echolyn | The End is Beautiful

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The End is Beautiful

by echolyn

"The End is Beautiful" is echolyn's newest studio album - released on August 23, 2005 - an urban, angular, rock masterpiece featuring echolyn's trademark vocal and instrumental interplay.
Genre: Rock: Classic Rock
Release Date: 

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1. Georgia Pine
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5:49 $1.49
2. Heavy Blue Miles
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6:48 $1.49
3. Lovesick Morning
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10:12 $1.49
4. Make Me Sway
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5:22 $1.49
5. The End is Beautiful
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7:45 $1.49
6. So Ready
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5:01 $1.49
7. Arc of Descent
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8. Misery, Not Memory
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
echolyn 2005

Christopher Buzby - keyboards, backing vocals
Thomas Hyatt - bass, backing vocals
Brett Kull - guitars, lead and backing vocals
Paul Ramsey - drums and percussion, backing vocals
Raymond Weston - bass, lead and backing vocals

With a history dating back sixteen years, echolyn continues to develop and redefine a compositional style best described as melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and dynamic - music that is progressive in the truest sense of the word. Defying categorization, while achieving critical acclaim from all around the globe echolyn continues to bend the ears of the world's listeners.

The seeds of echolyn were sown in the late 1980's when Brett Kull, Raymond Weston, and Paul Ramsey played in a cover band named 'Narcissus.' In 1988 Narcissus disbanded as the members tired of cover tunes. A year later Christopher Buzby joined Kull and Ramsey to form echolyn, a band that made a conscious decision to focus entirely on original music. Weston soon returned to the fold, and they began recording their eponymous CD "echolyn" in 1990. Kull, Weston, and Jesse Reyes manned the bass post until Thomas Hyatt joined permanently during the recording process of this first album. "echolyn" was released independently on Bridge Records, and the first pressing quickly sold out. The CD was for a while one of the most sought-after collector's items in progressive rock, fetching over $100 at the Ebay internet auction site. echolyn was a welcome breath of fresh air in that generally lean time for progressive music.

In 1992, the band released "suffocating the bloom," now generally regarded as an early '90s progressive rock classic. The album honed echolyn's trademark two-and three-part vocal harmonies with tight, contrapuntal instrumental musicianship, and features the 25- minute "A Suite for the Everyman." Lyrically it deals with the loss of childhood innocence and idealism. In the spring of 1993 the band privately released the 4-song unplugged mini-CD "...and every blossom." However, it was "suffocating the bloom" that attracted the attention of executives at major label Sony Music/Epic Records, and the band contracted a multi-album deal in the summer of 1993, which included the release of their next full-length album on Sony/Epic/550 Music. During this period echolyn performed extensively and played sold-out shows throughout the Philadelphia area, most notably at South Street's "Theater of the Living Arts." They also opened three shows on the East Coast for progressive metal band Dream Theater. echolyn also performed a feature set at Progfest '94 in Los Angeles prior to the release of their own Sony/Epic/550 Music debut.

In the spring of 1994, the band recorded their first CD for Sony in Nashville, TN. A major label deal would not corrupt echolyn's musical ambitions. "as the world" was, and is, an uncompromising piece of echolyn's musical output. The album was released in March of 1995 to tremendous acclaim in progressive rock circles. People spoke of echolyn as the best chance at the time for wider mainstream acceptance of progressive music, however Sony maddeningly refused to support touring, echolyn's best way to reach new ears and their musical lifeblood, and thus marked the beginning of the end to echolyn's short-lived major label career. The band headlined the inaugural ProgDay in North Carolina in September 1995, without label support, and shortly thereafter were dropped by Sony. Hyatt and Buzby left the band, and after over 250 live shows and 4 studio album releases, echolyn had seemingly met its end. A 'posthumous' recording entitled "when the sweet turns sour," was released on SynPhonic and Cyclops, GFT in 1996. This CD consisted of working demos of unreleased new songs, an acoustic version of "Meaning and the Moment," a cover of "Where the Sour Turns to Sweet" originally arranged and recorded for a Genesis tribute album, and live tracks from the ProgDay '95 show.
The members of echolyn, however, remained very active in music. Kull, Ramsey, and Weston formed Still, which released "Always Almost" in 1996, focusing on song-writing in a hard-rock format. Re-named Always Almost, this trio released "God Pounds His Nails" in 1997, which featured a Gentle Giant cover of "Aspirations" among other well-written progressive-influenced hard rock songs. Both of these recordings were on Georgia-based Pleasant Green Records. Kull and Ramsey also started recording and touring with the major-label folk-rock group Grey Eye Glances. Meanwhile Buzby formed a new band named finneus gauge with several other musicians, including his brother Jonn on drums, and released two albums of intricate jazz-fusion influenced progressive rock, "more once more" (1997) and "one inch of the fall" (1999) to worldwide critical acclaim. Keyboard magazine picked "more once more" as "One of the Top 5 Records of 1997" in an editor's poll, while Guitar World recognized finneus gauge as "One of the 10 Best in the Current Progressive Rock Underground" in 1998.

