I’ve got some more post-rock goodness for you all. This time, it’s from Russian band Echoes and Signals. The first from the Motherland to be featured on this site, Echoes and Signals is Fedor Kivkourtsev on guitar, Alexey Zaytsev on bass guitar, and Yaroslav Egorov on the drums. Their third album “V” might have been released late last year, but should still be relevant in today’s music scene thanks to their artistry and talent.
Although I’ve introduced this band as a post-rock band, to simply call them that would be an understatement. There is so much emotion and meaning behind this album, musically and conceptually. Ranging from post-rock, to post-metal, to progressive rock, Echoes and Signals are masters when it comes to setting moods. With their latest album dedicated to the five steps of acceptance, each track is its own journey. Following the path of denial, anger, guilt, depression, and realization is definitely a heavy topic, but is handled beautifully throughout. With each track containing its own interlude to set the scene, the listener experiences the rises and falls related to each step. Much like the successful post-metal band Russian Circles, Echoes and Signals are able to create such vivid instrumental arrangements to pull down the listener to a much darker and somber mood. You can truly feel each phase as you approach acceptance of your own concerns.
Particularly focusing on the guitar, I am the most drawn to Fedor’s expressive guitar rhythms. Ranging from softer rock to harder metal, Fedor does a great job at capturing the mood. “Over The Lethe,” the first non-interlude track, is one of my favorites on the album, containing atmospheric rhythms to overdriven verses. Much of the album contains both sides of Fedor’s playing, from the soppy “The Waiting Room” to the intense “Dead End.” I love to experience the stark differences on this album, with one moment the feeling of floating to the next minute of head banging. On top of Fedor’s amazing playing is Alexey’s crushing bass lines reminiscent of Chelsea Wolfe’s latest album (“Hadal Pelagic,” “Caught By The Water”) and Yaroslav’s intricate drumming (“The Waiting Room”). The trio perform admirably, continually bouncing technical riffs of each other and elevating each other’s play. It must be interesting to see Echoes and Signals perform, considering the glaring changes in their style of play throughout the album.
Despite how moving “V” is, I do have one complaint, and it’s the song “Caught By The Water.” Don’t get me wrong, it is a beautiful track. I especially love the delayed clean guitar intro that builds off the prior interlude. My main concern is with the vocals, provided by Valentin Berezin of the band Adaen. Being the only track on “V” with vocals, I was a little surprised when the beautiful orchestrations were interrupted by a voice, something I was not expecting. Reminiscent of Matthew Bellamy of Muse at first, I was ok with the inclusion, although I felt it disrupted the flow of the album up to that point. As the song progressed, though, I started to wince as Valentin sang the song’s second verse. I’ve never heard Adaen, so I am not familiar with Valentin’s vocals besides this one song. However, on this particular album, I do not feel he delivers a noteworthy performance. Being the only vocal track on the album, I imagined a much stronger performance from the singer. Instead, a very wavy and slightly off-key voice infiltrated the album, making me wish it hadn’t been there. I feel it is entirely unnecessary on this album, which at this point had already excelled in toying with the listener’s emotions through instrumentals alone. If it weren’t for the vocal performance, I would consider “Caught By The Water” to be the album’s strongest track. It truly is the only negative I have to say about this album.
Despite the lone complaint, it’s only one song of eleven, and only minutes of an album lasting nearly fifty. The remainder of “V” is an amazing contribution to the post-rock/metal genre, and is highly recommended by yours truly. Please support this band by checking out their Bandcamp page and receiving a free copy of this album. You can also support them by following them on Facebook and Twitter. They have recently released a new single, which can be found here. As I continue to repeat this album at work, I look forward to their next addition to my “office rock” playlist.