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Maybe all the music I've been listening to has finally killed one too many brain cells, but how the heck are Echoes of Eternity progressive? Clearly an incorrect listing. It sounds more like a very 'modernised' version of power metal, ie. it's full of core chugging and repetitive up and down chords that are meant to sound complex but don't fool anyone. Because the vocals also add an element of gothic or symphonic metal as well, the whole thing gets a little more confusing. I can't really name what this is, but progressive is not the word. Let's just give them their own genre of powercore, that way it won't get confusing.
The vocals are actually the best part. They've got a sort of haunting quality to them and the girl's certainly not the worst singer I've ever heard. Now if only the rest of the band were good enough to make use of this... Sadly, the drums are pretty much entirely blast beats that don't fit with anything else or plain, slow pounding while the guitars are practically screaming "generic metalcore". Maybe the drums could be good in another band too, but the guitars are best suited to joining their fellow failures in the bin. I'd certainly make sure to keep them away from the recycling as well, that shit doesn't need recreated.
I'd like to say that there are redeeming factors, but there aren't. They try to do a lot, from the very plain stuff to a (very weak) attempt at brutal death metal on Towers of Silence. In truth they can't pull anything off because the guitar, drums and vocals all contradict each other. Vocals all soft and sweet, drums all fast and powerful, guitars like the rotten core of an apple (see what I did there? That's actually funnier than this album), that's just not a good mixture.
Apparently (if we take WARSHADOW's word for it), this should appeal to fans of Arch Enemy. Well, as that person I can say I disagree. There are almost no elements that most of their fans will enjoy and it's a good thing that I can appreciate a good voice when I hear one. As for Pantera, well, I also disagree with that. Strongly. There are elements of groove, yes, but nothing comes anywhere near Pantera territory in all honesty. Lacuna Coil or Nightwish maybe, but nothing that falls into death, thrash, groove, black, or even plain old heavy metal can be called similar to this.
Another thing I wish to pick apart are the solos that this band create. Honestly, no feelings are included in them and they just sound like really high speed spamming. It's one thing playing fast riffs like Children of Bodom, but another to make it seem like it has a place and make it draw some kind of emotion from the listener. I just sat thinking "Now, was that really necessary?" pretty much every time a solo was inserted into the music. That's not what's meant to happen and it sure as hell isn't a good sign.
Ultimately you know you've already lost when the singer is the best part of a metal band. Fair enough, they would have merited a score far lower than they did if those vocals weren't so good, but when the guitars and occasionally the drums counteract everything else you can't win. I'd give about 80% for the vocals, 50% for the drums and -10% for the guitars (not factoring in the bassist because his role is minimal), which gives an average of 40%. Minus 5% for lack of originality and a further 5% for the fact that the band is obviously playing the "we have a hot frontwoman" card (she can sing and all, but you can just tell from the photos and videos that that's exactly what their plan is) and you end up with the score of 30% that they've received from me. In all honesty I believe that to be more than fair, and on another day they might have been given less.
Echoes Of Eternity is a band that made the worst possible first impression on me in 2006 when they first graced my ears on the “Passenger” release, a horrid promotional release out of Nuclear Blast featuring their most horrendous pseudo-metal band Mnemic, and also one of the weaker songs off a heavily flawed third studio effort out of Sirenia. In essence, my prejudice was influenced by present company more than any outright flaw in this band’s contribution to said release, which came off as average at best. But after time and reflection, the true strengths and weaknesses of this band’s first offering became obvious when finally giving it the time of day.
To put it bluntly, this band is a stylistically more limited and surprisingly European oriented rehash of early After Forever and Epica. The limitations come into play primarily through omission, particularly of the symphonic elements and the death growls that make up the bulk of the niche that Mark Jansen has been exploiting since 2000. What is left is a band that sounds almost like a thrash metal act in the mold of middle era Iced Earth (mid to late 90s) with a vocal character more befitting of early Lacuna Coil. It’s a pretty interesting blend, but through most of “The Forgotten Goddess”, this mixture is presented in the most uniform way possible, resorting to the same combination of galloping riffs and predictable melodic tricks over and over, and ultimately coming off about as much of a one-trick pony as a typical mid-80s Bay Area thrash album.
Many albums have managed to pull off a one-dimensional approach quite well and even crossed into legendary status, but unfortunately a shoddy mixing/production job and a dry sounding guitar tone hold this thing back a bit. The vocals, the guitars and the drums don’t so much bleed into each other, but rather seem to be completely separate from each other. It’s as if the production was specifically by a pronounced desire to avoid any outright sense of unity amongst the parts. The heavy reverb on the vocals works well during the acoustic sections, but gives this feeling to air trapped within a rock that is about to burst apart during the heavier parts, as the percussive riffs and double bass drum blasts clash with a very serene and well realized angelic set of voices.
