“Wash me clean cold rain
Help me bear my pain
Burn for me cold flame
Light for me my way“
– “July 4“
Since the release of their first album, Science of Discontent, Minneapolis-based Gracepoint have continued to develop their progressive metal.
Echoes is the result of a collaboration with legendary producer/engineer Neil Kernon (Dokken, Queensryche, Nevermore).
Bass player Sam Van Moer and drummer Lance Reed form the rhythm section. Guitarists Lon Kunze and Stefan Radzilowski provide riffs which lash and linger in the memory. Singer Matt Tennessen provides an audio experience rich in emotion to add heart to the complexity. He brings to mind James Hetfield and Layne Staley, along with some Eddie Vedder.
The music is complex, deep and ethereal. The band employs a mix of influences and have produced an album to be proud of. The drowning screams of desperation decorate this musical landscape and songs such as “Crucible” are powerful statements about choices you make in life.
Throughout the collection, the band expands its musical muscles and all sorts of riffing is used to punch and protect the listener. There are grinding anthems, such as “Echoes” and there are acoustic introspectives such as “July 4“. I detect a hint of Creed about some of these songs, but this is largely due to the more esoteric nature of the material.
The guitar work is solid throughout and the complex time signatures make for an album that will challenge. However, the songs are strong and the delivery is honest and brutally beautiful.
All in all, an album that does make an impression and is honest and raw in an age of insincerity. Give it heart and have the grace to make a point!