Arch Echo - You Won't Believe What Happens Next!
Sheet Happens Publishing
Instrumental prog/jazz/metal fusion
8 songs (45' 38")
Release year: 2019
Reviewed by Andy

A recent entrance to the music world, Nashville quintet Arch Echo could scarcely be called a metal band any more than they could be called a jazz or prog band; their sound takes all of the above genres and more besides, whipping them into a delightful concoction. Hailing from the far side of progressive metal, heavily jazz-influenced and filled with unrelentingly positive guitar-and-keyboard noodling, it nonetheless has solid steel at its core.

The entire album consists of nothing but cheery, decidedly non-dark instrumental jamming, though they each have their own unique moods. The jazz riffing of the lead guitar duels with the equally talented keyboards of frontman Joey Izzo, underwritten by crunching djent grooves. The speed and competence shown on You Won't Believe What Happens Next! shows how far Arch Echo, which already was face-melting, has come in just a few years. While Immediate Results! is more heavily laden with clever riffing than the others, I am a bigger fan of Stella, which combines the twittering speed of the keyboard/guitar combinations with a steadier and more approachable progression. The final track, Iris, is also less frenetic than some of the tracks can become, dissecting more of the musical complexity into layers that the listener can better appreciate -- though laying aside none of its makers' technical skill.

The un-headbangable nature of the music may turn some metalheads off. The band, all of whom are graduates of the prestigious Berklee College of Music, never sacrifice any piece of technical wizardry or breathtaking feat of musicianship to the need to make an approachable song, even if the amiable nature of their jazz compositions is hardly going to drive a listener away. Fans of guitar-hero instrumentalists, or of Dream Theater, on the other hand, are likely to love this. It still needs to be heard to be believed, though. For all You Won’t Believe What Happens Next!'s jazziness, strong influences from Cynic and Meshuggah hold it together to keep it from flying off into incomprehensibility, and to make it the masterwork that it is.


Killing Songs :
Daybreak, Stella, Iris
Andy quoted 91 / 100
1 readers voted
Your quote was: 100.
Change your vote

There are 0 replies to this review. Last one on Tue May 21, 2019 7:34 am
View and Post comments