One thing is for certain, there is no lacking for catchiness among the various chapters of this musical story, but a glaring lack of originality and the aforementioned production issues definitely keep this from being an outright kick ass answer to “Prison Of Desire” or “Consign To Oblivion”. Nevertheless, that is the target audience of this album, and ultimately most who are inclined towards this style will find a good amount to like about it. For an American band, it’s definitely a sizable cut above the rot coming out of the as of yet still blooming metalcore craze. And while maybe not quite as dramatic and versatile as Simone Simmons, Francine Boucher definitely has a voice that would fit in well on the next Kamelot release. There’s room for improvement here, but a decent foundation has been laid here for potential future greatness.
Back in '07, a band from Los Angeles, Califorina with the name "Echoes of Eternity" released their debut album "The Forgotten Goddess". It's not a terrific album, but it is one way to start. Back when they released this album they played a combination of three genres, progressive, thrash, and gothic. An odd combination, but it works, the music is quite interesting, heavy but melodic at the same time with a great voice leading the way.
Vocalist Francine Boucher has a powerful high pitched voice that lends beauty to this album. Her singing gives an eerie feel to the fast paced thrashy and choppy riffs. Another reason why this band and this sound works is because of the balance between the parts. The guitar riffs are heavy and powerful and could be a little overwhelming, so the sweet singing evens it out. The bass is in the mix, you can actually hear it, and its presence gives more weight and energy to the sound, along with the drums giving out beats that drive the music.
Despite the good things about this band and album, there are the negetive points as well. The vocals have a small flaw in them, they sound a liitle fake at times and tampered with. The guitar tone wasn't the best at several places in the album, the sound was dense and annoying. Now a specific problem was the sixth track "The Kingdom Within". This track is just filler all the way through, it's boring. There is a vocal line, single line of singing in intervals of six seconds. And it's not exciting or catchy or beautiful or anythinggod damnit! There's nothing in this one song. Then I read that there were going to be violins and cellos in this song, I thought it was going to be be a change of scenery, I couldn't a god damn violin, this song was horrible.
But despite all the flaws, the album is still worth something, the production is good, and the songs are energetic and catchy.
Highlights: The Forgotten Goddess
Echoes of Eternity!
Congratulations! You're the winner of my award for weakest "metal" riff I've ever heard. The title track of this album opens with the most pathetic, rapcore, mallcore riff I can recall from recent memory.
No joke. How can even these mainstream-gear trendies not die of guilt labelling this as metal?
I seriously don't even know where to start with this band. Should I start with the laughable faux-esoteric lyrics? The horrendous guitar tone? The abysmal riffs? Or how about the media whoring?
Let me start with the pretentious misnomer this band goes under. The band has labeled themselves as thrash, and on their page here are labeled as progressive. Both of which are painfully, painfully stupid. I think metal has some dark times ahead if even trendwhores like this can get away with dubbing their commercial pseudo-metal "thrash" now. Do not pick this album up thinking you are actually going to find something interesting like progressive thrash a la Control Denied.
Watch the video for Voices In A Dream with the sound off. If you really expect to hear original, gripping, innovative music when you turn the sound back on, you might be mentally retarded. The amount of cleavage on display by Francine Boucher is just ridiculous. The fact that she dances like a gypsy is also just laughable. I suppose she's making up for the fact that she can't actually appeal to anyone with an iota of insight about music, and is going right for the ogres that watch music videos for cheap eye candy. Now THAT’S integrity, am I right?
Now, it may seem like the last couple paragraphs were irrelevent, but not so. It is apparent in every frail, idiotic riff, and in the safe, mainstream production that this band is concerned with nothing but fattening their wallets - the image the band projects just helps me confirm this ten-fold.
The bands style is closer to gothic metal with flaccid melodic death metal and groove metal leanings. If you take away the vocals, you remove any traces of gothic elements. The drumming is your standard fair, except relatively flat production values. There's a bass hiding somewhere in the production, very mild though.
Now the guitar. A horrible guitar sound, with thin distortion and empty tone. The riffs are deplorably generic, and groovy. There are some dismally inept guitar solos which are just some of the worst I've heard in a long time. It sounds like he's running through scales during a warm up and doing some random sweeps. The riffs dance back and forth between groovy, and attempts at what this band apparently thinks is thrash. But it’s more like the throw away riffs of hardcore bands when they try to be aggressive. Quite often the riffs are played shortly back to back, sounding kind of schizo. I assume to sound technical or progressive, but it really just shows the band can't structure a song, or make it flow worth a damn.
