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While this website has become known for its in-depth album and concert reviews, the digest contains concise comments on new music our audience has either recommended or might enjoy. Click on album covers or label names for links to further information. Click on the title to view the article.

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Arcana CD Cover
Image 2001 Massacre Records


Sabine Edelsbacher
Image 2001 Massacre Records

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Reviews and Interview
Sunrise In Eden
Arcana
Aphelion

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Beto Vaszuez Infinity Feature
 

(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 (reviews).

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 amazon.com here. Like their debut, Arcana is worth a trans-Atlantic journey. It is certainly a must listen!

 
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