Written by: AP on 18/09/2011 20:54:22

According to the biography supplied along with the promotional copy of their debut mini-album, "Transitions", Southampton, UK based Echoes tested a selection of stylistic directions before landing on their current, progressive post-hardcore. From breakdown-oriented to time-bending and technical, it was swiftly decided that metalcore was not their thing, and inspired by the ambient brilliance of bands like Devil Sold His Soul and Rinoa, Echoes set out to follow in their footsteps.

In a genre defined by its tightroping between minimalism and grandeur, it can be difficult to exact the desired impact, and it is with some measure of regret that I must conclude Echoes have some distance to cover before being considered equals to the aforementioned bands. Despite featuring a massive, expansive soundscape as is the genre staple, Echoes lag behind with vocals that sound outright atrocious, and stick out like a sore thumb from an otherwise immaculate mix of soaring crescendos and ambient refrains. Joshua Thurbin, in charge of half of this department, is obviously inspired by bands like La Dispute and Pianos Become the Teeth, but while his screaming is quite effective in "Constantly Drifting", it remains largely underwhelming throughout the album. Dan Gilliver, in charge of the exceptionally poor clean singing, on the other hand, comes across like an insult to the intricate instrumentation beneath.

The good news is that following the release of this album, Echoes have continued to show interest in developing a sound more aligned with post-metal goliaths Isis and This Will Destroy You, leaving little space for Gilliver to "shine", and have subsequently ousted the gentleman from their line-up. But while this change might prove a crucial one for catapulting Echoes into the recognition they deserve (from an instrumental perspective at least), it is nonetheless one which has no relevance in the context of "Transitions". Here one must be adamant and attempt to focus on the massive layering of guitar tracks in order to discover rewards, and for this purpose much of the focus must be directed at concluding piece "The Burden", a nine-minute mammoth that serves as a promising sneak peek into what the future might bode for Echoes in their current configuration.


Download: Constantly Drifting, The Burden
For the fans of: Devil Sold His Soul, The Mire, Rinoa
Listen: Facebook

Release date 11.04.2011

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