Echoes of Yul - The Healing
From time to time, there are those days when I look back trying to re-identify some certain things in my past, rethink the special moments and the events of the precious years. And as far I remember, I was guided by the tunes of music during my whole adulthood, whether it is metal or industrial, noise or synthpop, neofolk or ebm. It is always interesting to watch how my musical taste was evolving and reflecting the mood during different periods of the life cycle. And of course, I really love the result of my observation that the independent alternative music is on the march as well; it evolves constantly despite all the attempts of the powerful to take control of its development, absorbing relentlessly the collective evolution of the world around. The boundaries between the genres become significantly blurred during this process creating a truly boiling mixture. This kind of a macro-process can be illustrated through a concrete example of Poland based band Echoes of Yul whose development had been tracked by Brutal Resonance team all the way from the very beginning.
Echoes Of Yul stormed the scene with a self-titled album more than half-a-decade ago setting the bar high since the first appearance. The second full record Cold Ground confirmed that the duo deserves the whole pack of praises hitting hard with a strong cocktail of dreamy soundscapes guided by the heavy and groovy bass guitar tunes; I must admit that I keep listening to this sensational album on the regular basis. The year 2014 was really productive for the comrades from the eastern part of Europe while it was characterized by the release of the long EP Tether during January and collaborative record with another Poland based experimental band Thaw later the same year. It was clear at this stage that Echoes of Yul continue to achieve their potential while introducing the dreamy elements of post-rock and shoegaze into their compositions neglecting the influence of the heavy guitar tunes in evolution process. That’s why I was more than excited when I found out that the new album The Healing was released promptly during the second half of 2015.
As it turned out after three or four constant spins of The Healing, my expectations were fully met. Seeking to find it’s own identifiable bearings, the project dives into dreamy exploration of atmospheric sounds from the beginning when 'Ester' plays the strings of really gentle aesthetics. The music presented in this album cannot boast of high speed or special intensity; Echoes of Yul try to manipulate with the listeners imagination in a different way. A strong cinematic approach is one of the key components inside the whole mixture, the slow drifting melodies are full of different special effects, careful embeddings of “out-of-context” voices present a perfect thought-out solution for the lack of direct vocals turning The Healing into a sort of a soundtrack. The heavy guitar which was quite dominating in “Cold Ground” is relegated to the back seat receiving the function of a rhythm implementation alongside with a soft drumming. And of course the last, but not the least, it is not a surprise that listening to the records arriving from this Poland based duo implies existence of a certain abstract thinking and The Healing is not an exception. Complex layers of floating melodies full of a sensual experience create a truly fascinating atmosphere worth of spinning this record over and over again.
Looking back at Tether and analyzing its structure once again while keeping the current album in foreseen perspective, it is clear that all the signs of the further transformation were already there few years ago. I must admit that I really love the evolution of this project and the way it was done, without losing the identity in terms of a style and a music content; the dreamy tunes keep rolling smoothly and the ambiance is deep as usual. Unfortunately, the length of the record ruins an overall impression and eventually I am left with a feeling of an incompleteness after 40 minutes of a play time. But in any case, the content is strong enough to be able to compensate the listener for this small, but still regrettable disadvantage that stopped me from rating this album even higher.Mar 05 2017
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance
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