Ever find a hundred dollar bill on the ground? That’s how I felt when I stumbled across a recently released EP by Canadian progressive metal band Mandroid Echostar. Initially formed in Ontario, Canada in the summer of 2010 by guitarist Sam Pattison, bassist Adam Richards, and drummer Matt H-K, they added guitarist/keyboardist James Krul, guitarist Stephen Richards, and vocalist Micheal Ciccia to round out the talented sextet.
My search process for new stuff is totally random, click a link and see if it hits me. This one knocked me out in the first round. The opening song, Kingdom and the Crown, is a beast of a piece of progressive metal; all the elements we love from the genre are present. An ominous and silent beginning last all of ten seconds before the full force salvo of music hits with authority, and it just runs beautifully from there. All instruments hit on all cylinders in a fantastic fashion, never predictable, just as good prog metal should be. Time transitions vary from smooth and silky to escalating and fiery, but always spot on. Vocalist Ciccia turns in an impeccable performance, carrying the tone of the music with precision, his voice fitting with the wide scope of the music it accompanies. Altogether, it is, simply stated, one hell of a song.
The other three songs on the EP follow suit, with pleasant surprises throughout them all, including some perfectly timed and well executed growl vocal in the last piece, Hexaton. Though the basic tone of the music remains constant, the variation in style is enough to show that there is much depth from which this band can pull from, I feel they are far from done. As a first offering from a new band, I really can’t imagine it getting much better than what this group have done, simply awesome. One can only hope that a full length album is in the works, four songs of this caliber simply beg for more.