Appeared in "I/E Magazine", written by Datten Bergstein
May 1993

There are those who ape a style for style's sake, who ride on the bandwagon without paying carfare. Then there are those who take that bandwagon and turn it into an entirely different mode of transportation. Echolyn's second record, riding on a high on an already impressive debut, could be considered a magnum opus by anyone's standards. Over seventy-one minutes in length, Suffocating The Bloom is an hugely complex, involved concept album about the loss of innocence, the loss of childhood. Echolyn's influences are still there, most notably Genesis, but they have easily evolved beyond being pat imitators. The massive, eleven-part A Suite For The EVeryman is a marvelous pastiche of alluring progressive, bristling with robust energy, invention, dizzying chord changes and an earnest, vibrant power. As a matter of fact, one of Echolyn's great strengths is in their ability to not mimic or resort to progressive chliches, but to fully capture the feel and excictement of the classic '70s era. And no, dated they are not. Suffocating The Bloom's production is pristine, open-ended and very warm and appealing; even when Brett Kull's guitars rock out or drummer Paul Ramsey slaps his Bruford-esque plates of sheet metal, there is always a true sense of atmosphere, of a group dynamic that makes full use of the sonic medium, where solos don't take precedence over substance. Suffocating The Bloom will no doubt enthrall many with its enormous variety, drive and imaginiation. It's enough to secure some extremely positive hope for prorgessive rock's continuing future.

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