(30 December 2001) The runaway success of Sunrise In Eden
(review) has brought Austrian
band Edenbridge a lot of attention; they have just released a stunning
followup entitled Arcana (Massacre Records (Germany) CD0306, 2001).
The album, recorded by the same lineup as their debut featuring Sabine
Edelsbacher (vocals) and Lanvall (guitar), has eleven tracks. One member
of the former lineup--Georg Edelmann--left the band due to other interests and was replaced by Andreas Eibler. The band's informative
website (click on image left to link to it) has had a complete makeover
and is worth a visit. Be sure to check out our Edenbridge feature.
One will immediately notice the increased depth of instrumental
arrangements and progressive style tempo / volume variations in
Arcana. The album is a blend of shorter tracks and longer,
epic-length, numbers. With their strong classically trained lead singer and significant instrumental prowess, it is no wonder that Edenbridge have been
favourably compared to Finland's Nightwish
The album's opening track "Ascending" is an extremely rich and classically
influenced symphonic introduction that precedes the 'angelic bombastic
metal' sound. Hard driving guitar and percussive energy in the album's romping
metal-edged rockers comes close to being too much for Sabine's
crystalline lead vocal. However, her voice is actually never
over-powered by the instrumentals and she carries off the lead without
multi-tracking, a significant achievement for a singer with a metal-edged
band. Sabine's solos in "The Palace" and during the intro of "Fly On A
Rainbow Dream" are simply tremendous.
The album's anthems are lushly arranged with guitar and keyboard
excursions providing a firm foundation for the lovely vocal melodies
and powerful solos that illustrate the individual players' virtuousity.
The title track offers the widest variation in textures with elements
of anthem and ballad woven around lush guitar- and keyboard-based
instrumental foundations. Sabine's powerful lead is contrasted here
with lovely backing harmony layers.
We especially enjoyed Arcana's ballads. While the energy of
the instrumentals is still evident, Sabine's voice comes to the fore,
standing out, soars above the instrumentals and explores her vast range.
While the rockers and anthems are well written and exceptionally produced,
the ballads "A Moment Of Time," "Velvet Eyes Of Dawn" and the everso
gentle "Winter Winds" are certainly among the album's standouts.
Click on the images to visit the artists' website where further
biographical information, photographs and additional soundbites reside.
Find out further information, listen to soundbites and order the album from
Like their debut, Arcana is worth a trans-Atlantic journey. It is
certainly a must listen!