Independent prog-metal band Arch Echo did not make its fans wait long for its latest release. The band released its new EP Story I Friday. The four-song record’s release comes less than two years after the release of its then most recent studio recording, its 2019 album You Won’t Believe What Happens Next! The eight-song album was released April 24, 2019. The band previewed its new EP last month when it premiered the video for the EP’s lead single, ‘To The Moon.’ That song and the rest of the record’s compositions come together to make the record so appealing. The sequencing of the record’s songs adds to the EP’s appeal in its own way while the production puts the finishing touch to the record’s presentation. All three items are in their own way, key to the EP’s presentation. All things considered, they make the EP a work that will appeal to any prog-rock and metal fan.
Story I is a musical story that will appeal widely to fans of the prog-metal and rock realms. That is due in part to the EP’s featured arrangements. The arrangements in question lend themselves easily to comparisons to so much work from Dream Theater. That is evident through the collective guitar work, drumming, keyboards and bass. The sound created by the whole harkens back specifically to compositions created by Dream Theater during the mid and late 1990s. At the same time, audiences could just as easily make comparisons to some works from Spock’s Beard. The polyrhythmic patters presented throughout each work and the varied approaches give the songs their own unique identities separate from the works of the noted influences. What’s more, the way the songs’ moods change within each work adds to their appeal. Case in point is the duality presented in ‘Strut. At times fiery, but still positive in its sound, and at others more relaxed, the song paints such a rich musical picture. ‘To The Moon’ meanwhile hints at influences from not just Dream Theater, but also Scale The Summit, with its keyboards, bass, precise and percussive guitar work and equally precise time keeping. The picture that it paints is just as vivid as that created through ‘Strut.’ ‘Measure of a Life’ meanwhile creates its own deep, moving musical environment through its own unique arrangement that is anchored through each band member’s performance equally. The noted influences are there, and yet again, they still serve only as groundwork of sorts. Not once do audiences have to worry about the band copying its influences here or in the EP’s other songs. Keeping all of this in mind, the EP’s arrangements featured throughout this brief presentation make it a presentation that while short, is still engaging and entertaining in its own way. They are collectively just one way in which the EP shows its strength. The arrangements’ sequencing adds to the EP’s appeal.
As has already been noted, the arrangements featured in Story I show clear influence from a handful of Arch Echo’s more well-known prog-metal and prog-rock counterparts. For all of that audible influence, the arrangements still present their own unique, enjoyable identities. The sequencing of those original compositions builds on the foundation formed by those arrangements. The record starts strong with its lead single/opener ‘To The Moon.’ The only point at which is necessarily pulls back even slightly comes in ‘Leonessa.’ It is important to note here that while the song does have plenty of more “relaxed” moments, those moments are entwined into some more high-energy moments throughout. So the EP does pull back here, but not entirely. The balance between the more energetic and reserved moments here make for a good “break point” of sorts for the EP. It serves to break up the record and keep things interesting for listeners. It is because of this moment that the EP’s finale, ‘Measure of a Life’ that much more impacting as the record’s closer. When all of this is considered together, it leaves no doubt as to the importance of the EP’s sequencing. When this aspect is considered along with the record’s arrangements, those two elements collectively make the record that much more appealing for listeners. They are not the EP’s only key aspects. Its production rounds out its most important elements.
The production that went into this record is important to note because so much is going on in each song. Between the sometimes frenetic riffing and the precision in the time keeping, even with all of its flourishes, the harmonies in the bass line and the kinetic energy in the keyboard performances, each song boasts so much. Considering how much is happening in each of the EP’s songs, it is clear that a lot of time and effort had to be put in to balance each performance within each song. That painstaking effort paid off, too. Each musician gets his own moment and attention within each song. The end result here is a record that is just as engaging and appealing for its technical work behind the glass as for that in front of the boards. It becomes a work that every prog-metal and prog-rock fan will enjoy.
Arch Echo’s new four-song EP Story I is a strong new presentation for the up-and-coming prog-metal outfit that is sure to help build the band’s reputation within the noted communities just as much as its predecessors. That is proven in part through its arrangements. The arrangements feature influences from some of the prog-metal and rock communities but that also maintain their own unique identities. The sequencing of the noted arrangements builds on the foundation formed through the arrangements and makes the EP even more enjoyable. The record’s production puts the finishing touch to the EP’s presentation and cements it that much more. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the EP. All things considered, they make the record a work that every prog-metal and rock fan should hear at least once if not more.
More information on Arch Echo’s new EP is available along with all of the band’s latest news at http://www.facebook.com/archechoband.
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