Album Review: A Shadow of a Sound EP by ANECHOIS
ANECHOIS’ self-released debut EP, helmed by the sole engineering and mixing efforts of Asyraft (also a keyboardist and vocalist), deserves major props.
Start by plugging into “Echoes” as your soundtrack to a cold, rainy day on a long bus ride. Feel the first beats reverberate through your mind, body and soul. You find your place in the bus’ back corner and allow your vision of the world outside to be distorted by water droplets flowing down the windowpane. Your vague reflection appears in the glass, and you’re left to contemplate images that linger only in your head.
Simply put, “Echoes” is an emotionally-driven track that displays the band’s knack for the dream-like and ethereal.
However, just as you get drawn into the trance, the album shifts a gear and awakens with the riffs of a more upbeat “Wraith”. This very track demonstrates the band’s flair for post-progressive rock with its complex rhythm and abrupt tempo changes. Above that, Asyraft on the keys enhances this already epic piece with unusual sounds and grand melodies.
This second track certainly shows off ANECHOIS’ passion for the inventive, leaving you fascinated by how these tunes of whimsy were so eloquently translated from individual minds through to the collective of their instruments.
“The Moon and the Sun”, riding on the build up of the previous track, is a warm and uplifting piece, and is the perfect accompaniment on a solitary journey to an early morning class. It is gentle on your ears but powerful enough to keep you awake till you’re up and raring to go for the day. I could also imagine listening to this track while I’m lounging in the comfort of my own bed by night. Perhaps that’s what makes its title so apt.
Solid in technicality, the guitar riffs radiate positivity and hopefulness with its hammer-ons, slides and airy effects. Fadli’s drumming adds a sense of gravity, making the song more dynamic.
A track that you’d have to look out for is “Written on the Walls”. It starts off slow and gradually picks up the pace, leading to a symphonic revelry towards the end. Before pulling out all the stops, the song breaks away from whatever you might expect in the beginning and transcends into a quirky jazz-like segment that strangely seems to fit nicely into the song.
Just when you think the song has ended at the climax, it fades into the combined beat of a heart monitor and rain, before changing to a flat line. “Written on the Walls” is a remarkable track that I would urge for more than just one listen.
The EP is rounded off with “Your Absence is Permanent”. This track includes additional mysterious yet befitting vocals from Myn. Her voice is sweet and soothing, gives a touch of femininity to ANECHOIS’ sound and balances Zeek’s vocals. Perhaps ANECHOIS could consider having more such collaborations with Myn.
“A Shadow of a Sound” is a culmination of ANECHOIS’ technical dexterity in their craft. Ultimately, ANECHOIS’ sound allows you to wallow in esoteric familiarity before coming to your own interpretation of their compositions.
While not yet flawless, this EP is breathtaking and full of potential. I give it my ardent stamp of approval.
“A Shadow of A Sound” is available at ANECHOIS’ Bandcamp (for a physical album and immediate digital download) at only S$8, or just a digital album at S$5.
3. The Moon and the Sun
4. Written on the Walls
5. Your Absence is Permanent