Echolyn - As The World

Year of Release: 1995
Label: Sony Music
Catalog Number: BK57623
Format: CD
Total Time: 59:00:00

Echolyn offered a defining moment in my quest of Progressive music. Walking into Gootah's music store, the owner Steve (who catered to my tastes quite well) yelled "Hey Eric, get over and listen to this, it's amazing." That one sentence marked the rediscovery of progressive music, or at least that there were new bands out there in the 90's. As the opening strains of "All Ways The Same" drifted out of the speakers, I was overwhelmed. Up to this point I was filling my collection with old progressive gems from the 70's, unaware of a burgeoning new movement. To my surprise, they were also on a major label. Hmmm, a prog revival? Steve and I listened to most of the disc that day, and we all know that Echolyn did not become the great white hope, but were unceremoniously dropped from Sony, divorced from each other, and the ashes scattered into other ventures.

As the World has a lot to offer, top-notch musicianship, melody, and they can rock with the best of them. The latter is one thing that many progressive bands (outside of the prog-metal genre) forget that they are allowed to do. Carefully crafted sections provide incredibly intricate interplay between the musicians, and the vocals add the perfect touch. Ramsey stays busy throughout and Buzby and Kull get plenty of opportunities to stretch out and show off the chops, but for all the musicianship the song never gets lost. Buzby utilizes a number of keyboard sounds, and Kull combines electric and acoustic to add variety to the instrumentation. The bands sound is their own, though the vocals and some musical bits will evoke Gentle Giant.

Lyrically, the band tells short stories in many of the songs. "Uncle" conveys the struggle of being picked on by the neighborhood bully. The mellow closer "Never The Same" begins with a melancholy orchestral arrangement, leading into a warm 12 string acoustic beneath Weston's vocal. The instrumentation includes flute and violins, creating some beautiful sequences, while the lyrics seem to be reflecting on death and what each person has to offer.

Thankfully, better minds prevailed and the band reunited and releasedCowboy Poems Free in 2000. Echolyn provided me with one of my favorite discs in As The World, and the magic that even bands you are fond of can rarely provide.

Echolyn regained the rights to this release and reissued it in 2005 as an expanded edition

All Ways The Same (0:36) / As The World (4:50) / How Long I Have Waited (4:49) / Best Regards (4:11) / The Cheese Stands Alone (4:48) / Prose (1:45) / A Short Essay (4:34) / My Dear Wormwood (3:34) / Entry 11.19.93 (5:33) / One For The Show (4:31) / The Wiblet (0:47) / Audio Verite (4:27) / Settled Land (5:42) / A Habit Worth Forming (4:29) / Never The Same (7:54)

Christopher Buzby - keyboards, backing vocals
Tom Hyatt - bass, midi pedals
Brett Kull - guitar, lead & backing vocals
Paul Ramsey - drums & percussion
Ray Weston - lead & backing vocals

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: April 7th 2002
Reviewer: Eric Porter

Artist website:
Hits: 887
Language: english


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