EchoSoul – The End of Darkness (Animated Insanity Records)

Sunday, 6th September 2020
Rating: 8.5/10

Starting in 2019 from guitarist/songwriter Guy Hinton, EchoSoul is a power/progressive metal outfit that pulls together musicians young and old to execute a full-length record in The End of Darkness. Drawing inspiration from a mix of influences across the power, progressive, melodic death and traditional spectrums, Guy enlisted the help of singers, bassists, guitarists and drummers from his local mid-west area as well as internationally known to deliver a solid effort with plenty of punch, crunch, and catchy parts amidst all the stunning riffs, solos, and musicianship.

Each song is rich in texture – including elements of triplet runs, strong background harmony vocal support, in your face rhythm section parts, and highly memorable main melodies that contain strong low to high range mechanics. You feel the gallops and speedier/thrash transitions for “Crucible of War” – reminding the listener of classic Iced Earth against some solid Nevermore power, then deliver a clean/electric mid-tempo anthem for the follow-up “Elemental” that contains some tricky Dream Theater-ish runs next to riffs and tempos that align well with classic Judas Priest or Savatage. Cultural Iron Maiden-like guitar melodies give chase to some higher verse action running in tandem for “Cobwebs of the Mind” – the shortest track at just under four-minutes. Guy has assembled some great content relating to depression and defeat, overcoming struggle to come out victorious – beyond the vocal abilities of Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens and Rob Lundgren to transform these tracks into upper tier efforts. You’ll even hear some melodic death/extreme textures shining through on the closing ten-minute plus “Hangman (A Roman and the Cross)” – Opeth and latter day Death angles colliding against some spirited progressive power riffs, a calmer mid-section, plus the twists and turns one can expect from an epic arrangement.

This isn’t the normal ‘happy’ power metal of European influence – EchoSoul embraces the heavier side of the genre, while always keeping melody and harmony aspects front of mind. The End of Darkness has unlimited potential to gain favor with all types of metal followers, underground and above – and makes the band a force to be reckoned with over the coming years.

EchoSoul official website