|Review: Echoes of Eternity - As Shadows Burn|
|As Shadows Burn|
Label: Nuclear Blast
Year released: 2009
Genre: Gothic Metal
Review online: September 2, 2009
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
for:As Shadows Burn
Rated 3.53/5 (70.67%) (15 Votes)
Gothic/Progressive metal out of California, Echoes of Eternity has a little something that caught my eye: The frontwoman. No, not (just) because of how she looks (hey, no drooling on the keyboard), but she's actually from a Northern Quebec town named Val d'Or that's less than two hours away from where I grew up. There are people from that small (population-wise) region playing metal, but usually in Quebec-based bands so, well, this is cool. End of today's trivia. ;)
Like many female-fronted bands, the vocals are quite predominant on As Shadows. Not really operatic per se, but overall she has a very melodious voice. The vocals melodies vary from downright soothing, to invigorating, all the way to somewhat annoying. The latter is mostly when she reaches for the higher pitch – things can get a little shaky, trying to reach beyond her "comfort range." Not too much of that, but noticeable enough to mention it.
Musically this has a very Gothic feel, mixed with a bit of a progressive-tinged Power Metal style, though not of the "happy" variety. This is a little on the dark/melancholic side with a few more "upbeat" passages here and there. As far as the music goes, I can't say that anything here has really caught my attention – it's pretty standard, "safe" stuff if you will; nothing innovative, but well executed overall. Where the album fails for me is that it really feels mechanical, as if they were just going through the motions in studio and forgot to put some feeling into it. I've heard people say that you can't "hear" such things, but I beg to differ. ;) This really feels like a "bing, bang, thank you ‘mam" kind of job. The end result is rather predictable and devoid of any surprises – you can just "see" what's coming next. I thought that was just me at first, but now after more than 20 listens, I've stopped blaming myself. ;) There are a few exceptions where the music has more guts, but the general feeling is a bit dry.
Despite this, the album is good overall, and filler-free. The songs are all at least good, some are very catchy and will just stick in your head – be it the vocals alone or the whole thing, depending on the song. Based on the few older songs I've heard, fans of their previous material are likely to like this. For the others, well, it's worth a look if that's your style of music.
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