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Dystopian Project – Death Leaves an Echo – EP Review

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Dystopian Project
Death Leaves an Echo
Independent
Release Date: Out Now
Review by Salla Harjula

This two-year-old Dublin sextet has garnered quite a following online even without a publishing deal, and why not? Their melody-driven tunes with powerful female vocals and catchy riffs are instantly memorable and really quite charming.

This debut EP of theirs is unquestionably worth checking out for those of you who spend your chilly winter evenings wondering what ‘After Forever’ or ‘Theatre of Tragedy’ would sound like with less metal and more groovy rock riffs. The band itself likes to call itself prog rock, and, okay, the songs are long and not structured in your basic verse-chorus-verse formula of a rock ditty. But I’d call this symphonic heavy rock if anything, with even some power metal influences thrown in.

It bears mentioning that the singer Antonia Close is definitely not a soprano like so many others in bands of this ilk – entirely a positive thing. Her deeper timbre brings its own twist of an aura to an otherwise not that extraordinarily unique sound.

The song writing is decidedly more mature and inspired than what you would expect from a band still in its toddler years. Yes, the sound production is a bit cheesy, especially the super synthetic sounding keys. But then again that’s pretty usual in this particular breed of music.

The band has released two music videos from this EP, and made wise choices in picking them. Supremely singable ‘Delirium’ especially crystallizes what this band is about and is a good bridge to the slightly more complex stuff of the other four songs. ‘Winter’s Hall’ shows a graceful, intricate side to this ensemble – and at nearly 9 minutes is not even a little too long.

On a personal note, I seriously respect the fact that these guys haven’t tried to go all out with a super-duper conceptual opus on their first try. This is an EP with five songs, and none of them feels superfluous. All of these songs are essential parts in the sum total, and it would be a different, lesser, EP without any one of them. Shows good taste and judgement, which promises excellent things for any albums to follow.

‘Death Leaves an Echo’ is not a piece of art to re-invent the wheel, but does everything have to be that anyway? In its own heavy rock, female-fronted, symphonic metal influenced genre this is definitely one to watch.

Fair play to ye, well done, lads and lass.

 

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