When Austrian EDENBRIDGE first hit the scene back in 2000 with their debut “Sunrise In Eden”, the name NIGHTWISH was flung at them left, right and center, mostly due to the fact that the Finns were just breaking through big time and that despite the folks from Linz having a nicely different sound, despite going into a comparable direction.
Now in 2008 they already have reached album number six and they really have found their stride and their own sound, comfortably straddling the fine line between heaviness and epic grandeur, with vocalist Sabine Edelsbacher as true asset to the band’s sound, expressive and clear, but less operatic than many of her genre colleagues, and “My Earth Dream” is no different, both in approach and quality.
The new album features two choirs and one orchestra, so EDENBRIDGE go big on this one and it shows that they went for the real thing instead of the can, giving it a way more organic feeling than many other “symphonic” bands. After the intro “The Force Within”, “Shadowplay” showcases the talent of the band and its main songwriter Lanvall, as it surprises with a bit more modern guitars and also different arrangements and they make it work within their own sound, injecting a contemporary vibe without ever losing contact to their roots, as the brilliant melodies are still prevalent and by incorporating some oriental-like melodies, it adds to the originality.
One thing that the guys and gal always have been very good at was creating a dynamic flow meandering between the symphonic grandeur and nicely crunchy guitars, while weaving a web of enchanting melodies and equally engrossing vocal harmonies that never fail to impress. And the nice thing about it is that they do not overdo either side of the coin and use the orchestra only as a fully implemented part of the songs without overusing them and trying to dazzle by drenching everything in the classical influence. “Paramount” is a good example for the very effective way Lanvall incorporates these elements for the best of the song.
While maintaining a very nicely high level of quality, a few tracks still manage to stand out and “Remember Me” is definitely one of them, with incredible melodies that grabbed my attention at first listen and never let go, same goes for the 12+ minute epic that is the title track, but in the end you can take more or less any track on here to get a very good impression of what this band is capable of, be it the heavier tracks or the more bombastic pieces.
And the surroundings also are more than adequate, with the great cover by Anthony Clarkson and the powerful and crystal clear production and mix rounding off an album that will be hard to beat in the Symphonic Metal realm this year!, if you have any affinity to this style, then “My Earth Dream” has to be standing in your collection!
(Online October 13, 2008)