Appeared in "Prog-Nose", written by Jany
August 2002

(Translated by Walter 'Haha' Haentjens)

Can you spare a moment? Say 50 minutes? That's exactly the time you'll need to listen to Echolyn's newest. There's only one song featuring Mei. Very daring in these times of meaningless tunes and monotone beats, don't you think? Who would still take the time to sit and relax in his comfy chair to listen to the whole song? But then again, Echolyn doesn't aim for a target group. But really taking the time to listen to music?? I don't think it happens a lot, except perhaps for the real music lover, the genuine symphomaniac for instance. However, it's not a unique experiment. An illustrious example is Jethro Tull with Thick As A Brick. We had to stand up halfway to change sides, but that was all. Anyway...

Let's see what Mei has to offer. The inner sleeve shows miscellaneous photographs of still lifes and landscapes, images of people, cars, etc...with bits and pieces of text. These scraps match mainly the amount of fragments being skilfully put together. You can find the entire textbook on their website. I discovered 14 themes in this piece of work. 14 different states of mind, translated into music. From calm, almost classical to utterly chaotic, even sometimes-aggressive music with all the possible variations in between. It feels like an imaginary voyage, a journey all the way through Progland. It's hard to compare this album with former Echolyn work, because it seems they changed their musical direction. It makes me think more of Spock's Beard and Transatlantic. Nevertheless, you'll recognise the "old" Echolyn here and there. This album is a very modern prog-one, like Saga's Generation 13. Few old prog elements, a bit of jazz, rock and blues, a touch of Steely Dan, even "drum and base" are woven into the music, but in a responsible way.

A quick summary: The album is filled with complex music, but, give it some time because it grows on you every time you listen to it. Nowhere is it disappointing and there are always new elements to be discovered. Echolyn have surpassed themselves. The album should also be very interesting for Spock's Beard and Transatlantic fans.

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