Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Echoterra EP Review

Echoterra – In Your Eyes EP
Blinding Force, 2010

7/10

Not even six months after the release of the outstanding debut album The Law Of One, Minneapolis’s Echoterra is with a stopgap EP to showcase new vocalist Melissa Ferlaak (ex-Visions Of Atlantis, Aesma Daeva). This change makes a lot of sense since the location of original vocalist Suvi Virtanen in Swedish made the logistics of live performances difficult. John Gensmer has also been replaced on drums with Adam Sagan due to John’s ongoing commitments with Epicurean. If you’re familiar with Melissa’s earlier work, it’s easy to hear why she was chosen to replace Suvi. Melissa has a similar operatic vocal style, yet her voice will likely enable a wider range of sounds for the band. “In Your Eyes” is perhaps the best track from The Law Of One, and it’s been reworked a bit here (it’s nearly a minute shorter than the original version). Two other songs are re-recorded here, “A Tear Of Her Heart” and “Say, Try, Lie, Die”, but these adhere pretty close to the originals except for some additional vocal flourishes. An instrumental track, “Bear Mountain”, offers a preview of the next album and it will be interesting to hear how vocal melodies and additional instrumentation develop from this version. Lastly, “Echoterra Overture” is keyboard solo that is actually a medley of songs from the album. This EP was a smart move by Echoterra as a way of introducing Melissa on vocals, and if you like The Law Of One you’ll want to get this. It also offers a low-cost opportunity for new fans to hear what all the excitement is about.

Echoterra will be making their live debut as support for Epica at Station 4 in St. Paul on Saturday, February 6. Additional support will come from Threat Signal, Blackguard, Gracepoint, and Dread Veil.

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