Rating:
9.2
Echoes - Nature/Existence
2010


01. Epilogue (...Is Where We Start)
02. Rude Awakening
03. Leaf Motif
04. Lullaby
05. Bonfires
06. Unfair
07. Seasons Came To Pass
08. Far From Coincidence
09. Despair
10. Winds Of Dread
11. Farewell
12. Prologue (Where We End...)


Be ready to be floored by their musicianship. Be ready to be mesmerized by their song-writing. They might reshape your understanding of music as you know it. They are Echoes, an unabashed progressive band from Venezuela. That's right. Venezuela. And as far as prog music goes, their debut album Nature|Existence is close to perfection.

Cleverly balancing prog power metal and prog rock and throwing in a healthy does of post-rock, Echoes is sure to expand your musical horizons. Originally an instrumental combo, the band teamed up with some great session vocalists to produce an excellent mix of instrumental tracks and killer songs. Every musician on this album seems to be playing guitars, and that is actually close to the truth. The band is composed of Javier Landaeta (guitars), Antonio Silva (guitars), Rafael Sequera (guitars), Alfredo Ovalles (keys, percussion and… guitars), Jorge Rojas (bass) and Miguel Angel Moline (drums). All vocals are handled by session musicians Carl Webb, Nick Storr, Tobias Jansson and Pedro Castillo. The names might not impress you but their vocals will. Every single singer has that "it" factor.

Echoes managed to let their musical landscape vibrate, leaving room for their melodies to flourish and for their atmospheres to fill the room. The major force of the band is to let you guess where the music is going. Mostly prog power a la Dream Theater of olden times mixed in with classy prog rock (think Riverside quality), their sound is a perfect harmony of styles. The production and sound design work of Stefan Schneider paid off big time. Every instrument has a crystalline sound and it all sounds epic.

The bombastic instrumental opening "Epilogue (Is Where We Start)" gives me goose-bumps every time. The guitar work is splendid. You already know you are in for a treat. But then it just gets better whether it is the Glenn Hughes type of voice that Carl Webb showcases on the absolutely monumental "Rude Awakening" or the huge drive chorus sung by Tobias Jansson on "Unfair". Every single track has something new and exciting to offer. "Far From Coincidence" has yet another brilliant song structure and killer vocals. The Pink Floyd-like atmosphere in "Winds of Dread" is to die for, saxophone performance included courtesy of another musician Dave Dufuss. Enough said you get the picture.

In case you jumped directly to this paragraph: Absolute masterpiece, there I said it. With a debut album like Nature|Existence, the Venezuelan combo Echoes can only break through onto the big stage. This is the Progressive album of 2010 for me. No contest. Creativity and power, gutsy vocals, perfect execution, catchy songs, fascinating atmospheres, what else do you need? Spread the word.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 10


Website: http://www.echoes.com.ve


 


written by Demonic Tutor | 16.01.2011



Comments

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Evil Chip - 16.01.2011 at 05:20  
Im listening to it right now. Sounds really promising just for the song Epilogue.
Evil Chip - 16.01.2011 at 05:59  
Just listened entirely to it and wtf it sounds awesome. I like that sometimes sounds really like nature for example in leaf motif. I would give it 9.5 or something and is by far the best prog album I have listened from 2010. I really like the adds of latin percusions adds it a cool vibe like Angra does in some records. Nice to hear this.
Demonic Tutor - 16.01.2011 at 06:09  
Written by Evil Chip on 16.01.2011 at 05:59

Just listened entirely to it and wtf it sounds awesome. I would give it 9.5 or something and is by far the best prog album I have listened from 2010.


I'm glad I am not the only one that thinks so. I must have listened to it like 8 times in a row today.
atma vichara - 16.01.2011 at 07:11  
I heard their songs on MySpace. Someone tell me where i can download or buy their music !
dragonfire1603 - 16.01.2011 at 15:48  
Nice review, got to check it out
Ivor - 16.01.2011 at 20:15  
This is indeed one of the top prog albums of 2010. Easily sitting there in top 5. I'm glad you took your time to write about them. Should have done that myself long ago.

