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Edenbridge Aphelion CD Cover
Image Massacre Records 2003

Sabine Edelsbacher
Sabine Edelsbacher
Image Massacre Records 2003

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Beto Vaszuez Infinity Feature

(13 April 2003) The third Edenbridge entitled Aphelion (Massacre Records (Germany) MAS CD0348, 2003) is basically a ten-track collection of new material. The European release includes "The Whispering Gallery" while the Japanese release includes "On The Verge Of Infinity." Neither of the bonus tracks can be sampled on the band's website. We review the European release below.

An unequalled progression from Edenbridge's debut and follow-up, Sabine Edelbascher's vocals are recorded more powerful--mixed way up above the instrumentals, much better than on Arcana--and are certainly more varied. Production duo Dennis Ward and Lanvall have done an outstanding job. The mid-tempo opening track "The Undiscovered Land" clearly demonstrates the tightness of the band with instrumental solos even more reminiscent of Nightwish than on former albums. Speed and power build with rapidfire guitar, double bass and percussion in "Skyward."

The first Edenbridge ballad of the album is a lovely track entitled "The Final Curtain," which builds in power instrumentally above piano as Sabine's crystalline lead vocal soars above the rhythm and solo lead guitar parts. "Perennial Dreams" picks up the pace again, in typical Edenbridge style, Lanvall's energetic electric guitar parts supported by the rhythm section and piano. Again speed and power build in "Fly At Higher Game," vast guitar excursions between Sabine's lovely vocal lines. A delicate piano introduces the lovely ballad "As Far As Eyes Can See." Keyboards and supporting guitar add lovely texture to the arrangements supporting Sabine's soaring vocal and backing harmonies in the chorus.

European audiences will be delighted with the bonus track "The Whispering Gallery." Guitar parts clearly show Lanvall's virtousity--symphonic keyboards and crisp percussion add texture--while powerful do not run over Sabine's melodic vocal. "Deadend Fire" is most reminscent of the classic Edenbridge bombastic angelic metal style, and clearly transcends their three albums. "Where Silence Has Lease" continues in a similar vein but at a much faster pace driven by high energy percussion.

The album's third ballad is the gorgeous track "Where Silence Has Lease." Supported by amplified acoustic guitar, and light keyboard washes, Sabine's tender vocal introduces the lovely melody. Lanvall's dramatic guitar solo during the instrumental bridge builds the intensity of the piece yet Sabine's lead vocal soars above it as the track fades to completion. Her experience and vocal training are evident. The epic rocker "Red Ball In Blue Sky" featuring D. C. Cooper (Silent Force) as guest vocalist is the album's concluding track. Here Sabine sings in her finest soprano style alone during the first few verses before being significantly contrasted by the guest vocalist. Listen for Phantom Of The Opera-styled keyboard riffs in the bridge. Thick progressive metal-edged instrumental arrangements vast guitar solos and lush vocal harmonies also work perfectly.

Find out further information, listen to soundbites and order the European version of the album from amazon.com here. The Japanese version is also available. Like the first two Edenbridge offerings, Aphelion is worth a trans-Atlantic journey. It is certainly a must listen!  

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