First released in 1995 on the Red Hot label, Distant Echoes was the second and last album of a brief Jade Warrior comeback. The CD was soon deleted, but Blueprint reissued it with new artwork in 2001. The previous album, Breathing the Storm, was a serene but slightly flavorless collection of ambient instrumental tracks. Distant Echoes remains in the instrumental new-age-meets-prog-rock realm, but it leans more toward progressive rock overall. The trio of Jon Field (flutes, EWI), Colin Henson (guitars), and Dave Sturt (fretless bass) is augmented by a host of guests, including a choir, a drummer, percussionists, saxophonists, and ex-King Crimson violinist David Cross. The sound palette is richer and has more punch. Henson's electric guitar was almost unheard on the previous album, while it gets more attention here. Exotic influences (mostly Arabic) appear here and there, spicing up the sound. "Night of the Shamen" constitutes a highlight, as does "Into the Sunlight," the two most progressive pieces of the set. Old fans of Jade Warrior will find themselves in more familiar territory with this less ethereal, more visceral album. Recommended.
Distant Echoes Review
by François Couture