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Echushkya > Twilight Murmuration > Reviews
Echushkya - Twilight Murmuration

A strong melodic and dramatic formation in raw atmospheric BM release - 75%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, May 24th, 2023
Written based on this version: 2023, Digital, Independent

Four years ago I reviewed Echushkya's debut release "Dust and Embers" and noted it was a good work of soaring raw atmospheric BM aggression. Now Echushkya comes back a few releases (including an album) later with "Twilight Murmuration", referring to the flocking behaviour of huge numbers of starlings in flight, forming complex shape-shifting flight formations against the sky. This release is not very different from "Dust and Embers" in sound and approach but appears more intense and focused than that early demo. I'd say that Andrew Lampe, the man behind Echushkya, has been spending time refining the project's musical style so that the music is now a tight and well-defined entity, with a clear, slightly jangly tone, a cold frosty edge and a strong arsenal of weapons to slay audiences with: among them, thundering percussion and sharp whining guitars.

The EP begins strongly with "Ara IV: Nest of the Kingfisher", with prominent pummelling drums and sharp tremolo guitars tossing out riffs that can send chills up and down the spine. The dark jangle guitar tones can be hypnotic and often seem to float above the rest of the grinding music while Lampe snarls and exults in a frosty harsh rasp. The riffs sometimes appear desperate or melancholy in tone. Follow-up track "Sky of Silver Threads" is less aggressive and more laid-back in mood in parts but the music is no less dense and busy, and the drumming provides a solid support to the steely dark riffs and Lampe's hoarse shouts. Sighing synths in the background add a cold mournful aspect to the music which at times is close to being epic in its highly melodic raw BM style.

We keep rocketing along with "Watchtowers in the Mist", an urgent and fast piece with a desolate and sometimes sorrowful mood in the riffs. The instrumental passages are good in their portrayal of a world cold in ambience and feeling, and filled with despair and depression. Though a long track, "Watchtowers …" is not monotonous or repetitive but instead builds in intensity and emotion, though Lampe's voice can end up sounding strained as the song continues to its multi-layered (in music and emotion) climax. The EP finishes with "Halcyonic Command", which mixes frantic raw BM with slower bluesy melodic passages, and works towards a strong, uplifting climax with rolling drums and guitars and synths playing in harmony. The mood becomes more triumphant as the song speeds up and adds on more riffs and other details.

The EP presents as a polished work of raw atmospheric BM, very melodic and featuring music with distinct riffs and a cold frosty ambience. The production on the EP is clear enough that most instruments can be heard clearly and the recording has some depth to it. While the singing is not especially strong and sometimes seems overwhelmed by the surging music, it does convey emotions ranging from anger to despair and torment well. The confidence Lampe demonstrates as an all-rounder musician / vocalist and in his song-writing would suggest another album should be in the pipeline for Echushkya, and that album could be the project's breakthrough work if Echushkya continues to improve its sound and add additional instruments and influences to enhance its raw melodic atmospheric BM style.