Echoes - Nature | Existence,
I have to confess that my knowledge of the Venezuelan music scene is pretty poor, in fact it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that it is totally non existent, but at least I do now know one band that comes from there, and mighty fine they are too. Echoes first started to get attention for themselves in 2005 when they won the prestigious ‘Alma Mater’ Rock Festival and since then they have been playing as many shows and festivals in their own country as possible to hone their craft. This is their debut album, released at the beginning of 2010, and shows that these guys have a view of metal and prog that is going to gain them many friends in countries well outside of South America.
The press release says that it is a mixture of prog rock with math metal and loads of other stuff thrown in for good measure and I reminded myself that yet again I shouldn’t read the press release before playing the album as how could that be right? One eaten humble pie later I can say that I totally get where that statement is coming from – there are bits and pieces, in fact whole passages, that could have come straight from the latest Protest The Hero opus, while at others the guys definitely show their prog inclinations. There is a section in “Despair” where they combine all of this with some great sax (care of guest Dave Duffus) that tries to bring all of their influences into a VDGG maelstrom and it works oh so very well indeed.
This is an album that does benefit from being played very loud indeed, yet while there are huge metal elements there is no way that this could be confused with being a straight metal album. So okay it is prog metal, but much more in common with Dream Theater than acts like Threshold, and then not really like them either. Imagine Protest The Hero playing prog and that is the best analogy I can come up with, and as they are one of my favourite bands you can see how much I have enjoyed this. The vocals appear to be all guests, so it is probably no surprise that a) they are top quality and b) there are very long instrumental passages. But this is much more than fancy metal, as there is delicate piano, acoustic guitars, strings and so many other musical ideas to discover.
These guys are incredible musicians with great songs, and overall this is an album that needs to be discovered at once if not sooner.www.progrockrecords.com