Home > Bargain > Surface of Eceon – Dragyyn

Surface of Eceon – Dragyyn

Strange Attractors Audio House, 2003

I have been known to read literature that deals with elfs, swords, and epic battles, so it’s not much of a stretch to understand why this record appealed to me when I saw it.  With its flame-riddled digipak and jagged writing, Surface of Eceon (or Surface of Eceyon) looked to be worth a listen.  Plus, they put two y’s in place of the “o” in “Dragon”.  It’s possible that these guys were either trying to get seriously mystical with their printing or they were absolutely fed up with the way “dragon” is spelled.  I mean c’mon, we never say “drag – on” now do we?  It’s always “drag – in”.  And i’s suck.  So two y’s are cooler, at least according to these guys.  I’m with yya, Surface of Eceyon.

One of the more notable aspects of the record is that, upon opening the digipak, one sees a lengthy story entitled “Myths From the Surface of Eceyon”.  Written as a spinoff of something Tolkien might have inspired, it tells of the journey of the five band members (with fantasy warrior monikers, of course) in their quest to slay a Tussyan beast.  Whether the tale or the music came first is unknown, but the simultaneous experience of the two might make the album easier to understand as a soundtrack to the subject’s quest.  I like the idea, though I don’t think I would have been chosen ‘Eceyonic Man’ as my warrior name, Phil Jenkins.  Sounds like you’d get defeated by Batman with that schtick.

A six track album consisting of all instrumentals, “Dragyyn” is a journey of contemplation.  You would think that with such a cover that the band would be tearing into combustible rock n roll, or even metal, to lay waste to the towns of listening citizens.  However, the record really plays out quietly as  “Council is Called” is nine minutes of calm, concerned music.  You can actually picture a group of grizzled warriors talking about their impending adventure around a battered, long oak table in a dark room.  “Over Land, Over Ice” picks up a little more activity with echoing guitars and increased overall volume, probably because the warriors are now, ah, moving.  Still, this isn’t a bouncy “Lord of the Rings” movie soundtrack, folks.  These warriors sound as if they’re walking a long, peaceful distance with only their thoughts to motivate them.  Sounds like an independent movie, actually.

After “Victory of Ice and Magyk”, which has the most pep and is probably something akin to a battle tune, “By a Curious Vessyl” is a lengthy space out of a tune.  Maybe the adventurers discovered opium on their trip, I dunno.  It’s eleven minutes of delicately sheer relaxation.  “Freeing the Winds”, which apparently matches up with the story as the point in time that the warriors slay the dragon only for it to turn into a whole lot of wind, picks up very nicely during its nearly twenty minute trek.  The composition combines everything that came before it; it has the serene beginning, the swirling guitars, and the rock out climax that succeeds in giving the impression that a real fight is going on.  After a build up of nearly forty minutes, the raucous that depicts the end of the journey is totally worth it.  The fact that the track concludes with the sound of wind, which is how the record began, is a nice touch.

They haven’t been doing much since 2003, but they still have their website and MySpace up if you’re interested in reading and hearing what you’ve missed.

I was pleasantly surprised by this record, as I found the whole idea of a story intertwined with music made for a really enjoyable experience.  Even if the story was crafted after the music was created, Surface of Eceon made an album that works well as a continuation of their music style while simultaneously appealing to another angle of their creativity.  As mentioned before, the group hasn’t released a record since 2003 and don’t appear to have toured recently.  Perhaps after this record they dropped their instruments and started walking towards an icy mountain in the distance rumored to hold a dragon.  Good luck, dudes.

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