Gracepoint - Echoes

16 years after their debut album, Minnesota’s Gracepoint return with their sophmore offering entitled “Echoes”. It is a fairly decent and listenable offering, but aside from that, there isn’t much here to awaken the senses. To be honest, I was expecting more and, sadly, this release did not deliver. There are several bands in this genre who only try half as hard and deliver much better results. I don’t know, maybe it’s just that I have my standards set too high when it comes to music like this. I honestly wanted to enjoy this release more than I did, but there were a few things that prevented me from doing so.

To me it seems as if the timing was off just a bit. Not enough to really ruin the whole album, but enough to be noticeable and annoying. It was almost as if the music and the vocals started with the same idea and destination in mind but somehow they fragmented along the way and end up going in 2 different directions. Now, there are moment where the music coincides with the vocals and everything feels right, but it’s those nagging moments where everything is off that leaves that perverbial “bad taste in your mouth”. The good points are that the music is played in a somewhat technical fashion which adds a nice touch to the progressive elements of the material. Not only are the riffs progressive but you can catch classic and traditional elements of rock in there as well. Not really old school or new school but a nice balance in between the 2. It’s the same with the drumming too. It’s played nicely with a ever so slight technical element that some of the heavier bands that play this type of music have. The vocals, however, is where we run into a problem. It’s not that the guy isn’t good. All I am saying is that the vocal patterns for this material just don’t seem to fit. In all honesty, the first time I listened to this CD, I almost shut it off before it was over. I didn’t thought because I wanted to give this release a fair chance and not have it ruined for 1 minor aspect that I didn’t like. But, none the less, The vocals here really don’t work in my opinion. This guy is a good vocalist in his own right, but in my opinion, the patterns are all wrong for the material. Imagine taking Dream Theater and mixing it with Godsmack and Alice in Chains and you’ll see where this is going. This album would have been better as an instrumental album. I hate to say it, but that is the honest truth. I am hoping that things take better shape vocal wise on their next release. Musically, they have hit the nail on the head and everything seems to be pretty good talent and production wise.

Even though I felt that the vocals weren’t a fit for this music, there are those who may like this and if you’re into the bands listed above then you should get this release and give it a spin. I totally respect these guys for their effort and time that they put into this album. Perhaps in time, it will grow on me even more. I will keep my eye on these guys and any future releases they have to offer. I think the band has it in them to get over this small little hump in the vocal department and create something phenomenal for their next release.

  1. Animal
  2. Spider
  3. Secrets
  4. Full Circle
  5. Somber
  6. Crucible
  7. Bittersweet
  8. July 4
  9. Echoes
  10. Moon

Self released
Reviewer: twansibon
Jul 3, 2016

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