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Hard Echo
Traded Secrets
Type: CD
Company: Independent
Release: 2004
Genre: Power
Reviewer: Frank Hill
Published: 4/1/2004
A talented and very Maiden-esq band
The classic Maiden sound is there from song structure to Dave Murry-sounding guitar tones to the delivery of lion-haired lead singer Mark Arrington. His vocals leave me ambivalent at times, though. Sometimes it sounds like he's singing out of his range and at other times it feels like he's right on the mark. Part of my problem may be that the band's sound is so similar to Maiden that I almost expect to hear Bruce Dickinson himself wailing after a guitar intro. So close is their sound, that "Salem" could have been lifted from the same sessions as the 'Piece of Mind' album.

After a couple of songs, I stop hearing what I expect and allow Hard Echo to be what it is and the songs really start to click with title track "Traded Secrets" taking my vote as the best number. They may be derivative of Maiden, but Hard Echo has absorbed the lessons of their elders well. I can only think of one other band--Ravage, with their galloping Blaze-era sound, who does the Maiden sound so well. Note that Hard Echo doesn't play much of the triplet rides like in "The Trooper" though. They sound more like the experimental Maiden you get from songs like "Remember Tommorrow" or even the older "I've Got the Fire".

Bottom Line: A talented and very Maiden-esq band. The vocals have such unique character that they will be the selling point on whether you welcome Hard Echo to your collection or not. Killer cover from graphic artist Marc Sasso.
About this Writer:
Frank Hill // Frank Hill has been at this site since its slimy, crying birth in '03. He was born on National Metal Day--11/11 and will turn his hearing aids up to 11 when he's 111. He secretly listens to a lot of old Country and Doo-Wop tunes and wants to start a cyberband with lead vocals by Robot Plant. He is still trying to figure out what Judas Priest meant by "paratamize you". If you read this, then he salutes you.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: HARD ECHO
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Mouth of the SunHard Echo
2007
JP1/23/2008
Traded SecretsHard Echo
2004
Frank Hill4/1/2004


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: HARD ECHO

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ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: HARD ECHO
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