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ECHOLYN

Symphonic Prog • United States


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Echolyn biography
Strongly influenced by GENTLE GIANT, this outstanding american band has enough musicianship to deliver original, powerful, intricate, yet beautiful prog rock. The music is full of details, either in strong passages or in the quietest acoustic moods. The GG like Fender Rhoades piano brings the music to a higher atmosphere on the quiet parts. Fabulous acoustic guitar is present all the time, to break the power stream at the right time - always. Theres nothing more to say. This is essencial american prog rock, and "As The World" is their masterpiece.

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Buy ECHOLYN Music


EcholynEcholyn
CD Baby 2012
Audio CD$15.99
$39.95 (used)
As the WorldAs the World
Sony 1995
Audio CD$31.88
$4.94 (used)
MeiMei
CD Baby 2004
Audio CD$12.96
$13.24 (used)
The End Is BeautifulThe End Is Beautiful
Import
CD BABY.COM/INDYS 2006
Audio CD$12.99
$11.34 (used)
As the WorldAs the World
Import
Velveteen Records 2012
Audio CD$12.99
$21.98 (used)
Orange-ish BlueOrange-ish Blue
Import
CD Baby 2004
Audio CD$14.48
$14.47 (used)
This Is My HaloThis Is My Halo
Import
CD Baby 2004
Audio CD$12.98
Cowboy Poems FreeCowboy Poems Free
CD Baby 2009
Audio CD$9.99
$17.25 (used)
Suffocating the BloomSuffocating the Bloom
CD Baby 2004
Audio CD$11.66
$8.00 (used)
When The Sweet Turns SourWhen The Sweet Turns Sour
Syn-Phonic
Audio CD$12.99
$10.00 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
ECHOLYN sealed CD Suffocating The Bloom PROG private press BRIDGE cosmic PSYCH USD $14.50 [6 bids]
4h 2m
BALLOON ASTRONOMY - Balloon Astronomy 2011 NEW USA SPOCKS .ECHOLYN STYLE USD $15.21 Buy It Now 17h 14m
As The World - Echolyn (2005, CD New) USD $20.78 Buy It Now 1 day
Echolyn - As The World [CD New] USD $20.78 Buy It Now 1 day
Mei - Echolyn (CD Used Very Good) USD $16.05 Buy It Now 2 days
As the World by Echolyn (CD, Mar-1995, Epic (USA)) USD $29.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Mei - Echolyn (2004, CD New) USD $20.36 Buy It Now 6 days
Finneus Gauge: One Inch Of The Fall - Echolyn/Buzby (2004, CD New) USD $18.92 Buy It Now 6 days
ECHOLYN - "As The World" CD 1995 1st US PROMO + BIO - ORIG (Sony 550 Music) USD $19.88 Buy It Now 6 days
Echolyn/Buzby - Finneus Gauge: One Inch Of The Fall [CD New] USD $21.98 Buy It Now 6 days
Echolyn - Mei [CD New] USD $18.05 Buy It Now 7 days
Echolyn: Stars and Gardens DVD Region 1 USD $41.51 Buy It Now 8 days
ECHOLYN - WHEN THE SWEET TURNS SOUR (CYCL 036) PROGRESSIVE ROCK CD USD $18.75 Buy It Now 9 days
Echolyn Buzby Chris - Finneus Gauge: One Inch Of The Fall CD USD $23.39 Buy It Now 10 days
Cowboy Poems Free (2008) Echolyn Audio CD USD $34.64 Buy It Now 10 days
Echolyn - As The World CD Pop Rock USD $26.79 Buy It Now 11 days
Echolyn - Mei CD Pop Rock USD $23.39 Buy It Now 11 days
Cowboy Poems Free - Echolyn (CD Used Very Good) USD $16.12 Buy It Now 12 days
Suffocating The Bloom - Echolyn (CD Used Very Good) USD $16.21 Buy It Now 12 days
Cowboy Poems Free - Echolyn (2009, CD New) USD $18.69 Buy It Now 12 days
Suffocating The Bloom - Echolyn (2004, CD New) USD $18.72 Buy It Now 12 days
Echolyn - Suffocating The Bloom [CD New] USD $18.21 Buy It Now 12 days
Echolyn - Cowboy Poems Free [CD New] USD $18.12 Buy It Now 12 days
Suffocating the Bloom Echolyn Audio CD USD $34.64 Buy It Now 13 days
As the World Echolyn Audio CD USD $39.26 Buy It Now 15 days
Echolyn - Cowboy Poems Free CD USD $23.39 Buy It Now 16 days
Echolyn - Suffocating The Bloom CD USD $23.39 Buy It Now 16 days
Finneus Gauge: One Inch of the Fall Echolyn CD USD $34.64 Buy It Now 17 days
ECHOLYN-COWBOY POEMS FRE-CD JUST FOR KICKS NEW USD $28.89 Buy It Now 18 days
Mei Echolyn Audio CD USD $34.64 Buy It Now 18 days
NO MORE PAIN The Post Human Condition JAPAN CD Kansas Echolyn Dream Theater USD $25.80 Buy It Now 18 days
As the World by Echolyn (CD, Mar-1995, Epic (USA)) USD $5.00 Buy It Now 21 days
echolyn-as the world CD NEW USD $26.03 Buy It Now 22 days
ECHOLYN Cowboy Poems Free CD 2000/2008 Remix/Remast PROG Sealed USA USD $15.99 Buy It Now 23 days
Orange-Ish Blue - Echolyn/Kull (2004, CD New) USD $18.79 Buy It Now 25 days
Echolyn/Kull - Orange-Ish Blue [CD New] USD $22.48 Buy It Now 25 days
Echolyn As the World cd new USD $49.99 Buy It Now 26 days
RITUAL New CD PROG '04 SPV Remaster (Kaipa, Yes, Gentle Giant, Echolyn, Wobbler) USD $12.99 Buy It Now 27 days
As The World - Echolyn (CD Used Very Good) USD $18.78 Buy It Now 27 days


