Echushkya is the solo Atmospheric Black Metal project of Andrew Lampe, whose other projects include on of my favourite acts from across the pond, Invultation, as well as Death Metal band Acrid Tomb. ‘Earth and Sea’ is a compilation of the first two Echushkya releases, namely the Dust and Ethers demo from 2019 and his debut album from the same year, Ara II. The compilation also features two bonus tracks exclusive to this release, and has been put out on CD by Schattenkult Produktionen.
I’d say that the best way to sum up the core Echushkya sound would be to mention marauding guitar leads and drumming, tempered throughout by a colder, more aloof guitar melody that gives off a more grandiose, slightly intrepid aura that brings to mind epic fantasy films as well as more natural phenomena such as the Aurora Borealis, or something far more simply like snow capped windy mountain ranges.
As well as that, the intensiveness to the guitar sounds and the unwavering aggression of the drumming style, as well as the abrasive quality to the vocal work do put me in mind of an American version of Winterfylleth, which in my humble opinion is no bad thing. The atmosphere that Echushkya creates is also akin to that of Winterfylleth’s whimsical yet forthright style.
If you are to fully appreciate this compilation then book a couple of hours from your schedule so you can experience it twice. The frostbitten riffs, unrelenting drum tones and engaging yet ravenous vocal style are all worth the time spent, but its the graceful songcraft that will keep you coming back to this release.