And sadly, the vocalist is the only worthwhile member of this band. Her voice is actually pretty haunting and though it’s heavily laden with effects, it could still create nice atmosphere if adapted to the right music. Yes, it seems there's a functional pair of lungs behind those tits. However, I refuse to give her any accolades on the grounds that she is obviously a trendwhore and needs to die.
Surely, the construction of the music alone would merit this album a 40% or so. But I also have to rate the music based on it's (lack of) personality, false pretenses, and integrity - which could be surpassed by a 5 dollar hooker.
By far one of the most intricate metal releases of this year, Echoes of Eternity have crossed a new thresh of heavy metal. This is a great record full of melody, aggressive guitars and to top all else off Francine's beautiful voice really adds to the scenery of the music. This record should appeal to all fans of the likes of Lacuna Coil, In Flames, Pantera, Arch Enemy and many others.
Of all the types of sub-genres in the realm of heavy metal music, gothic and black are my favorites.Last year I discovered the Los Angeles metal band Echoes of Eternity via the internet. Judging by the samples I heard, my curiosity was peaked.The US isn't exactly the first place I would think to look for gothic metal. Most of the gothic metal bands, if not all, I listen to are from Europe like Poisonblack and Leaves' Eyes. You would never know that Echoes of Eternity was from LA if you closed your eyes and listened to their music.
"Forgotten Goddess" is the band's debut album on Nuclear Blast records. What did strike me as odd is the obvious Liv Kristine resemblence n lead singer Francine Boucher's vocals. Both women share the same angelic vocals. After listening to "Forgotten Goddess" several times, the music eventually started to sink into my sub consciousness. Musically there is just something new or fresh about "Forgotten Goddess". This is not just a standard gothic metal album,and songs are better than average. My personal favorite song on the album has to be "Voices In A Dream". I just love the melodies and Francine's vocals on this particular song.
Echoes of Eternity showed a lot of promise and talent on "Forgotten Goddess". Hopefully the bands next album will continue to develop its sound and continue to create songs that are just amazing. I really do like the band a lot. It is hard to believe they are not from Europe like their peers in the gothic metal genre. Their music shares the same qualities that their European peers create in the music. I look forward to hearing more from Echoes of Eternity in the future.
Releasing your debut album on Nuclear Blast, a fairly big player in the world of international Metal, is daunting enough for any young band, but when your intention is to “combine the power and aggression of Extreme Metal, the musicianship of Progressive Metal and the beautiful dynamics of the female voice”, one has to wonder if the bar is being set a little too high for Echoes Of Eternity.
Musically, the band integrate various different styles of Metal as promised, mixing melodic Death Metal riffs with more epic and technical parts akin to Nevermore. Their use of classical guitar parts on tracks such as “Garden Of The Gods” also helps to add an extra dimension to the band’s sound. Production-wise, everything is clear in the mix, perhaps with only the vocals sounding too loud a little too frequently. No doubt if they have a bigger recording budget next time after building their reputation they’ll iron out the creases and give the overall mix that bite that it seems to lack throughout though.
The title track sounds like The Haunted if they were to replace Peter Dolving’s screams with a gently soaring delicate female voice. But herein lies the main problem with “The Forgotten Goddess”: Francine Boucher’s graceful vocals don’t do any justice to Echoes Of Eternity when they break out their brutal amalgamation of dirty Thrash and melodic Death Metal which more often than not becomes totally drowned out in the vocal arrangements. Still, this criticism is short-lived upon hearing tracks like “The Kingdom Within” and “Circles In Stone“, where a more mid-paced Progressive Metal assault seems to blend far more comfortably with Boucher’s pleasant voice. It’s an inconsistency which becomes apparent upon repeated listens; certain sections of songs (like the chorus of “Lost Beneath A Silent Sky” for example) seem to demand the talents of a female vocalist, whereas in other more Thrash heavy areas, the female vocals only serve to water down what would otherwise be a cracking song if perhaps a more aggressive vocal style was used.