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ECHOLYN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ECHOLYN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.80 | 100 ratings
Echolyn
1991
4.18 | 239 ratings
Suffocating The Bloom
1992
3.95 | 240 ratings
As The World
1995
2.93 | 80 ratings
When The Sweet Turns Sour
1996
3.80 | 136 ratings
Cowboy Poems Free
2000
4.12 | 261 ratings
Mei
2002
3.93 | 174 ratings
The End Is Beautiful
2005
4.12 | 432 ratings
echolyn
2012
3.93 | 57 ratings
I Heard You Listening
2015

ECHOLYN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.21 | 5 ratings
Progfest '94 - The Official Bootleg
2002
3.67 | 22 ratings
Official Live Bootleg: Jersey Tomato
2002

ECHOLYN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.37 | 29 ratings
Stars And Gardens - Volume 4
2004

ECHOLYN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.11 | 18 ratings
A Little Nonsense Now And Then - Boxed Set
2002

ECHOLYN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.29 | 21 ratings
And Every Blossom
1993
2.38 | 5 ratings
As The World 2000 / Suffocating The Bloom 2000
2000
4.00 | 5 ratings
Accumulated Blur
2012
4.00 | 1 ratings
Lovesick Morning
2012
4.00 | 2 ratings
Moments with No Sound
2012
4.50 | 2 ratings
This Is How We Left It
2012
4.31 | 8 ratings
Crows Fly By
2013
4.00 | 8 ratings
Another Stone
2013

ECHOLYN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 I Heard You Listening by ECHOLYN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.93 | 57 ratings

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I Heard You Listening
Echolyn Symphonic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team

3 stars ECHOLYN I Heard You Listening

"Messenger of All's Right" (6:23) opens with a brilliant use of space and pace with no over-the top melodies or incongruous changes. At least for the first three minutes. Guitar solo at 3:00 sucks. The quiet gap of whispered vocal after is also odd but okay. Another odd guitar solo--very odd choice of guitar sound--almost like Dave Gregory's (XTC, Big Big Train). "--there is one who'll pull me out" ?!?!?!? WTF?! (8/10)

2. "Warjazz" (5:16) sounds like an Echolyn attempt at heavier rock. Again, the choices of guitar sounds are not at all to my liking. Odd lyrical message. Nice coda at the end of the third minute leading into a nice section of harmonized vocals. This is followed by an abrasive section of guitar and screeching voice before the song pauses and winds up for the closing minute. (6/10)