In the spring of 2000 the members of echolyn returned with a brand new collection of 10 songs and their first studio album in over four years, titled "cowboy poems free." The band line-up featured original members Buzby, Kull, Ramsey, and Weston, along with new drummer/percussionist Jordan Perlson, a student of Buzby's from Abington Friends School, who recently graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston. echolyn played a couple of live shows in support of "cowboy poems free," most notably the stifling hot jam packed NEARfest pre-show in 2000 and a Theater of the Living Arts show in support of Transatlantic. echolyn retired to the studio after the summer of 2000 to begin meticulous work on their newest album titled "mei," which was just released in June of 2002. Always striving for the next challenge and musical adventure this album pulls out all the musical stops and is the most diverse echolyn recording to date. Featuring several guest musicians on timpani, marimba, vibraphone, clarinet, flute, violin and cello, and clocking in at just under 50 minutes in length, "mei" is as close as echolyn has ever come to writing a modern symphonic tone poem.

Following the success of "mei," echolyn decided to take the current live show on the road for a few shows in Philly, Baltimore, Canada and Boston. Following a great reception at every show echolyn headed back to their studio in West Point, PA to decide what their next project would be. Inspired by the many e-mails from fans across the world looking for echolyn's debut self-titled release and their acoustic 4-song set "...and every blossom," the band decided it was time to truly empty the vaults and give the newer fans everything they had been looking for, and the old fans and completists all of the non-released tracks and out-takes from years past. Thus "a little nonsense: now and then" was born. Released in December of 2002, the box set included the entire re-masters of echolyn's debut album, "...and every blossom" and "when the sweet turns sour" this box set finally, and officially, closed the door on the first 13 years echolyn. It also included the return of Tom Hyatt as guest bassist for a few live shows, followed by Tom's official return to the group in the fall of 2003.

Following the release of "a little nonsense: now and then" it became evident that echolyn still did not have one thing on their resume: a live album! It was finally time for an official live bootleg album...The Jersey Tomato. Released as a 2-CD limited-edition pressing, it sold out before the actual CDs and jewel cases were even ready for shipping. Featuring 13 live echolyn tunes, and a powerful, complete version of "mei" without the chamber orchestra, this release was recorded at a show echolyn performed at The Jersey Prog House in September of 2002.

Not wanting to stand still, echolyn also began planning to do work in a new medium. During 2003 the band played some brilliant live shows in Baltimore, Quebec, Lowell, MA and Pennsylvania, the latter being filmed for a DVD release. In 2004 production took place on "Stars and Gardens," containing film footage of live echolyn from the previous year plus a video documentary spanning the band's entire career. Released on September 7, 2004 the DVD finally lets fans outside the USA see the band on stage and in the studio. With rave reviews still coming in from around the world, the DVD promises to further promote the success of a one-of-a-kind American band that continues to defy and push the boundaries of original rock-n-roll music. Brett Kull's solo album release "Orange-ish Blue" in 2002 and Ray Weston's "This is My Halo" in 2003 give further proof that the originality and musical output from the guys in echolyn is just getting started!

