Echolyn - The End Is Beautiful

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Velveteen Records
Catalog Number: VR2010
Format: CD
Total Time: 55:50:00

It has been three years since Echolyn's last release, the amazing Mei. In that time fans' ears have been filled with plenty of goodies.? A double DVD Stars And Gardens, featuring a live performance and interviews chronicling the history of the band.?The re-release of the their major label recording As The World with a bonus live DVD, and the box set A Little Nonsense Now And Then, a compilation of the band's first few releases, which have been unavailable.?In this time bassist Tom Hyatt also has returned to the fold; welcome back Tom!

The End Is Beautiful is everything that Echolyn is known for, complex music, multi-layered vocals, and that unique sound that is their own.? According to the band's website, many of the songs were built around the grooves laid down by drummer Paul Ramsey.? Echolyn's music has plenty of sources for its energy, whether it is the intensity and rage in the voice of Ray Weston, or the complex yet melodic playing of Brett Kull (guitars) and Chris Buzby (keyboards), the songs cut their way through your brain, and make a permanent impression.? It is not always on the first listen that one makes the connection, but after a few spins, they are there to stay.? I can see where many fans may claim this is not as progressive as past releases, but after repeated listens, one will hear all the intricacies of the music, maybe just wrapped in a tighter package. Listen to the keyboard and guitar solos in "Georgia Pines," and the rhythms that are played underneath are a perfect example of this.

If you want to rock,? ?Georgia Pines? and ?Make Me Sway? (included as a DVD video) are the heaviest tracks.? Using the drop D tuning gives ?Make Me Sway??a heavier sound, and the guitar and bass licks are just plain cool, it's that simple. The song contains the best vocal performance on the disc, with Queen-like layered harmonies (especially in the ?Liar? and ?All Is Everything? sections).? Kull has never come across as the big guitar hero type of player (don't let that fool you - he has the chops), but listen to the guitar parts, they are perfect for the songs.? It would have been nice for Brett's ending solo in ?Arc Of Descent? to go on longer, as he was just starting to heat up.?The laid back ?Lovesick Morning? contained one of the melodies (the chorus to be specific) that immediately stuck with me.? The use of a muted trumpet also helps create a certain mood in the track.? The horns are a nice addition, kudos to Chris Buzby for the arrangements. They make their biggest impact on ?Heavy Blue Miles." The band finds a rocking tight groove to lay down for ?So Ready," and on this one Brett does get to unleash a stinging lead.? The closing track ?Misery, Not Memory? harkens back to the more frenzied approach of the older days.

Let's not forget that those who pre-ordered the CD also got a treat with a DVD video promo for ?Make Me Sway."? Kull's production company MM3 produced the video, and it is top notch (A download is available on the band's website).

The End Is Beautiful most closely resembles the band's 2000 release Cowboy Poems Free in structure.? It is song based, and more direct than some of the band's previous recordings.? Don't think for a minute that this makes the band less intense; in fact, the band sounds as powerful as ever.?I think the songwriting has really grown, without losing the band's distinctive flavor.The End Is Beautiful is a top notch recording of diverse, intense music, played to perfection.

Georgia Pines (5:49) / Heavy Blue Miles (6:48) / Lovesick Morning (10:12) / Make Me Sway (5:22) / The End Is Beautiful (7:45) / So Ready (5:01) / The Arc of Descent (5:46) / Misery, Not Memory (9:03)

Christopher Buzby - keyboards, vocals, percussion, samples
Ray Weston - Vocals, bass, Guitar, Keyboards, noise bits, samples
Tom Hyatt - bass, vocals,percussion,noise bits, electric & acoustic guitar,
Paul Ramsey - drums, percussion, vocals
Brett Kull - guitars, vocals, loops, noise bits, lapsteel, baritone guitar,

Echolyn (1991)
Suffocating The Bloom (1992)
...And Every Blossom (1993)
As The World (1995)
When The Sweet Turns Sour (1996)
Cowboy Poems Free (2000/2008*)
ProgFest '94: The Official Bootleg (2002)
mei (2002)
A Little Nonesense: Now And Then (2002)
Official Live Bootleg: Jersey Tomato (2003)
As The World (expanded reissue) (2005)
The End Is Beautiful (2005)
Echolyn (**) (2012)
I Heard You Listening (2015)
Home Brew Bootleg Stew 1994-95 (VHS) (1995, oop)
Stars And Gardens Vol 4. (DVD) (2004)

*remastered **not the same album as the debut

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: September 19th 2005
Reviewer: Eric Porter

Artist website:
Hits: 1427
Language: english


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