Supergroups are epic, but when you take a look at the lineup of Gone Is Gone, you might get a bit blown away. Featuring talents from the likes of Mastodon, Queens Of The Stone Age, and At The Drive-In, Gone Is Gone has a lot going for it. Their debut eponymous EP was released last summer, and to kick off the new year, they've released their debut album Echolocation.
As their debut, Echolocation has to set the precedents for the band. It largely does that; expanding upon the elements the band used in their EP, Echolocation features many things that the band was originally noteworthy for. Impressive, massive guitars, dark, bellowing vocals, crazy atmospheres, and pounding percussion are only some of the things that make Gone Is Gone who they are. Bringing the best of the three bands that compose it together is where the band succeeds.
The album begins on a peaceful note, the ambience of the intro of 'Sentient' introducing it. The calmness is soon replaced by cavernous and powerful guitars, the atmosphere remaining. There's something mind boggling in the immense nature of this track, even while it is pretty barebones. 'Roads' is one of the best examples of what makes Gone Is Gone's sound so immense: its dark electronic intro builds with subtle rage as Mastodon's Troy Sanders sings above the building track, taking it to dramatic heights elevated by a pounding instrumental. That same dramatic build is what makes 'Dublin' so epic, as well, starting from its quiet and mysterious roots to something huge.
There's plenty of unique moments on this record, too, that help separate each track from one another. The acoustic track 'Resolve' builds slowly from it very modest beginning into something chunkier while still maintaining its core purpose. The band takes up an angrier and grittier tone in 'Pawns,' sounding more like a stoner rock version of Stone Temple Pilots, right down to the vocal delivery. Alternative vibes are channeled in 'Ornaments,' which makes it one of the more friendlier and less abrasive tracks on the record (to its benefit). 'Gift' is similar, though with a more definitive drive making it sound more forward and powerful.
There is something off about this record, though. There's nothing that's really perfect about any moment on this record; everything feels like it has a degree of uncertainty to it. They play it safe at times, building off of their EP with the more atmospheric tracks. There are songs that just feel like a mess or a wasted opportunity, though, such as 'Slow Awakening.' There's really nothing going for this track - it's slower, as the title claims, killing off the momentum and ends up sounding like a crappy Nine Inch Nails b-side. The title track 'Echolocation' conversely shows how much talent this band has, its haunting melodies really capturing you. It's brought down from perfection as a result of the bridge, which really just sounds out of place. This album is a hodgepodge of the different elements of all the bands involved together, which, in theory, is a good thing. In execution, at least in this case, it sounds messy.
Echolocation is a great debut, but it doesn't quite go where it could have. Gone Is Gone starts establishing their own sound on it, but they still have quite a ways to go to really perfect the blend of talents they have. All the capability is there, and perhaps over the course of this record's cycle the band will slowly get more comfortable in this setting. There's a lot of promise here.
Favorite Tracks: Roads, Dublin, Echolocation
Least Favorite Track: Slow Awakening
Rating: 72 / 100
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