3. "Empyrean Views" (9:18) starts out sounding so familiar Echolyn--like a total rehashing of the music from their last album's "Past Gravity." The switch at 3:13 tries to move away from this, but then they get into their older, early STEELY DAN "Country-Jazz" sound. This is acceptable, sometimes enjoyable, thought the choral shout "calls for a destination" is odd and completely lost on me, lyrical deaf-mute that I am. The dreamy waltz arpeggios at 6:40 are engaging, but then just as soon they are gone. A decent Jeff Baxter-Like guitar solo fills the eighth minute before synths take over and start a friendly duel with the guitarist. This could definitely be an early DOOBIE BROTHERS or STEELY DAN song! (8/10)

4. "Different Ways" (7:47) opens like an attempt at a YES song (Drama/90120) before settling into a true STEELY DAN sound. ("Any Major Dude" comes to mind.) The chorus returns to the YES "Changes"-sounding form. Really odd bridge at 3:20 leads into heavy section before things quiet down and Fagen sing-talks one of his signature stories. A little early AMBROSIA sound is recognizable in this one as the song gets into its final third. (7/10)

5. "Carried Home" (5:10) opens with a gorgeous sound, like a classic hit song from the late 60s?from the CLASSICS IV ("Stormy"), THE BEATLES or even The Association. An awesome, aweome song. I love the female background vocals at 2:40 followed by a truly great electric guitar solo. The best singing I've ever heard from this band. Great AMERICA-like harmony at 3:25--which leads into a nice section of great lead and harmony vocals to the end. (9/10)

6. "Once I Get Mine" (5:40) plays like a song from the early 80s--like THE TUBES meet THE KNACK to play XTC. A complete throw away song for me. Even the jazz-rock section at 2:40 can't bring me back. (5/10)

7. "Sound of Bees" (6:57) is built over a nice weave of arpeggios--from guitar, piano, and bass--which are then intermittently added to by different instruments throughout the course of the song. The lyric or vocalist's melody line are not interesting enough to lure me in. Nice solo guitar work over organ from 3:10 on. (8/10)

8. "All This Time We're Given" (7:59) opens with a guitar sound going way back to the 50s or 60s over which a gorgeous CROSBY, STILLS & NASH like voice sings plaintively. Great shift at 1:42. I'm really loving this vocal! I might even try to go into the lyric to try to figure out what he's singing about! AT 3:10 there is a shift into more aggressive rock--very much in keeping with a late 60s CROSBY, STILLS & NASH song. It's working! Even the more aggressive singing voice and harmonies. AT 4:58 there's another shift into some very delicate solo electric guitar picking before the vocal and the rest of the band returns to rehash the A and B sections. I love the NEIL YOUNG-like stand-up piano solos in the seventh minute! Nice job! (8/10) 9. "Vanishing Sun" (7:32) opens with some distorted walking bass lines and raunchy electric guitar chord strums. Drums eventually establish a rhythm which the heavy bass settles into and then organ joins in. At the two minute mark an odd new song begins with a nondescript aggressive vocal performance scringing his way into a better chorus section. And swear words! "Kill me now!" he says. Now I can't help but hear some of the words: "Anger is the root," "...set the room ablaze," "What a wasted life," "What a lonely life." The band as a whole seems to try to express anger through their increasingly aggressive and loud instrumental play before settling into a DAVID BOWIE "Suffragette City" kind of jam to the end. (6/10)

These guys are obviously talented and knowledgable and intelligent but their music just never connects with me. I appreciate it and I play it--always giving it another chance, trying to figure out what I'm missing--but I leave it in dismay and never seek it out. Even my favorite song of theirs, "The End Is Beautiful" I rarely play. I try Cowboy Poems Free three or four times a year. No luck. Inconsistency and a little too much obscure quirk keep me at a distance. What impresses me most is their use of odd--very odd--chords--sometimes just one single chord--thrown into songs at the oddest of places--chords that feel as if they were saving from a tremendous wealth of collected chords from a tremendously deep knowledge and familiarity with the vast history of rock'n'roll and music in general. But, like an inside joke or a family's private language, I seem to be left on the outside. Maybe as "All This Time We're Given" and "Carried Home" make there rounds on my "new music" playlist I'll snap into it. It took me 35 years to "get" and fall head over heels in love with Gentle Giant. Maybe it'll be the same for Echolyn. Until then this is a three star album for me--3.5 at best.