With the re-release of "as the world" in July 2005, along with a companion DVD of the band performing many selections from "as the world," filmed in Michigan just 2 days before "as the world's" original March of 1995 release, the band is also hard at work completing it's newest studio release, "The End Is Beautiful." This urban, angular rock masterpiece is set for worldwide release on August 23, 2005 - to be followed immediately followed by the band's first-ever European tour in early September 2005.


echolyn's full discography:
echolyn (1991) suffocating the bloom (1992) ...and every blossom (EP, 1993) as the world (1995) when the sweet turns sour (1996) still - always almost (1996) always almost - god pounds his nails (1997) finneus gauge - more once more (1997) finneus gauge - one inch of the fall (1999) cowboy poems free (2000) suffocating the bloom {re-mastered} (2000) orange-ish blue (Brett Kull's solo album) (2002) mei (2002) a little nonsense: now and then (2002) official live bootleg: jersey tomato (2003) this is my halo (Ray Weston's solo album) (2003)
stars and gardens {dvd} (2004) as the world {re-release with companion dvd} (July 2005)
the end is beautiful (August 2005)


Reviews


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Andrew Flescher

extremely strong--a little jazzy
"The End is Beautiful" is a must, but not quite as strong as the flawless and innovative Mei (with the exception of the bold, harmonic second track "Heavy Blue Miles"). Echolyn contains five virtuosi---and better---two frontmen who write beautiful, powerful, moving, modulating rock tunes, but the group at its jazziest has a penchant for the bombastic. Still, no question that this album delights and is worth owning. Lyrically, this album is as poignant as anything the group has done.

Kevin Billig

I've listened to it 5 or 6 times but....
..it hasn't sunk in completely. Maybe I'm not paying attention like I used to. There aren't many immediate melodic hooks but no one can deny their instrumental dexterity. This release reminds me of the signature sound of "As the World" & what would become the new demos of "Sweet turns to Sour": Keyboard rich arrangements with Chris Buzby clearly at the helm. As always, Kull & Weston add their non commercial melodies & voices to that which can only be Echolyn. I will always support them. There might be something hidden on the CD that I'm missing. Maybe I need to listen 5 or 6 times more.

hardiansyah rizal

Superb!
If you expect that Echolyn - The End Is Beautiful will deliver another epic-like "Mei", then prepare to lower your expectation. TEIB is not concept-like typical symphonic prog as in Mei. TEIB tends to blend jazzier tune (Heavy Blue Miles,Lovesick Morning), swinging rock (Georgia Pine), to Symph Prog (Make Me Sway, Misery..). TEIB prolongs multiple verses of Echolyn albums all along. This ain't like retro-prog in As The World, or the AmericaProg in Cowboy Poems Free. This most recent effort is darker, heavier, sometimes giving you raw feeling of live like.

Georgia Pine - is swinging groove - driven by Paul Ramsey energetic drums, steered by Buzby's clavinet with his Hammond b3. You can expect this is great live opening. Next best section: at 03:05 - the music starts to turn into Kull's vocal tingling with background piano - slowly... melancholy..bluesy...and then back to the Hammond, with driving groove back to the fore.

Heavy Blue Miles starts as groovy rockin' number with synth, before it starts to mellow into a jazzier slower, with Sax in the background coming to the verse. Within the sax and B3 riffs lies the hypnotic refrain, "Love made me ill with lust". Or try this - "It's Ok, It's Ok - I'm not ok, I'm not ok". I actually feel this song could have developed more - by adding more sax/horns as additional layer of sound. This song is one highlight of the album - even as it is.

Other highlights of TEIB - "Make Me Sway" - which is also available as free download from their site. This is echolyn going back to "as the world", with great instrumental delivered.

Title track - The End Is Beautiful is hauntingly beautiful, bad pun intended! The lyric "Pain introduced us. I wanted someone i could hurt" is just so sadly melancholy sung by RW. This is one song you need to listen with lights off!

