Jun 2012 25

Echo Us - Tomorrow Will Tell the StoryEcho Us
Category: Ambient / Experimental
Album: Tomorrow Will Tell the Story
Stars: 3
Blurb: Progressive sonic explorations in ambient streams of consciousness make for a difficult yet rewarding listen.


With this third release under the Echo Us moniker, founder Ethan Matthews takes all of his skills to task, furthering the development of his band into realms of musical discovery near impossible to pigeonhole. At least, that’s the idea, but progressive music has a tendency to delve just as easily into pretentious self indulgence as it does down genuine artistic exploration. As such, Tomorrow Will Tell the Story is just as likely as either of the two precious records, 2009’s The Tide Decides and the self-titled 2005 debut, to polarize listeners as it presents a form of music that is appealing in its melody and uniqueness as much as it is repellant in its esoteric musings.

From the onset of “Out of the Blue,” we are treated to a strangely woven tapestry of intensely ambient passages the likes of which one might expect from Delerium, meddling with sharps stabs of rocking guitars that hint at an approaching explosive burst that immediately subdue to make room for Matthew’s vocals. By the time the soaring solos and slowed percussion of “Beyond the Horizon” begins, one of Echo Us’ most distinguished attributes has made itself clear as each song seems more composed of short segments that occasionally repeat, but offer little flow or connection to each other. There is a fluttering synthesized atmosphere that permeates throughout, especially on the “Archaeous of Water” series, which is presented in four parts to encompass an experimental epic that runs the gamut of the band’s musical leanings. Chugs of distorted guitar and resonating bass clash with keyboard and harp arpeggios, seamlessly moving from dark introspection to upbeat melodic abandon, inducing a dreamlike state that perfectly suits the music’s stream of consciousness. There is little in the way of transition between movements, which can make for a jarring though interesting listening experience, although it becomes difficult to latch onto a clear sense of actual songs. This is until “Iagla” and “Waves of the Glacier,” and while they too are comprised of various segues and motifs, there is a steady rhythm and tonality carried by the prevalent piano and synth melodies that grounds the songs into a cohesive whole that allows for the “A View from a Pier” segment of the latter track to proceed down its own path. As well, the title track builds upon lush arrangements of reverberating guitars, violins, and pads, backed by a slow and slightly tribal rhythm. Layers of sampled and sung vocals intertwine with saccharine pianos and ambience to make for an extremely enjoyable track that eventually decays into another sonic mélange that leaves room for bonus track “Aureole” to close the album out.

With harpist Raelyn Olson returning from The Tide Decides, as well as Henta offering a lovely feminine counterpart to Matthews’ high tenor akin to Peter Gabriel, Tomorrow Will Tell the Story is now presented in all its glory from the original abridged 2010 digital release to create a fantastic voyage of audio exploration. The abundance of sampled voices from both film and music adds to the richness and depth of Matthews’ production; one gets the sense that the album would be better served in live performance, although audiophiles will doubtless enjoy thorough investigations via headphones. This is not the usual progressive rock or ambient fare, nor does it really correspond to any single category, making the music of Echo Us a worthwhile endeavor, if one that takes perhaps a mind more open than most and an inordinate amount of patience to meander through.
Track list:

  1. Out of the Blue
  2. Beyond the Horizon
  3. Docked at Bay
  4. Archaeous of Water v 1 I: The Ears of Eras
  5. Archaeous of Water v 1 II: Anchors Away
  6. Archaeous of Water v 2 I: The Light It Moves, En Vie est Lumière
  7. Archaeous of Water v 2 II: The Echoes of Eras [IHVH-ADNI]
  8. Iagla
  9. Waves of the Glacier / A View from a Pier
  10. The Mirror in the Window
  11. Tomorrow Will Tell the Story
  12. Aureole (Bonus Track)

Echo Us Website http://www.echous.net
Echo Us Facebook https://www.facebook.com/echous.net
Absolute Probability Recordings
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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