Sounds of a Fallen Echo
long-time metal musician goes solo
Sounds of a Fallen Echo is Eau Claire native Eric Giardina’s solo effort (out August 9), following stints in No Loving Place, Black Flood Diesel, Nameless Feeling, and Senza. The lugubrious moniker is actually quite fitting as the debut album, To Dream in the Afterlife, is 56 minutes of largely instrumental/ambient material that came to him “between the states of awake and asleep over the past five years.” To that end, Eric has managed to conjure an expression that sits equally between some Annie Dillard rumination on “inner space” and some eldritch Lovecraftian horror lurking beyond our universe’s threshold. Stripped to the essentials, predominantly guitar and keys, what comes at you initially might seem wildly divergent from his previous output, but these ethereal soundscapes and melodies have always been a part of his work. Spread across 13 tracks, the album is really meant to be experienced in its entirety. However, certain tracks naturally fire the imagination more than others. Particular highlights include the title track, arguably the most “familiar” sounding of the songs, with its subtle percussive throb and lush guitar tones, Eternal Nebula, an eight-minute epic replete with a welcome metallic riff as lead in and an overall drifting vibe, like solitary satellites blinking in the void, the reechy Align, a startling, pulsing beast, equal parts metal and Brad Fiedel’s Terminator score, and Serenity, which captures Eric’s finest emotive guitar to date. Ultimately, this is not gonna rock your socks off, and it’s not meant to. Spin this while the thrum of your day subsides and you might find yourself looking at each precious, fragile breath escaping your lips, as if caught by some December air, and you trailing after.