Here is a group that I am excited to see are still around and making cool music. Minnesota’s Gracepoint have been on my radar since I first heard their first album Science of Discontent that came out back in 2000. These guys play a unique style of Progressive metal that is not in any way the flashiest style of progressive but rather rely on solid songwriting and precise execution in the arrangements. It is also worth noting that Neil Kernon engineered and recorded this release. His production polish and experience is evident throughout.

Echoes opens with “Animal”, a heavy mid paced groove laden tune with intricate fret board work done by Lon Kunze and Stefan Radzilowski. I can hear the John Petrucci influence here. The vocal work of Matt Tennessen reminds me very much of John Bush (Armored Saint, Anthrax) and adds a unique layer to the balance between the guitar work and rhythm section. “Secrets” is a track that shows a different side of Gracepoint’s progressive influences and reminds me a bit of Cynic in the use of clean tone instrumentals.

The title track “Echoes”, builds with strong strum chords and dueling guitar harmonies and vocal lines. What I truly love about this group is that they have their own sound in the realms of progressive metal. The songwriting is interesting and the material is diverse. Overall, Gracepoint’s sophomore release Echoes is a very well done and well played album. I would recommend this for fans of Dream Theater, Cynic and Nevermore. Some may find this material a bit dated but it is played quite well and makes for a unique listen.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick K
April 8th, 2016


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