Friday, August 12

Echoterra - Land of the Midnight Sun

Land Of The Midnight Sun

Echoterra is an American based band, founded in 2007 by Jonah W and Yan Leviathan. They have some new members: Melissa Ferlaak (ex -Vision of Atlantis, ex –Aesma Deava) she replaces Suvi Virtanen on vocals, so that Echoterra can tour more. (And probably because she has a better voice, at least in my opinion.) The drums are in the care of Adam Sagan, he has replaced John Gensmer, again so that Echoterra can tour more. Their debut album was released in 2009 and was called “The Law of One”.

As you see a relatively young band has already gone through some major changes. That wouldn’t bother me a bit if the changes didn’t have any impact on the band. However I think this is the reason why this album feels weird.

There are some catchy songs on the album for example “After the Rain”, the intro song of the album. It starts relatively good. When you keep in mind that this album is produced and recorded by the band themselves. However if they already produced an album they should know that everything needs to be balanced. On the debut album “The Law Of One” keys, orchestration and guitar were really the orientation of the mix. Apparently people complained, so now the vocals overrule everything. And actually the whole mix just sounds 'hollow'. With symphonic metal I think it is very important to transmit the feeling you're creating to the listener. If you mix an album 'hollow' and a bit flat, this just doesn't happen. I do like the album art, though.

The vocals are a bit “been there, done that”. Don’t get me wrong, the vocals are very good. But I’ve heard enough opera and you can say the voice of Melissa in one breath with: Tarja Turunen (ex-Nightwish, Tarja), Simone Simons (Epica) and Floor Janssen (ex-After Forever, ReVamp) but Melissa misses a lot of feeling. This could be because the albums is poorly produced. The vocals sound too hollow, I think that’s the reason why the feeling doesn’t come across. I do see potential in Echoterra, although it may not sound like this.

There are some really good moments on the album, for example the break in the song “Midnight Sun” was very well written and it sets a good mood. But soon as the keyboard starts its solo the feeling gets destroyed. Another honorable notion should be made towards "Genesis of Isis" this song starts with an amazing intro. If the album would be produced like this song I wouldn't be so harsh on them.

I’m curious how they sound live, because maybe this is a band like Sons of Seasons. Their first album wasn’t a good production either, but live they kick ass.  Let’s see what the future brings for Echoterra. 

Kelvin's rating: 2.0 of 5.0

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