All in all - TEIB manage to put Echolyn as being consistently "progressing" - or at least - altering their deliveries from album to album to give us different flavor of their music. Don't get me wrong - you can immediately tell this is Echolyn. Their harmonic, beat, and chords progression are still there on the fore, just on a different plate.

woburnmusicfan

Echolyn: still the best hope for the future of prog
To me, Echolyn's last two albums, "Cowboy Poems Free" and "Mei", are the best progressive rock albums since 1980 by anyone, anywhere. "The End Is Beautiful" isn't up to that standard, but it's still a fine album. The title cut and "Heavy Blue Miles" have already lodged in my head for days at a time. It rocks harder than any previous Echolyn album, though the lyrics are their most downbeat. After a month of listening, I'm still trying to figure out if this is a very dark concept album. It goes from a war veteran just looking to get drunk ("Georgia Pine") to heartache ("Lovesick Morning"), toxic relationships ("The End Is Beautiful"), and finally suicide ("Arc of Descent" and "Misery, Not Memory"). Tom Hyatt, who didn't return when the band re-formed in the late 90s, is back now, and takes over most of Ray Weston's bass duties. The band produced the album, and the mix doesn't leave as much open space as William Barnes did on the last two albums. But it's not cluttered, and it rewards repeated listenings.
(1=poor 2=mediocre 3=pretty good 4=very good 5=phenomenal)

Charles R. Husson

Yet another side of Echolyn
Although the subject matter is somewhat downbeat, this is an invigorating set of new music. As usual, each song contains various levels, to be discovered upon successive listenings. Echolyn again proves that they can cover the entire spectrum from heavy to dreamy with equal conviction. Heavy Blue Miles has a hint of Steely Dan to it, but is not derivative. Chris' Hammond work is outstanding, but there are really no standout solos on the album. Much of the effort appears to have gone into tight group arrangements both instrumentally and vocally. It's good to have Tom Hyatt back on bass, and Paul's drum work is, as always, fantastic.

dangerboy

My favorite so far
I can't say more than what's already been said. I have all of echolyn's albums. Not to take away anything done previously, but the End is my new favorite. Highly recommended.

progpromoter

How great Echolyn can be!
When you put in your CD player an Echolyn album you always expect something new.
TEIB is truly higher than every expectation!
Starting from the Paul Ramsey intro and along the whole work you find several references to old prog masters like Genesis, Gentle Giant, etc., but they are so new after all!
Their dissonant singing and chording is astonishing and gives to you what Echolyn truly are: a great band with a very strong music knowledge! And they use it all to enjoy us!
We all fans are waiting impatiently for the next album.
And We already know it will be great!
Go on this way Echolyn!

CHINASKI

The Album is Beautiful
On "The End is Beautiful", Echolyn have consistently written great songs with compelling lyrics spanning a wide variety of subjects and emotions. Great technicians - they don't overplay, but you get the clear sense that they are both confident and competent in their musical abilities. All of this together has made me appreciate this as a work of genius: intricate but not show-off musicianship and truly intelligent lyrics that say something about America.

Dick Miller

"change" is only a holy word in mainstream pop
Which I can't imagine Echolyn ever being. Not even during their "covers band" era, when the "covers" they were doing were probably old Genesis, Yes and Gentle Giant. I hope that the title of this doesn't imply it's their last album--what would the prog world do without them? In this album they've shaken off the "Mei" period, which was their equivalent to "Topographic Oceans". Now, as Yes did, it's back to the song format that made them great. As another reviewer says, no one player is dominant, and we get their distinctive baritone-tenor harmonies, with no falsetto screeches. The keyboard work is piano and organ-centered, with a bit of mellotron and synth to help out. As such, as we've come to expect from Echolyn, we get to hear how great they are as an ENSEMBLE. Not one or two guys' ego trips with the others in a backup role. That's what prog is all about--the sum is more than its parts.

Fred Lessing

Strong imagery again
Once again, Echolyn have given evidence that they are more than just a prog band. They make movies! Mei felt like a David Lynch/Wim Wenders road movie. The End Is Beautiful feels like a series of short features about the hopelessness of modern Western society. And that new-old bass guitar rocks!!!!
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