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Album Review

Returning with a slightly different name and even more of a focus on mystic fantasy — there's a short story about the title character printed on the inside of the disc case — Surface of Eceon's second album, Dragyyn, builds upon its first beautifully. To the collective group's credit, while the connections to its parent bands Yume Bitsu and Landing are apparent enough, this lineup is finding its own identity beautifully, an epic shoegazer rock instrumental combination that aims for beauty and volume in equal measure. When the band aims for delicate, meditative calm — "Council is Called" is a fine example, buried textures set against contemplative, mellow guitar noodling — the results are often quite involving. "Over Land, Over Ice" is perhaps the best example of a title lived up to, with the shift from a steady drum drive to a sparkling and indeed beautifully cool second part accomplished just so, guitar tones ringing into the beyond and fading into a chilled, simply lovely drone. When the guitar playing returns quietly at the end, it's almost as if the clouds are starting to break. "By A Curious Vessyl" takes the slow build approach throughout in contrast, but "Freeing the Wind," the longest song on the album — and its logical conclusion — does so even more entrancingly. It almost feels like the slowest sunrise ever from behind a bank of clouds; the players all just carefully creating the web of music around each other by the subtlest of changes, picking up more energy as they go and just letting the pace develop and strengthen from there into a surging, triumphant finale. If this is a soundtrack to a story at heart, it's one of the better 'happier ever after' endings around.

Dragyyn, Surface of Eceon
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