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Echolot - Volva

Echolot
Volva
by Jose MaCall at 25 October 2017, 12:02 PM

Upon first glancing at the multicolored shaped of what appears to be something under a microscope, I thought, this is definitely not going to be straight forward. I was thinking something a little more bizarre would await me once I filled my ears with “Volva” by ECHOLOT. I was, however, pleasantly surprised to find that all the experimentation here was all a relaxed affair striving to push a melodic work of gentle pleasantry forward. In the vast abrasive desert that is Heavy Metal, with its unbridled thirst for endless aggression, this was a pleasant oasis to relax in.

We have here a trip through a dreamy realm of heavy mysticism. There’s a procession of alluringly thick riffs and sneakily catchy portions to the four tracks on this album. Each one is a series of diverse soundscapes that shift and travel through a variety of melodies, all on a more mellow note. This is a floaty affair with a constant groovy vibe. Take the trip, I say.

There are few vocals throughout the album and they are able to sneak in and out of tracks due to being softened in the background. A few shrieks and grunts wouldn’t have hurt in my opinion, but this is clearly not the vibe the band was going for here. When I first heard the voices I thought someone had accidentally started talking during the recording, like some new intern was asking people what they wanted from the store. They are however meant to be there and it’s actually nice that they aren’t overwhelming. The bass is an absolute monster on this one. The rhythm is so heavily a device on this album that it needs to be interesting to maintain for such long expanses. This is done masterfully as the thumping notes lurch onward throughout this rocking galactic voyage. The drumming is well done; it’s tight and mixed well. Nothing crashes or blasts through the ethereal atmosphere in an intrusive manner. The guitar work is solid throughout. There are a few moments of slight adrenaline when they bring in a heavier riff but mostly the album features either a simpler more somber type of strumming, or fancy wailing that shows off the guitarist’s chops. It’s not intensely intricate like a Tech Death band’s style, but there are a lot of enjoyable leads throughout. They take a more Blues-y approach and it pays off in the most comforting way ever.

There seem to be so many influences at work here. Even a single one of the four monolithic tracks (Each clocking in at over 10 minutes) is a serious trek through different musical segments and shifts into what could be other songs entirely. It’s an easygoing trek through various styles and influences. There seems to be a Blues-y edge overall, but Psychedelic Rock, Grunge, Post-Rock and Doom all pervade the general atmosphere. Speaking of influences, I would say this album couples nicely with recreational substances. It’s definitely one to zone out to. If Metal had an easy listening sub-genre cross over, this would be it. This is more of a Progressive Stoner Rock album with some Doom Metal influences (there’s some chanting at the end of the first song, the solos, some of the heavier riffs), but either way it’s a great listen to someone looking for something to chill out to.

Stuff like: NEUROSIS, BONGRIPPER, soft OPETH, PELICAN, and MOURNFUL CONGREGATION


Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. II
2. III
3. IV
4. V      
Lineup:
Lukas Fürer - Guitar
Renato Matteucci - Bass
Jonathan Schmidli – Drums
Record Label: Czar Of Revelations Records
     


Rating

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Edited 16 December 2017
 

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