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Echo Us: II:XII, A Priori Memoriať

Echo Us is a US band led by multi-instrumentalist Ethan Mathews. He plays a variety of instruments including various types of guitars, synthesizers, piano, bass, percussion, glockenspiel, programming and assorted vocalizations. He is joined by Raelyn Olson (concert harp), Henta (vocals), Chris Smith (flute, piccolo) and Christina Fitzgerald (oboe).

I reviewed their last album Tomorrow Will Tell The Story and like that album the new one titled A Priori Memoriať is difficult to categorize. It is certainly progressive in the fact the music is adventurous and full of surprises. Elements of symphonic, electronic, ambient and classical are all present often creating mixtures of sound rather than defined song structures. Overall the music is pretty mellow although the songs change themes frequently making this an album that takes time to settle in. A case in point is the eleven plus minute "Exordium (Apologue)" where orchestral rhythms, oriental motifs, sweet guitar playing and assorted vocal styles take the listener on a journey most fans of progressive rock will likely appreciate at the very least. The Spanish guitar is quite lovely throughout. Other highlights include "Solum Vobis" featuring some the tastiest guitar on the disc and the Celtic flavoured "Codicullus" which reminded me of '70s era Mike Oldfield. Many of these tunes have a dream-like quality and the former is no exception.

My overall impression is quite favourable as Echo Us is creating art that is unlike much of the music I regularly listen to. Although I could do with a little more oomph in many of these tracks it is the band's unconventionality that I find so endearing. They really are forging their own path and for that they should be commended.

Track Listing:
1. Vestige (3:28)
'A' DATA 2. Exordium (Apologue) (11:06)
3. Solum Vobis (Only You) (3:32)
4. Inventionem Memoriam (Chrysalis) (2:41)
5. Residuum (Remainder) (3:41)
6. Nightlight (4:22)
7. Momento (1:44)
8. Codicillus (From Far Away) (9:52)
9. Restituendo (Where We Dream To Go) (4:53)
10. Viseretque (We Always Knew) (10:30)
11. Denique In Perpetuum (Beyond the Blue Horizon) (6:05)

Added: October 6th 2014
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 1824
Language: english

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