Edenbridge - Sunrise In Eden

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Sensory
Catalog Number: SR3012
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:39:00

Darn if it doesn't seem like everything I listen to of late, I like. That is certainly the case with Edenbridge's debut CD Sunrise In Eden. Featuring guitarist Lanvall, this quartet plays progressive metal with an extremely lyrical edge. Vocalist Sabine Edelsbacher has a voice that often made me think of opera singer Sarah Brightman (the ex-Mrs. Andrew Lloyd Webber who became a household name -- sort of -- after her performance as Christine in ALW's Phantom...). Especially on the beautiful "In The Rain," where for a few bits of the chorus, I kept thinking of that play's "All I Ask Of You." Presuming, of course, you are at all familiar with the play, as I'm not entirely sure how well ALW goes over with the prog crowd. Anyway, for those who aren't familiar with my reference, what I mean is that she has a lilting, clear voice -- youthful -- a voice you might call angelic. In listening to the punchy "Holy Fire," the thought that came to me was that Edenbridge might be called the metallic side of White Willow. But it isn't just Edelsbacher makes "In The Rain" such a wonderful track as Lanvall the keyboardist plays some very nice keys here, too.

This is music with an epic scope - big guitars, drums, keys, and bass, each playing their parts stridently. There is no hesitation, and yet this isn't music that pummels you senseless senselessly. "Forever Shine On" for example, begins very low key - Lanvall playing acoustic arpeggios, while drums tap out a mid-tempo beat. Lyrically, this is an uplifting song, musically very light, where Edelsbacher's voice reaches those angelic heights I've already mentioned. Lanvall plays a heartfelt solo, though it is so perfectly placed, just the right length, tempo, etc., that it also seems expected. It is a very nice song, and certainly saying Lanvall is too good a guitarist isn't a criticism, but it does seem to be too perfectly packaged. This might also be said of the whole album -- it seems too good. They've taken the familiar elements of the genre and given them a new polish. I can't say this is problem, really. I mean, how can one really say an album is too good?

I've mentioned Edelsbacher and Lanvall, but what about Kurt Bednarsky on bass and Roland Navratil on drums? It's going to sound like something I've said before about other drummers, but Navratil knows when to pound the skins with seemingly reckless abandon (intro to "Midnight At Noon") and when to throttle back and create texture and atmosphere ("Wings Of The Wind," "Take Me Back"). At first you don't really hear Bednarksy, unless you are one of those that listen specifically for the bass, but imagining their sound without base, and there is some very critical element missing, the anchor that keeps everything rooted. His bass fills those empty spaces that need to be filled.

"Midnight At Noon" gives us Edenbridge as Angra, as that is who I thought of -- mainly in the music, though I've no doubt that ex-vocalist Andre Matos could have hit the same notes as Edelsbacher. We get another keyboard solo from Lanvall, which leads into a guitar solo. "Take Me Back" is another mid-tempo, balladic-style track, falling into that hauntingly beautiful category. Acoustic guitar textures are intermingles with percussion, including gently tinkling chimes. This is the "lighter song," of the album. Maybe the set closer, just before the encore.

"My Last Step Beyond" gets a bit more experimental, bringing in very different textures -- almost "new agey" (in a positive sense). Keyboard swirls provide the atmosphere for guest Gandalf to play a sitar solo, before a classically influenced piano-like keyboard passage takes center stage. Driven by the slowly building percussion, this song grows in strength, as Lanvall wields his axe ... if you were think of the very best of Ayreon in that epic, spacey mode, this is what Edenbridge give us with "...Last Step..."

This is one terrific album, if you haven't already guessed that I think that. Edenbridge are certainly more than promising - they've arrived. Definitely this band is going to keep getting nominations as one of the brightest lights of 2001. Highly recommended.

Cheyenne Spirit (5:35) / Sunrise In Eden (8:31) / Forever Shine On (5:02) / Holy Fire (4:48) / Wings Of The Wind (5:04) / In The Rain (4:29) / Midnight At Noon (4:11) / Take Me Back (4:15) / My Last Step Beyond (10:44)

Lanvall - lead, rhythm, acoustic guitars, keyboards
Sabine Edelsbacher - vocals
Kurt Bednarsky - bass
Roland Navratil - drums


Gandalf - sitar (9)
Astrid Stockhammer - backing vocals

Sunrise In Eden (2001)
Arcana (2002)
Aphelion (2003)
A Livetime In Eden (2004)
Shine (2004)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin AT

Added: August 10th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.edenbridge.org
Hits: 1714
Language: english


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