Born from the ashes of Estonian death metal act Decease, Echosilence is a five-piece progressive metal band that's been around as far back as 1996. Sporting four virtuoso instrumentalists and a woman with a beautiful set of pipes, Echosilence aims to create a style of jazz-metal that showcases their melodic songwriting skills while still showing their technical chops. Distorted Horizon is their first and (as of now) only EP release, as the band hasn't put out any material since this 2005 mini-album. Hopefully Echosilence returns to the scene soon, as Distorted Horizon is both promising and impressive as a debut statement. Fans of jazzy progressive metal will definitely want to check out this obscure gem.
Unlike many bands that explore the 'jazzy' end of the metal spectrum, Echosilence is entirely void of the extreme metal influences that characterize acts like Atheist, Cynic, Pestilence, and Death. Instead, Echosilence takes the sound of a band like Fates Warning or Queensryche, and expands their style to include touches of jazz-based instrumental technique, alternative-sounding song structures, and catchy pop choruses. Distorted Horizon should sound accessible and somewhat familiar to most experienced progressive metal listeners, but Echosilence still manages to put their own unique spin on the style to keep the EP sounding fresh and original.
Fans of technical metal will also be happy to know that the musicianship is held to an exceptionally high level on Distorted Horizon, and the crystal-clear production allows the listener to hear every small detail. This is the sort of release that challenges the listener's mind as well as their emotions, and that's what a good progressive metal release needs to do in my opinion. Distorted Horizon may not be an 'essential' release, but it does come recommended for fans of technical/progressive metal. I'd be very curious to hear what Echosilence is capable of in the full-length album format, and hopefully this lengthy hiatus does not signal an end for this promising act.