There’s absolutely no doubting the musical talent of Echoes Of Eternity, especially if the marvelously varied guitar and drum arrangements are anything to go on. They’re playing at a level beyond their years and they’ve certainly shown that they can combine Extreme Metal and Progressive Metal with relative ease. But as for the beautiful dynamics of the female voice, it sounds like perhaps an accompanying male vocalist might just do the trick on some of these tracks to make these guys really stand out and do justice to their excellent music. Nevertheless, “The Forgotten Goddess” is a very competent debut release from a unique band oozing with potential, and they should be applauded purely for taking risks with their music rather than sticking to any tiresome formula.
Originally written for http://www.blastwave.co.uk
There are very few sub-genres of metal that I haven't heard. Avant-garde metal would be one. Full blown industrial metal would be another. And finally, there's gothic metal. For one reason or another, I had never felt the need to give the metal genre a chance. That is, until I heard Echoes of Eternity. Formed in Los Angeles, California, the quartet's debut album, The Forgotten Goddess, quite an interesting collection of music. Lead by French-Canadian frontwoman, Francine Boucher, Echoes of Eternity combines the intricacies of progressive metal with the soothing overtures of gothic metal. And while there is a plethora of female fronted gothic metal bands out there, with The Forgotten Goddess, Echoes of Eternity gives listeners a very good reason to choose their offerings over those of their contemporaries.
The most striking aspect of Echoes of Eternity is the efforts of vocalist Francine Boucher. While surely not the most original in the metal scene, her relaxed technique is one of the largest factors in the atmosphere of the band's music. Francine has a pretty powerful voice, not in terms of aggression but rather in the way her efforts stick out among the mix. The standout track, Voices in a Dream, is probably where Boucher is at her strongest. Her vocal lines really carry the song, be it in the chorus, verse work, or when ever else she's required to lend her talents. It's really something you have to hear for yourself. However, the well doesn't run dry past this point. Underneath Francine's soothing vocals can be found the more technically impressive aspect of the music. With lone guitarist, Brandon Patton taking the instrumental reigns, listeners of the band's debut album are subject to both complicated, melodious guitar work and simpler, heavy riff-work. Each of the full length songs feature varying amounts of flashy guitar lines, especially during bridges and instrumental sections of the band's music. Fans of acts from Into Eternity to Dream Theater should enjoy the musical efforts of the band (though Echoes of Eternity's music is a bit more tame), as they are quite infectious.
The Forgotten Goddess features several standout tracks. The aforementioned Voices in a Dream and the title track, The Forgotten Goddess, are two of these songs. While instrumentation is still rather excellent in these tracks, it is hear where Echoes of Eternity's singer has her most powerful performances. While Patton's lyrics aren't exactly the strongest you'll ever hear, with lines such as "I hear you…calling me / Just like the voices in a dream," or "Memories…haunting me / They echo through eternity," with Boucher's angelic vocal efforts it doesn't really matter much, as her voice definitely enhances the experience. The album's longest track, at 6 minutes 16 seconds, The Kingdom Within, is one of the songs which showcase the rest of the band in top form. Both acoustic and electric passages can be found intertwining throughout the track, and they pack quite the punch, both on an emotional level and on a technical level. Each of these tracks are quite representative of the band's sound, and should impress fans of this type of metal.
With 2007's The Forgotten Goddess, Echoes of Eternity definitely has themselves a strong debut record. Fusing gothic metal with progressive metal, they manage to create a sound that combines heaviness with relaxing melody, complicated, yet controlled and tasteful performances from the musicians, and soothing vocals from singer, Francine Boucher. Echoes of Eternity's first in what will hopefully be a long string of albums, is both powerful and emotional, as tracks such as Towers of Silence or Garden of the Gods reveals to listeners, and is a great listen for any fan of metal. I would especially recommend to those into the gothic metal, as it should help ease in those not totally familiar with the genre. Well, it did for me anyways. Definitely keep an eye on this band.
(Originally written for Sputnikmusic)
When I first heard the title track from this album a few months ago, I thought it sounded very promising. After actually listening to the whole album, it's safe to say that I'm somewhat disappointed.
Let's start off with what was promised by the record label sticker. "The music of Death's symbolic backed-up by soaring melodic female vocals." Well, there are soaring melodic female vocals, but too many times throughout the disc it seems like studio effects and repetitive melodies. As for the Death reference, not at all. The intruments are well played, but once again it seems that too many ideas are being used over and over again. Double bass pedal, metalcore riffing, blah blah you heard it before, nothing too special.
Some of these songs are catchy though, so that saved them quite a bit. The choruses on Garden of the Gods, Voices in a Dream, and the title track are very memorable. Lyric wise, the songs are interesting and very spiritual in nature. Things like that are always nice.
