Echo Us - The Tide Decides

(CD 2009, 69:02, Musea MP 3090)

The tracks:
1- From Snow to Sea(04:25)
2- The Tide decides(05:33)
3- Out at the Edge of the World(10:55)
4- We surfaced(05:41)
5- Fantastic Elevation(05:10)
6- Bon Voyage(07:32)
7- Trans-Atlantic(07:05)

Echo Us Website        samples        Musea Records

When I received The Tide Decides by Echo Us, I did not expect an album that would appeal to me. Most of the releases on the Musea Parallele label contain music that goes beyond the borders of progressive rock music, sometimes even far beyond the limits of the genre. The Tide Decides however, is a good example of the confluence of prog rock and electronic music: a beautiful merge between separate musical styles. The modern sound produced by Echo Us fits perfectly to the story on The Tide Decides. It is a conceptual work spanning the life of one individual and the entire chronology of humanity on earth. The album has been recorded with many synthesizers, sequencers and drum computers combined with instruments such as harp and viola. Those instruments make the music transparent, creating an atmosphere very similar to Enya, Enigma, Vangelis or Mike Oldfield. However, the use of electric guitars and a drummer of flesh and blood sometimes moves the music into a musical style well-known to Ethan, who wrote all the material and played most of the instruments himself. Maybe some of our readers know Ethan as Ethan Matthews, the keyboard player in the American prog metal band Greyhaven. However, his own recordings show little influences of this band. Sometimes he uses a heavy guitar riff or a powerful drum beat to give the music the extra power needed for a specific track. Ethan took a wise decision to use human voices, because it lifts the music to a higher level. You can slightly compare his voice to the high-pitched voice of Jon Anderson (Yes). It took Ethan four years to realize this album. He started just after the release of his first solo effort in 2005, but the result was worthwhile the waiting. The Tide Decides contains fantastic music that will appeal to everyone whoís fond of the combination of electronics and progressive rock. I never heard Echo Usí debut album, thus I donít know whether that album reaches the same high level as the latter, but Iím sure I will find out eventually.

**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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