Band Website: www.echolyn.com
Label: Independent Release
Release Date: 2012
What can you say about Echolyn? In my books they havenít ever released a bad album. And with each new CD they seem to capture a slightly different moment in musical time. So it is with the release of echolyn (notice the small caps to distinguish it from their first release). Having played their first gig in 1989, Echolyn have maintained a stable lineup of Ray Weston (lead & backing vocals), Brett Kull (guitars, lead & backing vocals), Chris Buzby (keyboards, backing vocals), Paul Ramsey (drums, percussion, backing vocals) and Tom Hyatt (bass, backing vocals). On this new album, the boys from Eastern Pennsylvania have created yet another musical wonder full of stirring instrumental passages and layer upon layer of warm and inviting melodies.
echolyn is roughly 70-minutes of music split evenly over two discs for a very specific reason that has to do mainly with getting the most out of a listening session. Each disc contains four tracks most of which are on the long side. This is some of the finest symphonic prog you will hear and this time around the musical selections roll along effortlessly displaying a myriad of musical changeups that seem perfect. In fact there is a certain sense of effortlessness that pervades these selections. Itís like everything Echolyn are about has come together. They donít seem to be trying and yet this is perhaps their most accomplished music both in terms of its complexity and simplicity. The layers of musicality create a depth in the music that is hard to fathom, for example on a track like Islands [16:37] where they go from one brilliant melody to the next. Just when you think this is the big ending, we move to another segment that develops yet another wonderful theme or musical motif. One of the clear strengths of the band is the fact everyone sings creating multiple layers of vocal harmonies. The musical virtuosity is understated as guitar and keyboard interplay is everywhere, finely woven into the fabric of the compositions. Thereís even some bass solo time in the spotlight. They make it seem so deceptively simple. .
To my ears this is the best Echolyn yet! Everything theyíre about is on display; the musical and vocal complexity, the lyrical melodies, the anthemic passages, itís all here. Grand passages of huge swells of music set beside soft, plaintive introspective passages. What more can you say. Itís Echolyn; you have to check them out. Highly Recommended.