Artist: Echoes of Creation
Release: July 27th, 2013
Echoes of Creation:
Seth Herron – Vocals
Jacob Burton – Guitars
Chris Daugherty – Guitars
Devin Humphries – Guitars
Tim McPherson – Bass
Austin Cooley – Drums
Echoes of Creation arises from Jasper, Alabama. To my knowledge, many may not think of Alabama as a likely birthplace of a pretty decent metal band, much less a small town of 14,000 in Alabama. However, it’s pleasing when assumptions are completely incorrect. I’m thoroughly enjoying both EP’s (also, Failure // Recovery (2015)). I’ll review both EPs but for now, I’ll stick to their 2013 debut.
As a musician myself who has organized and written albums, the start of an album is pretty crucial even in the days of digital music (as it’s often the first one a user clicks when sampling an album). The start of a debut is arguably even more important. Opener “Outbreak”, in my opinion, strongly succeeds in presenting a firm taste to the user that Echoes of Creation are not just another poorly produced band that lacks seriousness and true passion. It is quickly obvious from the short 1:25 intro, which begins with a simple piano chord progression but evolves and ends with the full band playing a short metal riff that ultimately shows a crucial component in days when musicians can make albums in their basements. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s fantastic that control is being given back to the musicians. It just happens to bring along some problems of its own too. This is a topic that I will leave for another post, however one problem is poor production. What “Outbreak” does, especially in its ending, is establish to the listener that this album sounds very professionally produced and mixed. The drums are crystal clear and plenty of bass, guitars are also crystal clear but don’t overpower everything else as often ends up being the case.
Moving onto, “Satellites” (which is the first true song) on the album immediately explodes much like a great metal concert should. A piece of the song that I’ll refer to as Riff X (not to discount Austin Cooley’s awesome drumming) quickly had me wanting to jump up and bob my head. Seth Herron seems to take a cue from iconic vocalists such as Burton C. Bell (Fear Factory) who made it acceptable, and now admirable, for metal singers to not only growl but sing in clean vocals as well and he achieves both styles of vocals very well. Austin’s drums are on point for the full four minute song with plenty of double bass (one of my personal favorites of metal percussion). Jacob Burton and Chris Daugherty (Guitars) and Tim McPherson (Bass) pull forth that modern elaborate metal guitar that still makes me reminisce of the impact bands like Iron Maiden (and many later bands) have had on metal. Devin Humphries (Guitars) was recently added to the band and will appear on future recordings. “Satellites” successfully establishes that Echoes of Creation are a very serious and very talented metal band from Alabama. After all, to say that everyone in the deep south listens to country would be judgmental and assuming.
“Interstellar Xenocide”, to put it simply, erupts from the instant start. A common convention of metal, especially the heavier bands, is to have that undeniable “pit” song. This isn’t to say anything bad either as moments like that really fuel a metal show, regardless of your personal opinion of mosh pits. At 0:39, it jumps into a thrash-like double bass/guitar riff complete with a very fitting sample that only amplifies the energy that the band has carried through the EP already. By this point, I’m already wanting to see this band in concert and surpasses many bands I have seen that just sound like everyone else and all songs blend together. Dropping in at 2:12 is another very powerfully energetic thrash-style riff/pattern that I can only hope is something Echoes of Creation continues to carry into their second EP. It’s an element of metal that I feel has been missing, though to powerfully compliment them, reminds me a lot of brutal metallers Whitechapel.
“Impact” opens with a sweet and soft introduction of electronics and acoustic guitars, a pause in the chaos. Drawing in more piano by mid-point which quickly increases its tempo as the drums/guitars/bass join the instrumental before exploding at 2:04 in, my opinion, another world class heavily energized riff.
The EPs title track closer, “Evolve” begins in a similar way of “Impact” but full on metal song mixing its heaviness with quite beautiful piano merged within it. The song is longer at nearly five minutes. However, I’m very much a fan of songwriters not drawing things out if the songs don’t require it. Legendary band Hatebreed proved that 2-3 minute metal songs succeeded very well. Also, Nine Inch Nails’ Broken EP runs only 25 minutes but is the most energy packed and cohesive 25 minutes of heavier industrial music I’ve ever heard. Better stated, Echoes of Creation’s shorter songs only intensify their energy and don’t damage the quality of the EP (or album as I’m sure one day they will be). Following the closer, I only wanted more! Leaving a potential fan, but ultimately a listener, with a craving for more is a great way to build a loyal following that, in metal especially, secures your fan base.
I can honestly say that anyone who was interested in metal, especially with interest to heavy and thrashy, I would quickly suggest Echoes of Creation…”you have to check out this potent band from Alabama.” I don’t rate albums on here but if I were to, this would be a rare 5/5. This is a band the 90s/thrash lovers/”heavy” metalheads need in the metal community. Book them to open up for Whitechapel and there is one seriously brutal concert.