not a technical feat. It contains excellent performances, still. The band is made up of three individuals, while the vocalist is a guest singer named Joey Myers. I think they need to get him on board, though, as his vocal style is simple, melodic, and quaint. It fits the music perfectly. As for the instruments, the band provides a great mix of fantastic acoustic guitar lines that seem to transition into electric without a hitch. The drums are also appropriate, but still more than proficient. Also, the keys on this album are a real treat. They often drive the melodies, and there is a good variety of tone. I also find the bass to be very foundational to the rest of the music and excellently performed. Lastly. there are some other more novel instruments used, such as the Malletkat and other percussion instruments. These add an even proggier feel to the music.

I cannot recommend this album enough for those that like thoughtful, lyrically-rich music. The music itself lends itself to the introspective mood, and I believe that's how it should be. This album explores the soul of the writer, and I find that to be far more interesting than any amount of showboating. This album is a work of art, pure and simple.

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 At The End Of Myself by ECHOES OF GIANTS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.95 | 76 ratings

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At The End Of Myself
Echoes Of Giants Crossover Prog

Review by PH

5 stars ECHOES OF GIANTS hail from Columbia, MO (USA). This new outfit consists of Wes Bolton (guitars, programming), Tracy Thomas (keyboards, percussion, drums, malletkat, programming) and Rick Kaufmann (bass guitar), who are augmented by guest vocalist Joey Myers. Their debut CD 'At The End Of Myself' presents a fascinating trip through one of the most consistent progressive albums in 2013. It would be fair to say that there are references to Spock's Beard, Enchant, Rush and Salem Hill, along with less obvious hints to Coldplay and Radiohead. Oddly enough, I hear aesthetics of Genesis and Pink Floyd to some extent. On the other hand, Echoes Of Giants are far from copyists. These fellows have managed to create an elegant style full of colour and vibrant. The musical approach revolves around building a mid-tempo melancholy tension. It has a deep 'up front' impact that hits your senses immediately. The opener, lengthy title track is a pastiche uniting seven parts. This epic (21:55 min) is going through a variety of changes, maintaining a balance between soft atmospheric parts and more energetic sections. Never a dull moment! The rest of content has plenty to offer, sticking closely to the formula established on the title composition. Everything flows together smoothly. It's not easy for me to pick out any highlight, as 'At The End Of Myself' is engrossing throughout. Lyrics complement the music inside well. This new American group can bring a signature sound that's familiar, but unmistakably - Echoes Of Giants. Their songwriting and vocal skills are astounding. Overall then, I strongly encourage you to get a copy of CD

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