Edenbridge - Aphelion

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Massacre Records
Catalog Number: 200348
Format: CD
Total Time: 57:40:00

Edenbridge is back with their 3rd release in nearly as many years. Drawing from mostly the same formula as the previous releases, they have taken that formula and slightly altered it to a more melodic approach, with less emphasis on the machine-gun double bass approach. The band consists of: Sabine Edelsbacher (Vocals), Lanvall (Guitars, Piano & Keyboards), Andreas Eibler (Guitars), Roland Navrath (Drums). Guest musicians include Stefan Model (Bass), and DC Cooper (Vocals on "Red Ball In Blue Sky").

Once again the music is classically-influenced melodic metal with a blend of New Age style, compliments of Lanvall?s past styles and influences. The songs this time out seem to contain more beauty and atmosphere than the other releases, emphasizing the beautiful vocals of Sabine, and concentrating more on the melodies more so as well. Lanvall, the main composer, is focusing less on convincing the listener that he can indeed play metal, and is now comfortable with his band and style, mixing up the songs with more progressive elements, and adding in more ballads along the way. Sabine is singing more emotionally and powerfully as well, focusing less on the "angelic" style and directing her voice towards the music and controlling it versus trying to complement it as in the past. The obligatory double bass tunes are present, as are with most classically-influenced bands, but there are certainly more straight-ahead compositions and ballads to keep the listener interested. There are a lot more keyboard interludes as well, adding to the beauty and atmosphere.

Performances are outstanding as usual. With Sabine sounding more comfortable with her position, and Lanvall opening up a bit in his compositions, the band is showing that they aren?t just an offshoot of his earlier career turned metal. DC Cooper lends his voice to what is the most lethal track on the disc, "Red Ball In Blue Sky," and it is here that the band is their strongest and hopefully will lean towards in the future.

Edenbridge is not for the strictly metal minded individual. One must be able to handle the operatic, angelic vocals of Sabine, whose soft style is in contrast to the metal guitars surround her. A good example of this would be Nightwish, whose female lead singer (Tarja) is an opera singer in a neo-classically based metal band. Lanvall certainly has classical influences, but tones down the metal aspect of his music just a bit compared to Nightwish. While the guitars are certainly metal oriented, the tone or the production keeps them from actually representing a true metal sound. Even the drums are held back in the production to keep this from becoming an all out metal blitz. Speaking of production, while the sound is clear precise, the recording itself has the instruments sounding like they are recorded in a large warehouse, or an echo-filled garage. All Edenbridge discs sound this way, so I?m sure it?s intentional. I can only imagine what this band would sound like with an incredible production ala Nightwish.

Lanvall and co. have certainly upped the performance with this disc, but I'm hoping that future Edenbridge discs will use a different formula in trying to get their music across to their fans. It's becoming harder and harder to tell each disc apart from each other, and their certainly needs to be a distinction between them. In the meantime, this disc is what I consider to be their best to date, and fans will not be disappointed in owning this. For beauty and atmosphere, it's hard to beat this band.

The Undiscovered Land / Skyward / The Final Curtain / Perennial Dreams / Fly At Higher Game / As Far As Eyes Can See / The Whispering Gallery / Deadend Fire / Farpoint Anywhere / Where Silence Has Lease / Red Ball In Blue Sky

Sabine Edelsbacher - vocals
Lanvall - guitars, piano & keyboards
Andreas Eibler - guitars
Roland Navrath - drums

Guest musicians:

Stefan Model - bass
DC Cooper - vocals (11)

Sunrise In Eden (2000)
Arcana (2002)
Aphelion (2003)
A Livetime In Eden (2004)
Shine (2004)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin AT

Added: April 6th 2003
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Artist website: www.edenbridge.org
Hits: 1224
Language: english


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