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 I Heard You Listening by ECHOLYN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.93 | 57 ratings

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I Heard You Listening
Echolyn Symphonic Prog

Review by Spook76

5 stars Where to start with a review of 'I Heard You Listening' ("Listening") the new album by echolyn? I will begin with how important I hoped this album would be for me. I took the day off from work on Friday, July 17th waiting for the digital download code as I had preordered the album on July 1st. At about 3pm (EDT) I received the email from Brett Kull and downloaded the 24/96 high resolution version (yes, I am a music nerd according to Brett in the email).

Now what to say about the music? Listening is undeniably the echolyn sound but subtlety different from the albums that proceeded it. It has graceful vocal harmonies, the beautiful quite passages counterpointed by more energetic parts that is the echolyn sound. It is easy to spot parts that remind me of the 2012 'Echolyn', 'The End Is Beautiful' or even 'mei' but with a fresh approach.

Listening is not simply a regurgitation of the past but a maturing and an evolution of their sound. Listening has parts with more of a hard edge with great guitar riffs and in others softer parts than I have heard since 'As The World' back in 1995. I hope a reader realizes how difficult it is for me to describe what I feel is a modern masterpiece. I always felt 'mei' would be the apex of echolyn but Listening may have surpassed it. It is a tragedy echolyn is not one of the biggest acts in progressive or all of music.

This album clearly really represents a labor of love for musicians who do it for the love of music meeting as they did every Thursday night for almost three years to produce this album. I will only mention one tract on the album, the tenth track which is only available for those who preordered the CD. It is not the most memorable and is the shortest at a little over three minutes and really does not fit the sound of the album but "Love, Why Weren't You Missed" was to my ears recorded as a very private thank you from echolyn to its fans.

Anyone who loves Yes, Genesis, Frost* or Spock's Beard, to name a few, owes it to themselves to give 'I Heard You Listening' a listen :-) because these five men from Pennsylvania just get right and with this album they have definitely done it again.

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 When The Sweet Turns Sour by ECHOLYN album cover Studio Album, 1996
2.93 | 80 ratings

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When The Sweet Turns Sour
Echolyn Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars What started as a dream for Echolyn, ended up to be a nightmare and led to the demise of the group.''As the world'' was warmly received by the worldwide press, but Sony refused to support them on their upcoming tour, which included a performance at Progfest 95' as headliners.Upon returning on their basis, Echolyn were dumbed by Sony and the dissapointed Chris Buzby and Thomas Hyatt left the band.Echolyn's first phase came to an end at the fall of 95', followed by a 1996 posthumous album, ''When the sweet turns sour'', released both on Cyclops and Kinesis and containing unreleased and live material.

So, most of the songs on this album are working attempts by Echolyn on new compositions, mostly recorded during the last few weeks of their existence, and, despite containing the unmet, quirky sound of the band, they sound a bit flat and uninspired as a whole.Additionally parts of the album appear as Echolyn going towards Prog Pop and some keyboard passages are certainly a bit forced and weak.Unexpected rhythm and mood changes and multi-vocal harmonies are still in the menu, it's just that most of the tracks do not sound like good, old Echolyn anymore.The symphonic elements and light, jazzy overtones have given their place to a style close to mid- to late-70's GENTLE GIANT minus the funky vibes, plus a rockier enviroment, an expression of Prog, Fusion and Pop with questionable results.The album's title refers to an attempt by the band to cover Genesis' ''Where the sour turns to sweet'', the guys certainly added their own naughty vibes, but the choice of the track would be a best fit for groups close to MAGELLAN (which they recall a little bit too much on this work) than for Echloyn.The live tracks, representing the band on stage, are ''A little nonsense'' and ''As the world'', two well-known cuts from Echolyn's repertoire, coming as a pair of impressive Prog Rock in the bunch of average recollections from the band's fading days.I want to be fair with them, parts of the unreleased pieces are trully efficient and definitely on par with Echolyn's personal musical approach, but the average production and lack of passion are more than evident throughout.

