I can’t even find appropriate words to express my admiration towards Shades Apart. Each record meant something special to me, and I can’t even count how many times I’ve repeated their full-lengths such as Seeing Things and Save It. Of course, their debut Dude Danger 7”, a debut self-titled full-length, and Neon are also going beyond comprehension with dozen of remarkable numbers. It came like a struck of the lightning when I heard they’ll publish a brand new album after nearly two decades of sporadical performances. Of course, I instantly knew this new material would be equally good, just like their previous recordings.
Eternal Echo represents their highly anticipated album that we all waited for too long. The album carries ten remarkable compositions, enhanced by some recognizable decorations that are so characteristic for Shades Apart. The group carries on right from the spot they left nineteen years ago with their previous record named Sonic Boom, but it seems like they never ceased to perform and record music. Quite the contrary, Shades Apart sound better than ever. Perhaps Eternal Echo appears more like a pop-punk than melodic hardcore recording, but the intensity, dynamics, and massive sound are still there. The group entirely maintains a balance between calmer moments and intensifying segments but also builds beautiful transitions in between.
It’s almost mindblowing how Mark Vecchiarelli pulls his vocals maneuvers while delivering tremendous guitar melodies up to the table. His vocal range perfectly suits the capabilities of the remaining portion of Shades Apart, and he foresees every possibility to enhance every moment with profoundly emotive performance. Exceptional guitar segments are one of the main qualities of this group. Mark keeps things entertaining through technically demanding guitar progressions, mainly comprised of appealing chord progressions, arpeggiated themes, and other marvelous orchestrations. Every composition carries an adequate dosage of melancholy and nostalgia but still retains enough dynamics to shake your bones.
Nothing would sound so compact without a marvelous performance by Kevin Lynch, who’s firing incredible basslines from every possible direction. His musicianship accompanies the abovementioned guitar shreds with compelling tones but also fulfills the gaps with detailed low-end structures. Last, but not least comes characteristic drumming by Ed Brown, who once again delivered an exceptional performance that unquestionably defines rhythmical foundations of Shades Apart. Each member acts as a vital cog housed deeply inside of well-organized machinery, and there’s more than a good reason why these experienced musicians are operating so well together.
Eternal Echo represents everything you expected from Shades Apart, plus even more. This material balances between both melodic hardcore and pop-punk era Shades Apart went through, but it also carries generous portions of innovations along the way. It’s a marvelous material worth waiting for, and I truly hope we’ll not wait another two decades for the next album. Eternal Echo is currently available on vinyl by HellMinded Records. It comes in a couple of variants such as blue ocean waves, yellow, and standard black. However, you may check it out on Spotify if you prefer digital streaming. Don’t miss this one out!