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Where Echoes End - 2001 - "My Sweet Grotesque"
(51+ min, 'WEE'-02CD)


***
Tracklist:
1. Made Up Your Mind 4-14
2. It's My Advantage 4-31
3. Curse Your Kind 4-04
4. One Silver Dollar 3-59
5. Jesus Stole My Love 4-21
6. Romantic Fiction 4-16
7. What's It Coming To? 5-15
8. Anyone Out There (?) 4-31
9. No One I Know 3-10
10. My Sanctuary 3-55
11. What's Left To Kill? 5-30
12. Sa Gloire 3-35

Line-up: 
MichelAngela - vocals
Eddie Katz - bass, keyboards
Dean Wine - drums & percussion

With:
Mark Rachelle
- programmed drums,
  additional keyboards

Lyrics & vocal melodies by MichelAngela.
Music written & arranged by Eddie Katz. 
Additional arrangements by Mark Rachelle.
Drum programming by Dean Wine.
Produced by Where Echoes End & Mark Rachelle.
Engineered & mixed by Mark Rachelle
at "Back Beach" Recording Co, Rye, Australia.
Mastered by Mark Rachelle at "Crystal Mastering".

Prologue. "My Sweet Grotesque" is the second album of the well-known Australian band Where Echoes End. Let me remind you that both of the founding members of WE End* Eddie Katz and Paul Read were the masterminds of the remarkable Prog Metal band Vauxdvihl, which existed in the first half of the 1990s. Sadly, closer to the end of 1998, and several months after the first WEE album was released, Paul passed away after battling leukemia. So the condensed* the name, that the band presently use no less than the original one, this Russian writer unwittingly links with the loss of Paul. WE End's "WE" sounds quite conformable to "THE": THE End. "My Sweet Grotesque" is dedicated to the memory of Paul Read.

The Album. While the debut Where Echoes End album "By the Pricking of My Thumb" was the result of a joint effort between Eddie and Paul, the music of "My Sweet Grotesque" was written by Eddie alone, without any involvement by the other band members in the process of composing the material. It is hard, if not impossible, to compare both the band's albums to each other because they sound so different. "By the Pricking of My Thumb" is also a very original prog album, full of dark moods and intricate phrasing, yet it is unusual displaying truly innovative ideas (to read the detailed review on it, click here). Unfortunately, WE End's dedication to the memory of Paul sounds no dark nor even sad, let alone intricate. I can't say whether there are more or less tense vocal and instrumental parts on the band's second album, but on the whole it sounds like WE End of progressiveness in the creation of Where Echoes End and an absolute oblivion of the legacy of Vauxdvihl, whose two albums were the brain-children of Paul and Eddie. Futhermore, the debut WEE album "By the Pricking of My Thumb" unlike the work that I've just mentioned, "My Sweet Grotesque" has nothing to do with grotesque. Musically, it represents a high quality with a very original sounding pop music feel, which is just slightly Prog-tinged, though mostly by the use of various synthesizers for specific sounds.

Summary. From the progressive point of view, I wouldn't rate this album higher than one star, while (the whole) two stars are added for originality. Yes, it is still because 'the originality is the main trump of any true artist' (of any genre). On the other hand, this accessible yet in many ways unique and very, very tasteful music along with beautiful, wonderful vocals (and vocal qualities) of MichelAngela is, IMHO, the great alternative to the mass pop music of today's mainstream, most of the performers of which produce an absolute tastelessness, to say the least. Also, I am almost sure that there are major labels whose leaders will undoubtedly be interested in re-releasing such an original and refreshing (mainstream) musical work as Where Echoes Ends' "My Sweet Grotesque".

P.S. By the way, with their second album, Where Echoes End became the second favourite pop band (after Army Of Lovers) of my wife, who, though, prefers Queen, Camel, and Landmarq above other bands.

VM. November 8, 2001


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