The least interesting of all Echolyn albums.Documentary recordings from the act's last days before disbanding, showcasing Echolyn at their most Fusion side with a bit of advanced Pop aesthetics.Not bad, but if you're a fan of the band you will definitely find this one lacking the absolute nerve of other releases...2.5 stars.

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 As The World by ECHOLYN album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.95 | 240 ratings

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As The World
Echolyn Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Finally Echolyn's music was awarded, after reaching the ears of one of the biggest record companies worldwide, Sony Music/Epic Records.They were offered a multi-album contract, which they signed of course, and most of the year 1994 was spent in significant live performances, inluding their visit at Progfest 94' as well as opening for Dream Theater for three shows on the East Coast.Inbetween they found time to travel to Nashville, Tennessee and record what was going to become the first work for Sony.The album was titled ''As the world'' and was released in March 1995.

Changing label and entering one of the largest music industries wouldn't affect Echolyn's progressive attitude, I would dare to say that the impact was on the other side, the music remained fairly complex and intricate, if not even more challenging compared to the previous studio albums, with the band showing a tendency to add a tad more Fusion vibes in the menu and work less on their symphonic arrangements.Moreover there is even a more rockin' and aggressive approach on vocals and rhythms, following the fashion of the period, which wanted your rock music to contain anger and energy.Of course ''As the world'' has nothing to do with Heavy/Alternative Rock or Grunge, the vocal harmonies are still grounded in a GENTLE GIANT vein and the arrangements rely between complicated instrumental moves and quasi-symphonic lines, but the band had added some power inches in the process.The material is filled with unexpected breaks and odd time signatures with Brett Kull's guitar sounding a bit more jazzy and rockin' and apparently the whole team following his steps and offering quirky piano themes, energetic tempos and explosive synth moves.What strikes the most though is that big part of the music is not very memorable with the band getting a bit lost in their own talents and chaotic instrumental parts.On the other hand an Echolyn release is never a waste of time, the multi-parted ''Letters'' is the track, which shows the true ability of the Americans with the strong KANSAS, YES and GENTLE GIANT vibrations.

Not the most preferable album of the Echolyn catalogue in my opinion, still a nice treasure of challenging and dense Prog Rock with evident 70's flavors.Recommended.

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 As The World by ECHOLYN album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.95 | 240 ratings

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As The World
Echolyn Symphonic Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Moon Safari's "Himlabacken I", Ozric Tentacles' "Strangitude", Spock's Beard's "V", Just about anything I know by Gentle Giant, It Bites' "Once Around the World", some Peter Gabriel Genesis, a bit of Dixie Dregs, and some early Barenaked Ladies. If you could pick and choose some of this, a heap of that, a dash of this, a spoonful of that from the list above you might well come up with this album by Echolyn. The music moves and rolls and the vocals and harmonies dart in and out, soar over top, and bounce along the surface in a way that makes this feel a bit like a work of progressive show tunes music. The lyrics can be straightforward or quirky, the singing aggressive like an angry folk artist or smoothly harmonized like a capella but backed by a music band. There's a distinctive mood and flavour to the album so that in a way you may feel like you've gone to see a musical for the visually impaired.

I had listened to samples of Echolyn before and had been considering on and off to buy one of their albums. But after I read about this album in Stephen Lambe's book about progressive rock, I decided to just go ahead and order it. The new release I have doesn't come with the original cover pictured above but there's a second disc that's a DVD from some concert they performed (which I haven't had a chance to watch yet).

This may not be everyone's cup of prog but it is a well-crafted album. Certainly when one is in the mood, this can be an enjoyable and entertaining serving of music in which to indulge oneself. A sign that prog was on the way up once again in the 90's.

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 And Every Blossom by ECHOLYN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1993
3.29 | 21 ratings

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And Every Blossom
Echolyn Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Echolyn were hit by the spring fever of 93' and left aside their electric complexity for a month to come up with an unplugged mini album full of enjoyable, poppy tunes.''...And every blossom'' was released again on Bridge Records, consisting of four song with a total length of 15 minutes.Wind and string instrument varieties were provided by some guest friends of the Germantown Academy.

