|Review: Echoes of Eternity - The Forgotten Goddess|
|The Forgotten Goddess|
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2007
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review online: August 14, 2007
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
for:The Forgotten Goddess
Rated 3.63/5 (72.5%) (8 Votes)
Quite a strange one for the big cheese at NB to sign, US prog metallers Echoes of Eternity certainly push the boundaries of their chosen genre, but with a maladroit mash of styles, they seem to be pulling the boundaries forward, closing themselves in.
Female fronted bands trying to evade the 'gothic metal' staple are seldom taken seriously, and in truth, Echoes of Eternity's case will be no different. A lot heavier - and indeed progressive - than expected, the band's debut "The Forgotten Goddess" recalls early Iced Earth in the guitar work, sounding practically every bit the copycat with an abundance of serrated triplets and flashy rhythm playing. Guitarist Brandon Patton is quite obviously a Schaffer suck up and it truly shows in his fret work. This however, is quite a redeeming feature, as it gives the album a fresh, crisp sound, drowning the insipid, characterless vocals of Francine Boucher in a mix awash with battering riffs and pile driving double kick drums.
As with so many of these releases, it is the vocals that let the band down - even the irony of a female fronted pin-up band sporting a bitchin' album with terrible vocals isn't lost on a cynic like me - so it is with this, I plead you to approach with caution. As the band seem to fluctuate between two separate tracts - chunky thrash/power metal and progressively tinged gothic metal - the songs lack coherence, and as a result, only the Maiden-esque intro of "Voices in a Dream" or the galloping kaleidoscope "Towers of Silence" unite the two styles so succinctly. Both sides of this album are enjoyable to some degree, with "Garden of the Gods" dabbling with a Eyes of Eden-like atmosphere, and "Circles of Stone" offering the most convincing riff work. Boucher's vocals simply wander aimlessly over the music, masked in copious amounts of reverb, just sitting there, warbling away like Lisa Schaphaus at a glass shattering contest. Decent songwriting, professional mastering by Achim Kohler, superb riffing, poor vocal approach. Wow, I just realised I summed up "St. Anger", too!
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