The Forgotten Goddess by Echoes of Eternity
Release date : February 2007
Reviewed by Anthony Morgan
South Carolina natives Brandon Patton (guitars) and Kirk Carrison (drums), both longtime friends and erstwhile members of Death Metal outfit Concrete Earth, opted to form Echoes of Eternity in 2005. Whilst attending Florida's Full Sail recording school, Carrison met Canadian born vocalist Francine Boucher. Dating ensued, and the couple relocated to Los Angeles following their 2001 graduation in order to find employment in recording studios. Patton embarked upon several failed music porjects, and was encouraged by Patton to relocate to Los Angeles, and form a group. Boucher was recruited to the cause, a singer whom had both penned and laid down material in the hope of scoring movies. Bassist Duane Cowan then joined the fold, having recently uprooted from Japan to Los Angeles. Issued to both labels and producers, a three song demo eventually found its way into the hands of noted producer Roy Z (known as a guitarist / producer upon several solo albums by Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson). Iniitially harbouring a desire to produce material by Echoes of Eternity, Roy Z was busy with other projects. For that reason, Z gave the demo to Nuclear Blast Records. In June 2006, a record deal had been inked.
That same month, Echoes of Eternity entered Southern California's Raven's Work studio to begin cutting their inaugural full length with production from engineer Eric Ryan. An assistant engineer at Raven's Work, Carrison was lent studio time during nights and weekends to record, despite the fact that the studio is largely used for television commercial audio during post production.
The Forgotten Goddess proves to be another album from a group Nuclear Blast wish to groom for future success, this time Californian act Echoes of Eternity. Echoes of Eternity's focal point is certainly vocalist Francine Boucher, a frontman whose singing predilections prove a far cry from those roaming the Los Angeles club circuit. It's soft, thought provoking approach evokes the traditions which soak Scandinavian Metal, a trend whose fortunes have risen in recent years. Rather than exercising vocal aerobatics devoid of emotion and feeling, Boucher never oversteps the mark with the oft unwarranted constant high note wails which seem to plague others recordings. Self-indulgence is never attractive, something which Boucher doesn't adopt. Boucher comes across as a ghostly siren in the ocean, telling the forgotten tales of past. Indeed, she possesses a somewhat sombre and melancholic voice, haunting to the listener. It has a gift you can't teach a voice, and that's to stir up emotion which it does in bagfuls. I think the Metal world may hear more of Boucher in future years, especially if some of the bigger Black Metal acts take note.
Acoustic dwellings saunter through snippets of certain tracks, where the music is stripped bare to its very bones. This gives the listener an opportunity to hear Boucher's voice in a more unplugged format, where it works real well (as in many other areas). Almost a dreamy trip somewhere, it gently holds your hand and slowly ascends through a journey of emotions. The guitar solo style adopted by Patton suits the music like palm in glove, slow, mid-paced burners which descend into a rallying cry that puts the exclamation mark on Boucher's outpourings. Essentially torch ballads given a thrashy, pounding canvas as the backdrop, stock up on the lighter fluid so you can do that melancholic wave and grab yourself a hefty glass of red wine. After a hard day's grind at the office you may find yourself sifting through the evening with the lamps dimmed out and the curtains shut, wrapped up in a quilt on the sofa. The hi-fi will turn on when you switch the remote's button, and then this may well be the record you choose to play. If it proves to be, it certainly isn't a bad choice at all.