Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Echoterra And Alation Concert Review

Echoterra and Alation
Friday, May 21, 2010
7th St. Entry, Minneapolis, MN
Arriving soon after Minneapolis-based Alation took the stage, I unfortunately missed Hollowstone and Dance Of The Mourning Child, the project of Echoterra and Pyramaze keyboardist Jonah Weingarten. This was my first time seeing Alation and I was immediately blown away by talent and presence of this young band. They play a style of modern-sounding, technical thrash metal that grabs your attention. Vocalist Angel is a powerful force on stage, and she channels her aggression and original singing style into a great stage presence. Guitarists Stu and Sawyer, meanwhile, traded off and paired up on some leads and solos. All four songs from their excellent demo were played, along with the new song “Aflame”. I have no doubts that Alation will be a band that you’ll be hearing a lot more about! A review of their four-song demo will be posted soon, but go check it out for yourself on Alation’s MySpace page. Be sure to watch the video for “Aflame”, an awesome song that captures the essence of the band.
Click picture to see more photos of Alation (23)
Click to watch Alation play “Aflame”
Tonight was the first headlining (and second) show of symphonic power metal band Echoterra, so it was great to see the Entry filled with a responsive crowd. This was a 50 minute, 10 song set that was nearly evenly split between songs from the The Law Of One debut album and a batch of new tunes revealed for the first time. The band made a grand entrance with “Manifest Eternity” and “The Will Of Life” before launching into “A Tear Of Her Heart”. This was followed by two new songs, “After The Rain” and “All The Lies”. The new songs are definitely expanding Echoterra’s sound into faster, more aggressive territory. Vocalist Melissa Ferlaak (and the entire band, for that matter) was clearly having fun on stage, and she introduced “Beyond The Seven Seas” as their “pirate song”. Another new song, “Midnight Sun”, featured some strong backing vocals from bassist Brian Hollenbeck. A fourth new track, “Ghost Within My Heart” was introduced, and Brian again took a prominent singing role in the performance of “Say, Try, Lie, Die”. The set ended with “In Your Eyes”, one of highlights from The Law Of One, to resounding applause. Every member of Echoterra has extensive experience in bands such as Pyramaze, Avian, Visions Of Atlantis, and Into Eternity, and their level of professionalism is unrivaled in the Twin Cities. Keyboardist Jonah Weingarten is fun to watch as he effortlessly rips through solos, and Yan Leviathan (guitars) does a fantastic job of taking over on the heavier songs, yet stepping back to let Jonah’s playing shine. Melissa has a very strong voice, and she has a knack for engaging the crowd while hitting every note on cue. The band members had a lot of reasons to be happy at the success of this show as they met with fans afterwards. Echoterra is poised to make a big impact internationally, the band promises that some big announcements with regards to touring and their next album will be forthcoming. Hopefully some more local appearances will be announced, too!
Click picture to see more photos of Echoterra (35)
Click to watch Echoterra open the show with “Manifest Eternity/The Will Of Life”
Click to watch Echoterra play the new song “After The Rain”
Click to watch Echoterra play “Say, Try, Lie, Die”
Videos of Echoterra performing “Midnight Sun” and “In Your Eyes” can be viewed on my YouTube channel.

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