I.
Susan - 17.01.2011 at 00:16  
"their sound is a perfect harmony of styles" Yes! Exactly how I feel about this album.

Thanks for reviewing it, DT, it's beautifully written and the words clearly poured from you as you were listening. This is one of the most beautiful albums I've heard all year, prog or not, and I am hoping they continue/start to get the attention they deserve.
Dark Blood - 17.01.2011 at 01:43  
Hmm nice review. Makes me want to check this out right away. Maybe that's what I'm gonna do
GT - 17.01.2011 at 11:52  
I'll have to listen to this...sounds really good
nb - 17.01.2011 at 15:23  
It is now on my "to check out list".
Daydream Nation - 18.01.2011 at 05:34  
I think you highly overrate this album. I rated it a 7 out of 10. While most of the riffs on the album are fantastic and the instrumentals and atmospheres are impressive, they lack the technicality to really propel it for me. Plus, the second song is an absolute throwaway for me--the lyrics are just too cliche and cheesy for me to get into. The lyrics did improve a little as I went along. This is definitely NOT for fans of Zero Hour, Dream Theatre, etc.; Riverside fans and hard rock fans will love it, though. The power metal elements of the album that you describe are virtually non existent to me. It's just prog, post-rock, ambient music and hard rock, to me. That being said, excellent review. You captured the very essence of why it is such a promising debut.

2010 prog-- WHY MUST YOU FAIL ME?
Susan - 18.01.2011 at 06:18  
Written by Guest on 18.01.2011 at 05:34


2010 prog-- WHY MUST YOU FAIL ME?


No no no! The amazing prog of 2010 was from more underground bands like this. The bigger bands didn't challenge us much, definitely true, but the prog genre had a stellar year anyway without them. Who needs em

And I do agree that the post-rock and prog-rock elements are stronger than any traces of power metal on Nature | Existence, but that's not a bad thing for me. This album was well balanced enough to fit it all in.
Daydream Nation - 18.01.2011 at 14:20  
Written by Susan on 18.01.2011 at 06:18

Written by Guest on 18.01.2011 at 05:34


2010 prog-- WHY MUST YOU FAIL ME?


No no no! The amazing prog of 2010 was from more underground bands like this. The bigger bands didn't challenge us much, definitely true, but the prog genre had a stellar year anyway without them. Who needs em

And I do agree that the post-rock and prog-rock elements are stronger than any traces of power metal on Nature | Existence, but that's not a bad thing for me. This album was well balanced enough to fit it all in.


You sound like someone who knows her stuff! Recommend some great prog of 2010, because clearly I'm not looking in the right spots underground!
Valaskjalf - 22.01.2011 at 00:59  
Hmm...not bad - must admit I was a bit disappointed when I heard it after the review made me really excited. A little too much atmosphere and not enough metal going on, the album sort of just passes. Musically its interesting and theyre good musicians, just not too memorable.
JCJen7 - 25.01.2011 at 08:42  
One of my favorite albums this year definately, just so ridiculously entertaining. I mean, not mind-blowing, but i could listen to this baby for weeks on end and simply never get bored or content with it, it is just THAT interesting of music for me.
Karwyn - 03.02.2011 at 22:34  
Completely agree with Lyrinan about the greatness of the underground as opposed to the more known bands. This album absolutely blew me away! While I still wish the lyrics were a little less cliche, the epic crystalinne atmosphere and vocal delivery more than make up for it.
skurk - 10.02.2011 at 08:10  
This is probably one of the best debutes I have ever heard. Fresh, different and interesting. Totally addicted, can't stop listening to it. 5 times tonight and there will be a lot more.
K†ulu - 26.02.2011 at 22:12  
Unexpectedly found this in a mainstream music store (some cheap copy, but there was a booklet, and the whole thing looks pretty well). Still getting into the album, but I can hear that it is impressive even now. You were definitely right about the vocals. They are very memorable indeed.

The sound is very varied: there is a lot of Evergrey, and that's the first thing I noticed, there is also some Symphony X and Kamelot feels here and there, and Dream Theater and Riverside as were mentioned in the review.

Definitely worth checking out.
Et Ermit - 31.03.2011 at 00:04  
Written by K†ulu on 26.02.2011 at 22:12

Unexpectedly found this in a mainstream music store (

In Ukraine?? Now that's a crazy thing! I'm glad for them can even been found over there.
K†ulu - 31.03.2011 at 10:12  
Written by Et Ermit on 31.03.2011 at 00:04

Written by K†ulu on 26.02.2011 at 22:12

Unexpectedly found this in a mainstream music store (

In Ukraine?? Now that's a crazy thing! I'm glad for them can even been found over there.

Yeah, it's ridiculous. When I asked the salesgirl where they had got the CD from, she had no idea, and she didn't know who they were. Well, I explained... Anyway, I am glad to have bought it.
Milena - 24.06.2011 at 13:03  
It's awesome, just listened to it.
tea[m]ster - 05.11.2011 at 17:29  
I have been giving this album a try. Not so sure I have heard anything different than if I spun a Darkwater, Anubis Gate, Evergrey or Symphony X cd...hmmm if a formula works...

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