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  • Sammie Starr

Album Review: Of Mice &Men - 'Echo: Digitial Deluxe Edition'

The Southern California-based quartet Of Mice & Men expands their horizons with the deluxe release of their seventh album, Echo. Showcasing ten EDM artists to reimagine each track, Echo: Digital Deluxe Edition brings another realm of heaviness and creativity to their arsenal unlike no other.



When looking at the dynamics of metalcore, heavy instrumentality and emotional vulnerability have always been the threshold of providing a sense of freedom and abreaction within its framework. Of Mice & Men has always understood this mentality over the years, creating a massive kaleidoscopic approach that would manifest some of their most lugubrious and poignant material to date. Of Mice & Men have produced an unequaled presence over the past half-dozen studio albums, with a contentious dance of infectious breakdowns, rhythmic cadence, and gorgeous multi-range vocals.


Another album juncture that takes centerstage with its remix being one of the most powerful on the deluxe edition is leviathan of a track, "Pulling Teeth." While the original version is gravid, its remix featuring Extra Terra brings things to high-octane levels, showing both artists powerful versions of an already successfully done track.

Regardless of the obstacles, Of Mice & Men have rebuilt and risen from the ashes at every turn since 2016. With each new release, Of Mice & Men finds a way to reconnect with people who are willing to listen and form a connection. This is no different from the digital deluxe version of their seventh album release, Echo: Digital Deluxe Edition. The Southern California-based quartet collaborated with ten DJs to remix each song for this deluxe edition. The result is ten new rich EDM versions of the album's tracks.

Out of Of Mice & Men's album releases, Echo has always been an interesting one, as it marked a different kind of shift in heavy territory for the band. Produced and recorded during the pandemic, they came together to create something unique, emotionally raw, and instrumentally distinctive. Echo is loss and the growth that comes from that. It is life and the briefness of it all. It is love and what is beyond that. Echo is tragedy and euphoria experienced all at once, with each feeling deeply entwined in our life's adventures.

Introductory tracks such as "Timeless" set this serious tone perfectly, passionately peeling back the layers to show a deeper and more aggressive side to Of Mice and Men we have not seen in quite some time. The remix featuring EDM heavy-hitters Tokyo Rose takes this narrative further by expanding this tidal wave of difficult emotions with a celestially destructive atmospheric presence. One of the best tracks on the record, both versions detail instrumentally and vocally that sometimes emotions are not as cut and dry as they appear to be.

Lugubrious "Obsolete" keeps the powerfully heavy momentum going, with the remix featuring Sullivan King bearing another kind of massive energy to an already viciously honest track as it segues into the genre dissonant third track, "Anchor." A highlight experience that is brimming with ethereal synths and colossal guitar and bass energy, the remix feels right at home, featuring HVDES, powering up the vitality of this track to an eleven.

The winds of this record change as melancholic drencher, "Levee," makes an appearance. Essenger's remix adds another type of creative emotional energy to the album's playing field by pushing its tenebrous presence forward, Echo moves onto another gut-punch of an experience, "Bloom."


Continuing to drive forward Echo's sense of dysphoric intensity that has coated the album from the beginning, "Bloom" takes things deeper to explore something more, loss. Both versions, with their remix featuring artist Modestep, drive this narrative forward with aggressive fervor, representing how time is irreplaceable when it comes to those you lose along the way.

Another album juncture that takes centerstage with its remix being one of the most powerful on the deluxe edition is leviathan of a track, "Pulling Teeth." While the original version is gravid, its remix featuring Extra Terra brings things to high-octane levels, showing both artists powerful versions of an already successfully done track.

"Mosaic" punches forward, exceeding a level of spirit and monumental instrumental structure. "Mosaic" is a towering work of art that uses atmospheric air sirens and a mountainous level of heaviness to create something engaging and dissonant while still keeping their sound and the structure of the album in mind. Tracks like this on the album illustrate the band's ongoing evolution in how they handle handling heavy terrain at every turn. Becko's remix remains faithful to the track's heavy nature while also being bold enough to push the envelope with his unique use of electronic elements throughout, making this the perfect compliment to one of the heftiest tracks on the record.

"Fighting Gravity" changes the tonal weight of the album for a softer and more sentimental approach. The Forgotten's remix embodies this change in direction, while also adding their own dramatic EDM flavor to the mix. A welcome change on the record, both versions tackle the soft and heavier elements of their sound in very individualistic ways, showing a moving and a more mature sound on Echo.

Titling the album, finale tracks "Echo" and "Helplessly Hoping," end the record on a thought-provoking and eclectic note. Delving deeper into the trenches of the heart space, both versions of the tracks on the record featuring Dubloadz and Jedha are distinct treasures that close out the album in a beautifully impassionate way.

Echo: Digital Deluxe Edition is more than a listening experience that deals with the causality of loss and evolving from that. It's a bravely passionate album that dares to explore such feelings through rich instrumental work and sincere lyrics. For these reasons, Echo: Digital Deluxe edition succeeds and defies expectations through Of Mice & Men's willingness to expand their horizons.



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