Echolyn do sound a bit like GENTLE GIANT during their fading days, they try to mix a sophisticated Chamber/Folk with vocal-based Pop and the result is far from their previous releases, still pretty decent within the scope of its creation.The basic instrumental dominance comes from the limited space for such ideas and the delicate work on flutes, trumpets, cello and violins, supported by the lovely piano lines of Christopher Buzby.As aforementioned, ''''...And every blossom'' was a totally acoustic offering with a good production, relying on acoustic tricks, short string/woodwind orchestrations and hidden rural inspirations.Its style remains along the lines of sophisticated Pop music with nice vocal lines and interesting acoustic sessions, always delivered with a positive mood, but somewhat moving away from the usual offerings of the band.

Actually I would recommended this album only to Echolyn fans.Pleasant sophisticated Art Pop, which showcases the band's external talent, but fails to stand next to Echolyn's monumental full-length albums...2.5 stars.

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 Suffocating The Bloom by ECHOLYN album cover Studio Album, 1992
4.18 | 239 ratings

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Suffocating The Bloom
Echolyn Symphonic Prog

Review by Mr. Mustard

5 stars After what I would generously call a downtime in the world of prog in the form of the 80's, new life is given to the genre in part by echolyn's sophomore album, Suffocating the Bloom. These guys are strongly influenced by 70's prog, yet their own quirky style and modern twist make their sound truly unique and innovative.

Their main influence is definitely Gentle Giant, with the album being filled with both vocal and instrumental counterpoint, and the keyboard use Gentle Giant and the genre are so well known for. Yet they only merely incorporate this into their sound, which could be perfectly and succinctly summarized as dynamic.

This album in particular is good at showcasing the band's dynamics, which ranges from intense and energetic, to laid-back and atmospheric. Just as varied is the instrument use, which includes strings, flute, sax and different keyboard sounds to give this a very symphonic feel despite being so dowsed with the influence of Gentle Giant.

Don't let the short length of the songs fool you; each song is as dynamic as plenty of the 15-minute epics. It is this fact that is perhaps the albums strongest point; being able to stuff as many engaging melodies and riffs into a single song, yet retain a sense of unity by repeating and developing themes.

On a song-wise basis, the album is best split into two halves; the first containing a collection of unrelated tracks, and the second half working as more of a suite. Really, it's hard to find a fault in any song, a truly remarkable feat of consistency. The energetic opening of'21,' the melodic and powerful 'Winterthru' or the brilliant build-up of 'Memoirs From Between' are just a few examples of the band's musical tools. The suite itself is a further testament to the sheer variety in sound and song structure these guys achieve; ranging from the string-lead opening, the driving and quirky 'Bearing Down,' or the baroque-tinged 'Cannoning in B-major,' To extend this list to adequately describe the band's true variety of sounds would be overkill.

Overall, I couldn't recommend this album enough. It is one of the albums, along with the more well-known Spock's Beard, Flower Kings, and Anglagard releases of the time that is responsible for bringing prog back to life in the 90's, and I believe it is an essential album in this regard.

9/10

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 As The World by ECHOLYN album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.95 | 240 ratings

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As The World
Echolyn Symphonic Prog

Review by Mr. Mustard

4 stars After their excellent sophomoric effort in Suffocating the Bloom, echolyn returns with another batch of inspired songs. On this album, the band took the Gentle Giant influence rampant on Suffocating the Bloom and took it a step further, making this perhaps their most Gentle Giant- like, and possibly most complex album.

Also like the previous album, As the World turns features a plethora of shorter songs, an atypical choice for prog. But make no mistake, each track is as progressive and varied as any epic could be. There is a lot going on in each song, thanks in part in the band's ability to load every song with great moments while retaining cohesiveness.

On a song-wise basis, the first half of the album is a bit stronger than the latter half, leaving a slight consistency issue. The grooving riff-based 'Uncle,' contrapuntal vocal-lead 'Best Regards' and the blazingly fast and chaotic title track are some of echolyn's best. The latter half is a bit weaker, as their sound begins to wear thin. The other problem is the individual songs don't carry as much identity or personality as Suffocating the Bloom, which is more varied on a song by song basis.

Overall, I would say this is a solid follow up to Suffocating the Bloom. This is definitely a must have for Gentle Giant fans wanting to explore the creative ways modern bands are channeling their influences, but is respectable in its own right, and certainty one of echolyn's best.

