Soothsayer – Echoes of the Earth (2021) – Review

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Why on earth did Heilung change names, move to Ireland, and chant ever more weirdly around the soundscape? But it’s not Heilung, they’re still firmly lodged mostly in Scandinavia. And their chanting didn’t deteriorate either.1) Besides, their earthy lore ain’t the same style as this one here.

It is the Irish band Soothsayer that – for some reason – decided to start their new piece Echoes of the Earth with some atrociously bad wailings on eternal repeat.2) Fringe probably exists solely to lull RMR into some sort of a transcendental state3) to accept more such bizarre garbage that will come later.

Come on, boys, this is the perfect ‘what-were-they-thinking’ moment. 5 minutes and 56 seconds of a bad example that only seems to exist to waste my time and to annoy the hell out of anybody else outside of the fanboy crowd.

Intros need to be crisp, sharp and grab the attention of the fan base in under 30 seconds. Or – swipe, and bang – the future superfan just left the stage! To visit another contender, like.

But it is indeed so that smartly stepping into your theme and keeping the dwindling attention spans of fans alive is not the strongest suit of metal outfits. Only that the promo originated from a reputable label prevented its immediate return to the sour dregs of the review pipe.

Well, Echoes of the Earth did not really beautify its wares further once Outer Fringe hit our boomboxes. You’ll find a bit more substance, true. But the track really won’t warrant an entry into my private metal diary. And that is 14 minutes wasted out of a lengthy record that drones on for the better part of an hour.

As War of the Doves lumbers forward, we detected some real power, though. The screaming is still out there in space. Yet, we did enjoy that sludgy stomping with a doomy tinge that kicks in at about mid-point.

And indeed, we get a hint of atmospheric doom/death that would make My Silent Wake listen up by the time Cities of Smoke hits the airwaves. Now here, Echoes of the Earth shows some real retro-style cosmic power. With spacey solos in the middle and some truly anguished death-ridden and slightly blackened alloy in its misty midst.

Now, the dreaded catastrophe of a record rated zero out of ten did not really happen. The two last tracks Six of Nothing and True North at least tried to pull this vehicle out of the swamp. Not that things greatly improve, there ain’t no wonders here.

But – at least – Soothsayer seem to wake up some from whatever meditation they lost themselves in, and start to put some real power behind their tune. Like by about mid-point of Six of Nothing that leads into some real heavy chugging on a cosmic deluge of doom/sludge currents, muddy riffs, and anguished wails.

But that already pretty much summarizes both tracks. Some weak tea of a doom/sludge offering that failed to fire up this reviewer’s metallic neurons. Especially when the second half of True North is – yet again – lost to some crazy monologue of the damned that fails to invoke any emotion at all. The lack of variation is often stunning and Echoes of the Earth surely excels in endless repetitions of riffs that are only marginally different than before.

And this sentiment does not improve, even after a fair number of spins. If this was a promotional article, I might drone on about the mystical power behind the chanting. And about all those ethereal things you might not hear, but only feel. If – somehow – you are on some sort of a multi-dimensional plane of existence.

But I ain’t. And this is the brutal, real world of the metal multiverse with little reward and no brownie points.

Echoes of the Earth conveys no emotion and no musical prowess to really write home about. If anything, a better mix and master may have brought some elements of that record to the forefront. And a brutal culling, a blood-thirsty tilling of that soundscape, may – just may – have produced a weed-free bunch of tracks with at least some more merit.

Instead, the record now presents a train wreck of lost marketing opportunities and a jambalaya of confused metal offerings. The RMR deck crew is not amused.

Ed’s note: A bit earlier in the year we came across Alkerdeel which carries a tad more promise. Try this instead or some owly lore?

Record Rating: 2/10 | LabelTranscending Obscurity Records | Web: Facebook
Release Date: 9 April 2021


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