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Wills Dissolve - Echoes Award winner

Wills Dissolve
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 30 July 2020, 7:37 AM

Hailing from Houston, Texas, WILLS DISSOLVE was formed in late 2015 in Houston, Texas by Guitarist/Vocalists Nick Block and Andrew Caruana brought together by their love of Progressive, Doom, and Extreme Metal. They were joined shortly by Black/Death metal Drummer Branson Heinz and Bassist Shaun Weller; a veteran of the Punk/Metal scene in his home state of Michigan. Drawing on such diverse influences as OPETH, ISIS, ENSLAVED, and SWALLOW THE SUN, they play a unique style of extreme progressive metal. “Echoes” contains one lengthy track.

“Echoes” is over thirty-one minutes in length; their version of “Winter’s Gate” by INSOMNIUM. It opens slowly, with held guitar notes and something brewing in the background. Distorted spoken words read “New Houston, I’m approaching the outer rim. I will be out of direct com range soon, and engaging hibernation. All systems are clear. Mission is a go. Newton-8 over and out.” The guitars begin to build, and then the heavy riff drops hard and the vocals are guttural and fierce. Clean vocals are followed by a really nice guitar solo, with thunderous drumming. I believe the song is about being lost in space.

The clean, harmonized vocals around the seven-minute mark are really beautiful, showing the band can play several styles of music easily. Take in the melodies at this point. His travel in space must be wondrous. Tense guitars come into play for a spell, with double time work on the kick drum. The harsh vocals return, setting a nefarious turn of events for the traveler. Then, it’s back to the clean guitars and charming passage, where the vocal work is absolutely beautiful. The album is very good at both sides of the table here…fierce, deep and dark tones, and clean, pretty ones. The harsh vocals return, but the music stays on the sweet side.

Thick guitars begin to chug, with a mixture of clean and harsh vocals. At the half-way mark, the guitars and vocals turn deadly, with a balls-out sound. Something has gone terribly wrong for the space traveler. Then, a more ambient passage passes, with clean harmonized vocals and steady, slightly sad clean guitar notes. You’re going to have to get used to the exchange between harsh and clean passages, because the song is full of them. Nearing completion, the song features both clean and harsh vocals, with a steady dose of distorted guitars, followed by some lead guitar work. The final two minutes are just clean guitars and some background ambiance. It’s as if the space traveler slowly comes to grip with his fate and just floats away to nothingness.

Overall, I really liked the tale told her. A 31-minute song must be undertaken carefully, so that you can have several moving parts, but still keep the central theme in your mind at all times. The music works so well with the lyrics, and they show a flexibility you don’t often here in this type of sub-genre of metal. They know when to crank it up into a frenzy of guttural vocals, with deep, dark, and thick guitars, bass and drums, and also when to let moments of melody and ambiance brighten your day. You will get it all here on this album, so sit back, and enjoy the ride, as I know that I did for sure.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Echoes
Nick Block – Guitar, Harsh Vocals
Andrew Caruana – Guitar, Clean and Harsh Vocals
Branson Heinz – Drums and Percussion
Shaun Weller – Bass, Harsh Vocals
Record Label: Hypnotic Dirge Records


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