Russian band Echoes and Signals have released an amazing album called “V” which is dedicated to “the five stages of acceptance: denial, anger, guilt, depression and realization.” Quite a lofty subject for an instrumental band. But that’s one of the reasons why “V” is such a great album. It is much harder to convey subject matter without the use of lyrics.
The album has five interludes which divide the stages. Each interlude is sparse and serve as a nice introduction to the songs that follow them. My personal favorite song in the epic 10 minute track, “Hadai Pelagic” which really is the definitive track. It showcases exactly what Echoes and Signals are all about. You can hear each member: Fedor Kivokurtsev and his melodic guitar lines weaving their magic, the rumble and rattling bass of Alexey Zaytsev (I love hearing a bass that rattles) and the almost lyrical drumming of
Yaroslav Egorov. The overdubs that Fedor does are never excessive so you can hear the rhythm section loud and clear!
There is only one issue I have with “V” and that’s the use of vocals on the song “Caught in the Water.” Someone named Adaen does a decent job singing but it feels very out of place on here. Sure, bands like Long Distance Calling (who Echoes and Signals most closely song like, though not a lot) use vocals now and then. “V” really doesn’t need any vocals since the band’s music is so emotive and powerful on its own. Vocals notwithstanding, it is still a great song surrounded by other great songs.
The two closing tracks, "The Waiting Room" and "When The Time Has Come To Sail Away,"
are also epic in their own ways and bring the album to a perfect close. And
that's another point. The album has a perfect flow and sequence, the kind that when you reach the end of the album, you are surprised it’s over.
Post rock bands tend to fall into the lumbering, atmospheric category. Echoes and Signals are WAY more than post rock or post metal. They have much more in common with progressive rock throughout “V,” with the title track (one of the interludes) being a prime example. This is an album that will appeal to fans of bands like Russian Circles or the aforementioned Long Distance Calling and even old school progheads who love the danger of King Crimson. Don’t let this release go unheard!