Eco – Wolves (Album Review) [Patreon Request]

I like trance. Here’s a good example of why.
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Favorite Tracks: Darkness In The Light, Trust In The Wind, River Song, Slow Rising Sun, Cloud (Part 1), If I Survive (I’ll Worship The Moon), No Ceilings, Wolves, The Lonely Soldier
Least Favorite Track: It’ll All Make Sense One Day
Overall Rating: 8.3/10

All ratings based purely off of personal enjoyment at the time of this video’s upload and either end in .0, .3, .5, or .7. Take nothing I say too seriously.


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11 Replies to “Eco – Wolves (Album Review) [Patreon Request]”

  1. I knew this review was around the corner, but of course it comes out on a day I have a night shift lol. Anyways to start, I'm going to restate that I also absolutely love These Hopeful Machines one of my all time favorites as well… but I also love it for very different reasons.

    This may just be me not being all that familiar with commercial trance like Chicane, but much of this album sounded extremely different to the Armins or the Tiestos I've previously heard. With it not using the standard "build-up, drop – build-up, drop" formula seen on close to every single EDM & trance single out there and instead using long-form crescendos that build into a climax, it's usage of post-rock elements throughout the entire album that, to me, give the album a lot more flavor, texture and really help cement this album's overall atmosphere… and speaking of that atmosphere.

    I talked a LONG time ago in a comment on your review of Celldweller's album Offworld about how that album was 100% mood music for me, fit for more sad, depressing, lonely, etc. moods as opposed to being an album I would like to return to on the regular. That album fell out of rotation for me really quick (although I have picked it again and I found out I loved it upon re-listening to it, to the point where I own it on vinyl), well Wolves basically came in to fill that void.

    Simply put, in a description that will likely make no sense, this is the loneliest dance album I have ever heard. This entire album basically gives me the feeling of running away from everything, isolating yourself from everyone and just walking alone. It's a journey that while you find solace in, you also feel that guilt of leaving everyone behind (the song Cloud 100% screams that to me), you feel as though you had to do this, whether it be because of a terrible situation you were having to live with, you wanting to chart your own course, or because you don't think anyone can understand you. In the context of the music, I feel the post-rock guitars are their to show that omnipresent loneliness while the trance sections are the sort of driving force that keeps you or our protagonist going. This atmosphere was exactly the kind of thing that ECO was shooting for, as he said in an interview that this album (along with a short story that this album was packaged with that I can't find anywhere) was meant to showcase he disaffection, disillusion and out right cynicism with the music scene at the time (I think he hated the "Dark Age of Trance" as much as you did… if not more) and he was using this album in order to break away from said music scene and do his own thing, to that I think he succeeded, but to you, who is familiar with a lot more commercial-ish trance music, I can see why you would think he didn't succeed. Now, loneliness is not the only thing I get from this album, as I also get a deep sense of melancholy among other things… but that just kinda feeds into the lonely thing I get from the music… on the topic of the music.

    I'd like to think I have to say about the music on this album, but I'm pretty sure I don't as much to say as I wish I did. I love this album's usage of these extended crescendo's that build into a climax, like on Darkness In The Light, Trust In The Wind, Wolves & The Lonely Soldier. All of these tracks have distinctive build ups that are payed off by the big trance drops and honestly could've been there own songs, with the most extreme example being the title track, which has a quiet build up that lasts nearly 5 minutes (and reminds me a LOT of The Fragile-era Nine Inch Nails… except with harmonicas) before blowing up at the end (even though that drop is not my favorite of these tracks, but it was still the best kind of payoff). While I think The Rain is a bit of an underwhelming track to follow the title track (although I do REALLY like it's guitar-heavy pay off), I think the rest of the vocal tracks are great, with Slow Rising Sun being a beautiful track that is probably my personal favorite, Cloud (Parts I & II) being also being fantastic and Running just being an fantastic climax point before we hit The Lonely Soldier. The last two I have something to say are If I Die (I'll Worship The Moon) and No Ceilings (BTW, your favorite 5 track run…. is my favorite run as well), with the former being an 8 1/2 minute long progressive trance track that is fantastic… I wish I had words to describe how good it is but oh well and No Ceilings is kinda the same except instead of moody trance it's some moody post-rock. My least favorites on this album are the ones that are more typical trance tracks like Dogs, Soar, River Song and especially It’ll All Make Sense One Day which is easily my least favorite track on the album as well…. but it's still pretty great to me.

    Welp. It's time to address the elephant in the room. I mentioned earlier that this album basically filled the whole where Celldweller's Offworld was supposed(?) to hold, of being an album that I could listen to while I was in a sad, depressed, lonely, sort of mood and would make me feel better. I didn't discover this album until like mid-to-late 2017 despite me hearing about it around the time of it's release and I was initially kinda cold on it. The way it was structured threw me off, the post-rock stuff I wasn't immediately into… really it was just an odd album, but I did like it. If I were to put it on your scale it would've been like a 7.5 out of 10… but I kept coming back to it, over and over and over again. 2018 was not my best year, really not at all, and this album helped me get through 2018 massively. I must've listened to this thing like every other day or something, it was is CONSTANT rotation throughout the whole year and every single time I played it, it grew on me… to the point where it's one of my personal favorites and why I can go as far as to say that it was one of the few albums that can invoke These Hopeful Machines when it comes to emotional power… albeit with sadness and loneliness as opposed to the… well, hope that These Hopeful Machines inspired.

    That is the big reason why I wanted you to review this, as this is one of the albums that impacted me in the biggest way since me discovering BT and These Hopeful Machines, and I thought you might like it. I knew you wouldn't like it as much as me, but I am glad to see you enjoyed it… and by quite a bit more than I was expecting (I was expecting like 7.5. – 7.7 but I was wrong)! So yeah, so glad you finally got around to reviewing this and thank you for (hopefully) reading though this entire essay!

  2. You should review wearealwayswellthankyou by DATACHI
    It’s loud, glitchy, electronic and I really think you will like it!

  3. Thanks again Mr Wonky for introducing a new band.

    Here's an link to an old band that I have recently discovered called Lemon Interrupt, open to anyone, have a listen and see if it sounds familiar and then, and only then, have and look and see who they are…. you will be pleasantly surprised.

    Lemon Interrupt – Big Mouth.

  4. YEESSS You're getting into one of my favourite trance producers ever. Eco (which is pronounced "Echo", derived from his name Marcello PachECO) for me does have a sound I can recognize from a mile away because unlike many, MANY other trance producers outside the big stars he doesn't reuse the same template, but opted to develop his own spacious sound with lots of inspiration from post and psychedelic rock. Check out his early tracks And We Flew Away and Tonight Is Forever – some of my all time favourite trance songs ever – for more examples.

    Some additional things to note: it's actually a concept album with a storyline about a child that runs away to the wilderness, which had its own storybook released when the album came out, and he hid a sample of a bong in one of those three tracks you enjoyed. And it's his second studio album: his first album M(you)sic is also something I consider an all-time favourite because of how well it flows. It may interest you as well.

  5. I just found out your channel today via Top 10 Aphex Twin songs and I’m instantly hooked. Your channel is very underrated and needs to have more subscribers than usual but people want to watch a brain dead steroid monkey with a 6 year old fan base. I would suggest an album called Accelerator by The Future Sound Of London. I would love to hear your opinion on it since IMO it’s a very underrated album

  6. Hi Tommy, I would really recommend you to review Armin Van Buuren's side project GAIA – 'Moons Of Jupiter'. Guess it's worth for you to listen to it as much as it was for me. Cheers

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