When (Echo) debuted with their first demo in 2008, the Italian melodic death doom scene was decidedly marginal; today, with their fourth full length in just over ten years, the Brescian band, after a series of works in constant progression, confirms their position as national leader in a sub-genre that has been gradually enriched by several realities of great depth in recent years. The group, led from the outset by the two guitarists Simone Saccheri and Mauro Ragnoli, has in the course of its career acquired ever greater credibility even outside of their home country, and in this latest album this allows to raise the already remarkable quality exhibited in the past thanks the use of prominent guests such as Heike Langhans, until recently female voice of Draconian, Don Zaros, keyboardist of Evoken and Alexander Högbom, vocalist of October Tide, not to mention the support during recording and mixing of Greg Chandler of Esoteric, as well as Francesco Genduso of Plateau Sigma, another Italian excellence now on standby. Beyond these data, which should be considered a corollary in any case, there is an album devoid of weaknesses made up of seven songs plus intros that offer multifaceted sounds, oscillating fluidly between passages of great robustness and more rarefied moments, of which the most eloquent example is the opening part of the splendid My Covenant where the good Fabio Urietti duets with Langhans. In my opinion, however, the album’s fulcrums are to be found in the powerful and dramatic next track, Monochrome, a true manifesto of (Echo)‘s peculiar style, and the concluding and poignant Saturated, although the impactful Laudanum, with the support of Högbom, as well as the more sorrowful and dreamy Chemical, the other song featuring the South African singer, are no less impressive. Witnesses is a complete, mature and emotionally impactful album, the fruit of the commitment of a band that thus significantly consolidates its relevance also on an international level.
2022 – Black Lion Records