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Eerstvolgende stand
Saturday 30 March 2024
Solstice + Ebony Buckle concert, Poppodium Boerderij, Zoetermeer

  • Door de Brexit komen titels die uit de UK afkomstig zijn nog altijd met vertraging binnen. Soms valt het mee en duurt het slechts 2-3 weken, maar het komt helaas ook voor dat we 4 weken of meer moeten wachten. We doen ons best om alles zo goed en snel mogelijk te regelen, maar het blijft lastig...

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    ArtiestArch Echo
    TitelArch Echo
    2e HANDSNee
    GenreProgmetal / Jazzrock / Fusion
    OmschrijvingThe eight instrumental tracks are really fast and fun to play. The running length is manageable at 46 minutes, but in this time you get an extraordinary amount of notes. What is astonishing, given the mature technical competence, is that all the musicians are still relatively young; one wonders at what age the boys started playing their instruments. Guitarist Rafowitz is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and became known to a wider audience when he won the Strandberg Guitarworks Competition. The band has a wide range of stylistic influences. Dream Theater`s Rudess and Petrucci are the usual suspects. A jazz orientation is unmistakable, because Arch Echo`s role models are also greats from the funk/fusion métier - Return To Forever, Al di Meola and John Scofield, but surprisingly above all Soft Machine guitarist Allan Holdsworth. About the music (Mike Portnoy listens to this before he falls asleep!): The pieces are quite similar, but constructed with a high level of complexity. An initially simple theme - melody and harmony played by piano/guitar is introduced and the arrangement is then varied. Catchy, strongly syncopated passages alternate with polyphonic dialogues between guitar and keyboard, whereby the musicians can be said to have a pleasing compositional and musical talent. These insanely doubled solos by Rafowitz and keyboardist Joey Izzo, some of which are separated by a third or fifth, the jazz cadences leave the path of well- trodden prog paths (Afterburger) and fly around your ears with a lot of notes that are out of key or within modulations - the harmonic progressions are virtually impossible to predict. This is extremely exciting, but not music to relax; you should listen carefully, and I can imagine that some listeners are overwhelmed by the demands. Some will counter that the high level of technical skill comes at the expense of the feeling and becomes an end in itself. That`s true, but as always a question of perspective. Like ProgMetal in general, I can`t always give myself something like that, but only in appropriate moments, and then correctly. There is more peace and excursions into classical piano in the final “My Heart Sometimes”, which at eight minutes long is almost a long track. After this debut, it will be exciting to see what else will be offered by the sky-strikers in the near future!
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