The Pursuit

Written by: LF on 28/06/2014 22:00:42

British progressive post-metal band Echoes have been present on the scene for some time now but only just this year have they finally put out a full debut album, and it is an extremely stylish and ambitious one, musically as well as visually with its simplistic cover art and the black and white slow-motion of the attached music video for the single "Honour Lost".

The songs are all long and winding, the intricate music droning and swirling its way through the album in what feels like one big tidal wave from start to finish. Some parts of songs stand out but only fleetingly, and as such it feels like the album is running in big, slow circles rather than evolving in any particular direction. Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing, especially not when the vocal work matches the immense instrumental background in intensity, the two in combination making for an extremely emotional and gritty soundscape. Especially the album closer "See & Believe", which is also the longest song at a little over eight minutes, has burned itself into my mind as the song with the most instantly recognizable guitar riffs, and the most haunting vocals of the entire album. The sense of purpose and complex movement that I find in that song is sadly something that some of the other songs could have used just slightly more of to really touch me. As it is, the end result of listening to this record is more than anything else an experience of strangely heartfelt numbness and while I can appreciate a band trying to communicate that feeling in their music, I just wish that some of the songs would add a little nuance to that feeling.

The songs where the lyrics are most clearly audible thus speak to me more than the others for two reasons. First of all, I absolutely adore the way the vocalist wrings them from his throat when he is constantly right on the verge of breaking into full-fledged screaming, these being the most beautiful and visceral moments of the album. Second, the tormented lyrics expressed in this way provide something to hold on to in the hopelessness communicated by the vast soundscape, and that helps with not getting pointlessly lost in it for longer stretches of time. In conclusion, I am extremely sympathetic towards the sound of this band but I feel like they fall a little short of their own ambition and lose themselves in their compositions so much that they forget to guide the listener properly through them.


Download: Honour Lost, See & Believe, Wooden Hearts
For The Fans Of: Devil Sold His Soul, Cult of Luna, Rinoa

Release date 24.03.2014

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