Overall this album is okay, but nothing special. Some songs are catchy but don't go in expecting anything groundbreaking or amazing. Recommended for fans of Lacuna Coil, Leave's Eyes, and thought provoking lyrics.
Hey, remember when Nuclear Blast was signing new, artistically relevant bands?
Neither do I.
This (http://www.nuclearblastusa.com/bands/echoesofeternity/echoesofeternity.jpg) is a picture of Echoes Of Eternity. It should instantaneously tell you what this album is going to sound like. Pretentious, pseudo intellectual monochromatic photography? Check. Chubby, overtly fashionable backing band behind attractive female singer? Check. Absurd cleavage as primary object of interest in image? Check. Is this the best that Nuclear Blast can come up with these days? Apparently so, because they're pushing shit like this hard on listeners as if we're genuinely interested in it.
From 'The Forgotten Goddess' as the title to the menstrual-cycle-gone-terribly-wrong artwork, one would expect some outburst of feminism; but alas, even a conceptual shift is too drastic for a band like Echoes Of Eternity. Get ready for the pattern established by progenitors such as Nightwish, Epica, and After Forever: tepid-ass power metal with too much metalcore riffing and too little balls (or even ovaries) to impact the listener in any real way. I would say this LP screams 'bog standard', but that would imply a level of capability to BE bog-standard. Echoes Of Eternity can't even manage that.
I'm not going to say I didn't to some degree know what I was getting into when I elected to review this. I didn't expect some sort of artistic supernova, but I at the very least thought it would be competently constructed (particularly considering how easy it is to do this sort of entertainment), but it can't even manage that. Every song goes nowhere and does nothing on the trip over, and even manages to crash the fucking car at random intervals along the way. Seriously, there are periodic moments during this CD where everyone involved is clearly just sort of drifting and half-improvising and thinking "Seriously, what the fuck are we DOING?"
Anyone who decries the state of power metal guitars is only going to want to excavate their hearts with a fucking trowel after they hear this. Topping out at sub-par melodeath thievery and hitting valleys of metalcore chug chug bullshit, the guitars here are a complete joke on every level. Now, considering that power metal is a genre fundamentally based off some of the basic tenants of Iron Maiden, what could possibly make it better? I know! Let's add unnecessary breakdowns (disguised as bridges by keyboards but not fucking fooling anyone by a long shot) and completely bizarre brutal death (I know, what the christ) style riffing full of squeaking chord shifts and drop tunings. Of course, what better way to augment incapable guitars than with similarly inept keyboards that manage to do everything and accomplish nothing throughout this goddamn record. There's always some stupid, soaring accompaniment to even the most tepid of musical segments which does nothing but heighten how droning and lifeless this album is. The drums are just as lifeless, but I suppose they're a high point as they aren't actively bad.
Of course, where would Echoes Of Eternity be without Francine Boucher. Now, we all know that metal fans are by and large some of the dumbest people in the world. This makes it easy to manipulate them into believing that quality is defined by titties as opposed to artistic quality. Seriously, who actually believes that Boucher's obnoxious, reverb-soaked operatic warbling is somehow indicative of a greater meaning or some existential cleverness? It's fucking not! It's got too many effects attempting to mask too little range, and, more importantly, too few fucking ideas for this album. This has to be one of the most awful examples of stretching single ideas across songs this side of 'Construality'; the band shuffles its collective feet until some poorly conceived 'emotional peak' ejaculates onto the scene, right before going back to the aforementioned shuffling.
While writing this, I've been glancing through other reviews written for this album. Surely some faith must be kept within the metal reviewing public; after all, they wouldn't let this album, this complete travesty against all things metal, go without a savage lambasting. And yet, nearly flawless ratings abound throughout the internet, all going on about how 'engaging' and 'progressive' and 'ethereal' 'The Forgotten Goddess' is. 'Progressive'!? How is this progressive in any way, shape or form? Have we as a people become so collectively retarded as to believe that this half-assed compilation of mediocre ideas and wretched cream filling can seriously be labeled as art? The world is indeed a sad and fascinating place. This doesn't even have the dignity of being labeled a failed experiment, as it aspires to nothing more than 'phat dollas' for everyone involved. The sad thing is, such money will easily be made in a community where even the most passing mention of 'Tarja Turunen upskirt' sends half its population running with their hands on their cocks and their wallets spewing faster than they can.
'The Forgotten Goddess' is insipid crap that possesses not even the barest trace of what could conceivably be described as art. 'Once' is 'Blessed Are The Sick' compared to this trifling bullshit. Steal, burn, and weep for our future.
(Originally written for www.grindingtheapparatus.net)