7/10

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 Mei by ECHOLYN album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.12 | 261 ratings

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Mei
Echolyn Symphonic Prog

Review by Mr. Mustard

5 stars Echolyn has been pushing the envelope of modern prog since their debut, and have developed a sound which both references the sounds of retro prog and reflects a style unique to themselves. With mei, the band reaches their musical peak; and no better way to express this than in the form of a 50-minute epic. In fifty minutes the band is able to encapsulate everything they represent up to at this point, be it influences, musicianship, or compositional quirks. But moreover, I believe this is a good representation of prog in general; be it modern or not.

In its 50-minute duration, the band explores a myriad of sounds and styles, yet never truly stray from what they established on one of their first few albums. Ranging from laid-back to aggressive, melodic to dissonant, delicate to heavy, this album explores the full spectrum of sounds and styles.

Of course fans of the band will still be presented with the Gentle Giant influence in the form of vocal counterpoint, syncopation, and that definitive keyboard sound. But it is clear the band took a more symphonic approach with this album, being filled with organ runs and supporting orchestral instruments such as strings, clarinet and flute.

The album, consisting of a single track, should be listened to as such. Fortunately, the song is both chocked full of great moments, yet feels like a cohesive whole. Themes are developed and repeated occasionally, but the real factor here is the sheer number of great melodies and riffs. Suffice it to say every second of this masterpiece contributes to the brilliance of the song as a whole.

This is truly a musical adventure from beginning to end; with unexpected twists and turns along the way. One moment may be dramatically different from the next, but the flow is never hindered. Whether it be the heavy and aggressive climax (33:00) to the subdued part that follows, or simply the string of riffs in the 'all that's golden' section (12:00), the album is a never ending stream of excitement and brilliance.

Mei serves as both the apex of the band's career, but also as a guide of what modern prog should be: Utilizing influences, but never regurgitating, to create an exciting, dynamic, and innovative piece of music. This album is truly a gem. The only unfortunate downside is its too unknown. But sometimes the rarest reap the best rewards.

10/10

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 Mei by ECHOLYN album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.12 | 261 ratings

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Mei
Echolyn Symphonic Prog

Review by agla

4 stars From a band like Echolyn we always expect the best: work as " Suffocating the Bloom " and especially " As the world" are real masterpieces of modern prog .

"Mei " is very close to those sounds sparkling, made of analog sounds, dinamic percussion and lovely melodies, but seems partially obscured by a cloud heavy, gray, with the striking artwork to accentuate this approach.

The basic concept is left to interpretations very free, symbolizing in an almost " cathartic " the journey and its values .

We take as a comparison two classic suites "Close to the Edge" or " Thick as a brick ": in " Mei " is missing the division into sections or movements , it is slightly marked predominance of themes, that mark the highlights of speech.

The vocals are divided between Ray Weston (also on bass) and Brett Kull: the guitarist seems to background, working to give body and strength. Chris Buzby dominates wisely on keyboards either a sound purely " vintage". Toghether Paul Ramsey is confirmed percussionist Pearlson, and the rhythmic scores are more "linear" than before, less sharp, also thanks to the " roundness " of the keyboard- work, the same vocals , though suggestive , do not have the complexity of the years.

A special mention deserves the good work of Kull, between recording and mixing, but penalizing the choice not to break the cd in different tracks, there are many interesting moments, that deserve to be played back, in particular towards the final fireworks .

The catchy vocal passages, the smart choice for a small string section, which is often intertwined with tunes disturbing the mellotron, more discreet presence of the winds, favorite colors are dark and shadowy, sometimes sinister, little space for virtuosity individual, much to the chorus.

This is also a stretch winning album, and an characteristic of the "new " Echolyn , it seems that they have developed a very personal way of composing, more relaxed and serene. References fusion of the past seem to be forgotten, a vague echo of the experience Finneus Gauge is present, Summing up, I think it is undoubted validity ' of " Mei", compared to the average of production in the prog music.

The Echolyn fanciful and " abundant "of the past are now buried, advancing relentlessly simplifying the sound, always charming and engaging, having regard to the capacity of the four.

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