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Echolyn - Echolyn CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.73 | 152 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
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.

Warthur | 3/5 |


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