Releasing a debut album is not an easy task. It most certainly cannot be rushed but, then again, polishing it for years may result in purging it of all the energy put into composing and recording. The style represented by the band cannot be a mere copy of an existing star, yet the audience cannot be expected to be comfortable with how ‘uniquely’ a rising band sounds. And this is where Echotide truly shines.
RELEASE DATE: 21 October 2012 LABEL: Independent
When I first heard “as our floodlights gave way to dawn” I immediately fell in love. With every single minute of this masterpiece. I was greeted by gentle strokes of piano, soon joined by subtle percussion and guitar, slowly evolving from an ambient intro towards post-rock, which initially caught my attention. However, it was a moment later that I was given goose bumps, when I first heard the roar of the lead guitar.
Throughout the entire album we can hear heavy guitar riffing comparable to If These Trees Could Talk or Cloudkicker beautifully accompanied by harmonic and melodic composition one would expect from bands such as God Is An Astronaut or Explosions in the Sky. Echotide are ingenious when it comes to building tension and then unleashing a barrage of riffs on the already breathless listener, thus sometimes classified as cinematic rock. With songs averaging 10 minutes in length, each is comparable to a journey with all of its ups and downs, intense moments or slowly paced periods of rest. A remarkable feat is how coherent the entire album is, as it could easily be treated as a single, majestic, 57 minutes long song.
Having been struck with awe by this album I did some research concerning Echotide. They are a trio from Brisbane, Australia, where they can often be found performing live, consisting of Geoff Irish, Matthew Martin and Michael Gagen. What surprised me most, however, is the timeline for their album production. As I stated at the beginning, perfectionism often leads to disastrous effects. Not in this case, as the three gentlemen started working on their debut album in 2007 only to release it 5 years later, in October 2012. To put an image to it – on average they contributed 14 minutes (or one and a half song) per year.
If you are at least remotely interested in anything that is somehow connected with post-rock, I strongly recommend you listen to “as our floodlights gave way to dawn”. And if you already have, I come bearing gifts: Echotide are already teasing their fans with a new album, hopefully coming out soon.