The new nameless echolyn album (fans gave the album the nickname “The Window Album”) was written and recorded between June 2007 and April 2012. The band has taken the time to release the successor of “The End is Beautiful” album (2005). The result is astonishing; a fantastic sounding progressive rock album. And in my opinion it is their best work so far. The artwork of the album is delicate and beautiful. It comes in two formats; as a double CD digipack and as a limited double vinyl album.
Ray Weston – lead and backing vocals; Brett Kull – electric & acoustic guitars, hi-string guitars, lap steel, banjo, piano, lead and backing vocals; Tom Hyatt – bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, backing vocals; Paul Ramsey – drums, percussion, backing vocals; Christopher Buzby – piano, organ, synths, Wurly, Rhodes, glockenspiel, Jaymar, glock, backing vocals
Nina Beate – violin 1; Kaveh Saidi – violin 2; Lori Saidi - viola; Rajli Bicolli – cello; Mark Gallagher – baritone saxophone; Jacque Varsalona – backing vocals
String quartet and saxophone arrangements by Christopher Buzby
The album opens with the epic “Island” (16:34). An epic with great vocals, harmonies and instrumental parts. It is an energetic progrock composition with beautiful rhythm transitions. The beautiful melody lines melt seamlessly into more rock oriented parts. But those rock parts are not so brutal as on their previous album “The End is Beautiful” (2005). The sound and mix of the new album is absolutely fantastic. The volume of each instrument is just right compared to the other instruments. I would also mention the work of drummer Paul Ramsey. There are no freaking solo's in echolyn's music ... the musicians goal is to play in the service of the compositions. The vocal melodies and harmonies are amazing on this album. “Headright” (2:58) is a short up-tempo track with some pop influences. Great vocal harmonies are supported by delicate keyboard and guitar parts. The next track “Locust to Bethlehem” (5:08) is a slow song with delicate and intimate vocal parts. The string quartet and baritone sax of Mark Gallagher are beautifully integrated into the music. The last track of CD 1 is called “Some Memorial” (11:56) and the band returns to the prog sound of the opener. It is a diverse and impressive piece of music that you have to hear a couple of times before it reveal its beauty. Christopher Buzby is responsible for the string quartet arrangements and tasteful use of all kinds of keyboards.
The second CD also counts four compositions but it has in overall a more intimate character. The first composition is called “Past Gravity” (7:07). You can find the most wonderful melodies and vocal harmonies in this delicate track. The contrast with the opening sounds (the screaming voices of Ray's insane neighbors) of “When Sunday Spills” (8:48) is very high. But surprisingly the music of this composition is as intimate and beautiful as the opening track. Slowly the tension of the music is building towards a kind of climax. “(Speaking in) Lampblack” opens with a delicate piano tune and a sample of the first recording ever of the human voice by Edouard-Leon Scott (9 April 1860). He invented the earliest known sound recording device, the phonautograph. The orchestrations and melodies are sometimes breathtaking ... so delicate and beautiful. For me it is the most beautiful song of the whole album. The band blew me away with this piece of pure beauty. The last song of the album is called “The Cardinal and I” (7:23) and is more up-tempo and has a darker character. Great instrumental parts are combined with beautiful and melodic vocal melodies and harmonies. The song develops into a fine progressive rock song.
“echolyn” is a fantastic sounding progressive rock album. There are no freaking solo's in echolyn's music ... the musicians goal is to play in the service of the compositions. The orchestrations and melodies are sometimes breathtaking ... so delicate and beautiful. There are three long tracks (“Island”, “Some Memorial” and “The Cardinal and I” ) that will pleasure the progressive rock fans. The other tracks are more intimate and will impress the open minded music lover. These tracks have moments of immense beauty. With the composition “(Speaking in) Lampblack” the band blew me away ... it is a piece of pure beauty. This nameless double CD is in my opinion echolyn's best work so far.