Eidola – ‘To Speak, To Listen’

By Mark Johnson

Eidola are the type of band likely to appear on a list entitled “Top Bands You’ve Never Heard Of”. Their previous album ‘Degeneraterra’ was an extremely ambitious concept piece, built up of intricately interwoven lyrics and symbolism set around progressive post-hardcore that blended elements of prog-rock to produce an original, accomplished record. With a level of individual skill and execution that matched its ambitious design, it should’ve been a record revered by many, but sadly passed under the radar. ‘To Speak, To Listen’ could be about to change that with another series of expertly executed, intelligently crafted songs.

Being part of the Blue Swan Records family certainly does the band’s reputation no harm.  Vocalist Andrew Wells has spent the past year as a touring guitarist for Dance Gavin Dance and Eidola’s technical and progressive, yet melodic and catchy style, fits right in with label alumni Hail the Sun, Sianvar and Stolas. ‘The Abstract of a Planet in Resolve’, ‘Primitive Economics’ and ‘Amplissimus Machina’ takes the amount of progressive material they’d previously put into six minute songs and condenses the same amount of ideas into three and a half minute blasts. It makes for a more accessible, instantly impactful start to the record, something you’d expect from their label-mates and peers.

Wells’ vocals, already impressive before, have somehow developed even further. ‘Tetelestai’ and ‘Querents’ show an expanded range that rivals the high notes of Tilian Pearson and with so many notes now available in Wells’ arsenal, it allows for a stunning range of melodies, which he carefully and methodically draws from.

The drums are like a sledgehammer in the first half of record, pounding your ears with complex, intricate patterns that are prominent but not dominant: they accompany the animated guitar patterns rather than overwhelm them, providing a wall of sound that’s as addictive as it is impressive.

‘Loti’ begins the more progressive chapter of the record and comes at the perfect time to slow the pace down. The second half of the record is less forceful, but while each song takes its time to build and grow they carry no less impact and the combination of both halves of the record make for a rewarding journey from start to finish that’s filled with variation and alternating themes.

‘To Speak, To Listen’ hooks you in with its accessible ‘single ready’ material at the outset and holds your attention with the deeply layered, intelligently arranged soundscapes that follow thereafter. Eidola’s ability to write such frantic, yet accessible tracks that sit coherently against progressive, building compositions, underlines their prowess as songwriters. This record puts Eidola among the very best in the genre and should cement them a new reputation as the top of the class among the Blue Swan Records family.

MARK JOHNSON

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