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Echotime - Side

by Stew Metallion Taylor at 29 August 2017, 10:59 AM

ECHOTIME are an Italian Prog-Power Metal band and have released this concept album “Side” based around a character called Lily. Each song is introduced by a spoken word sequence with Lily and other characters. It is not easy to follow the story. Concept albums are a bit of an acquired taste and it is often difficult to hang everything together around the music. I must admit on first listen, this didn’t grab me, but looking at the bands visual style on stage, I am sure the story will come to life in a live setting. The playing is of a very high standard. I found this set of songs not too memorable but it did grow on me a little on repeat listen.

The album starts with “In-side” setting the scene with Lily and a waiter enquiring about her story. This blends into “Mr. Valentine” which sets up the sound of the album. The sound is Power Metal mixed with jazzy bass and Prog interludes. Added in are sound effects linked to the story. There are moments that feel similar to DREAM THEATER. The guitar dynamics are good with touches of PINK FLOYD. “Mr. Valentine” is a journalist and the story follows. This story includes a Lord, an orphanage and a tale of power and lust. The songs come and go. To be fair, the sound in the best moments is on a level with the likes of BLIND GUARDIAN with great playing throughout. The vocals are strong. Often, the songs breakdown into story- telling mode like a stage production. A stand out track for me is “Stream of Life” which starts out like AMON AMARTH before breaking down to more Prog style. This is a great track and I’d definitely put this on my play list. “The Lighthouse” is a strong song with driving drum patterns and is probably the heaviest number. “Hymn of Glory” is a really dramatic track. This has a thunderous groove, rolling keyboard waves and raging guitars.

However, I found this album over-complicated. For big Prog Metal fans this concept may work. It has a great sound and production but I couldn’t get in to the theatre-style, story-telling format.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. In-side
2. Mr. Valentine
3. The Fourth Estate
4. The Lighthouse
5. Money
6. Sickness
7. Addiction
8. Hymn Of Glory
9. Millstone
10. The Orphanage
11. The Bend Of Love
12. Lust And Desire
13. The River
14. Black Dunes
15. Stream Of Life
16. I Have Seen
17. Freakshow (The)
18. Out-side
Alex Kage - Vocals
Federico "Face" Fazi - Drums
Nicolas "Nick" Pandolfi - Guitars
Giacomo "Chris" Bartolini - Bass
Federico "Smiths" Fabbri - Keyboards
Record Label: Rockshots Records


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Edited 28 May 2023

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