The term ‘supergroup’ is one which is banded about all too easily these days. It’s pretty much used to define any band containing members from successful backgrounds. Once in a while a band emerges on to the scene from prestigious beginnings and Gone is Gone are one such band. This new project is the brainchild of Tony Hajjar whose band you might just have heard of: At The Drive-In. It pulls together talented musicians from some of the biggest bands around, including vocalist and bassist Troy Sanders of Mastodon and Queens Of The Stone Age guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen. The results may not be exactly what you’d expect but that doesn’t stop this album being any less outstanding.
Opening track ‘Sentient’ feels intimate from the start. It draws you in with its mellow tones before exploding with an almost industrial drumbeat, while Sanders’ unmistakably powerful vocals simmer over throughout. Guitarist Van Leeuwen’s riffs push the boundaries of experimental in ‘Gift’ but somehow still manage to sound familiar to his Queens Of The Stone Age material.
The album feels and sounds like an epic journey to another mystical realm. Its almost hypnotic tones are summed up perfectly in ‘Roads’ which is a slow tempo, effects-laden and vocally driven number. This isn’t the heavy record you might expect, but it does manage to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout, threatening to explode at every corner but never fully letting loose. This in no way detracts from what is an incredibly atmospheric and technically impeccable piece of work. The closest the album ever gets to being heavy is ‘Fast Awakening’, the most upbeat track on the album, which is set up perfectly by the preceding ‘Slow Awakening’, an almost Bowie-esque electro pop/rock masterpiece.
Coming to the end of what feels like a journey through space and time, title track ‘Echolocation’ stands out as an experimental piece. This album feels almost like a piece of art, something the likes of Tom Patton would absolutely love, and a project which is both exciting and a far cry from any of its member’s former bands. When groups of musicians from some of the biggest bands on the planet come together you expect something entirely new. And this ‘something new’ is spectacular.