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There aren’t too many well known metal bands that come out of Austria, but one in particular have been flying the flag for their country since 1998 and I speak of symphonic power/progressive metal band, Edenbridge. Competing against other symphonic metal bands such as Nightwish, After Forever, Epica, Within Temptation and Xandria; Edenbridge have held their own over the last 10 years, releasing solid CDs and making a name for themselves in the process. After the successful ‘The grand design’ in 2006, Edenbridge have returned with a new CD, entitled ‘Myearthdream’.
Since moving from Massacre Records to Napalm Records after ‘The grand design’, Edenbridge have released 2 CDs; a best of compilation called ‘The chronicles of eden’ and now this new CD. Edenbridge also have a new drummer named Max Pointner, but he didn’t play on this new release. The drummer who did play on this release (Sebastian Lanser) has since left the band.
Edenbridge has changed their musical styles over the years. Reducing the speed of their tracks is one of these major changes. This slowdown continues with ‘Myearthdream’ as it has been with ‘The grand design’ and ‘Shine’. Edenbridge have continued with, however, their orchestral and bombastic sounds with crunchy guitars and excellent drumming. Though some people may disagree, I feel that Edenbridge are being let down by their lack of depth in their songs, which results in some songs being dragged on longer than they should; and their vocalist Sabine Edelsbacher. Sabine may be a talented singer, but has nowhere near the level of consistency nor emotion than her counterpart female vocalists such as Tarja Turunen (ex-Nightwish), Simone Simons (Epica), Floor Jansen (After Forever) and Sharon Den Adel (Within Temptation).
On ‘Myearthdream’, I am constantly frustrated by Sabine’s singing style. Permanently singing in a mid-range from beginning to end, I feel little to no emotion coming from her voice. As a result, the level of emotion and exuberance has dropped drastically. Really, it is the music and the orchestral arrangements (The Czech Film Orchestra) which has saved this release from being very disappointing.
The songwriting, I feel, is slightly down from previous releases from Edenbridge, and it's like they have just hit a snag on this CD. Despite some good quality tracks on ‘Myearthdream’, there are just too many average tracks including “Shadowplay”, “Whale rider” and “Remember me”. As far as the good songs go, I could really only find 3. These are “Adamantine”, “Place of higher power” and the title track “Myearthdream”.
Overall, it is easy to see that I feel disappointed after spinning this CD numerous times. I’m not sure what has happened to Edenbridge on this release, whether it is from the move from Massacre to Napalm or a letdown in songwriting; but I feel that they have missed a great opportunity to expand themselves in the metal world, especially after strong releases earlier from Nightwish, Within Temptation, After Forever and Epica. Their best release is still ‘The grand design’ in my book and looking around over the net at other reviews on this CD, they are a little up and down, but most hang around the better side of average to good. In final, Edenbridge should take what was great from their previous 2 releases and try again when they make their next CD.
Originally written for www.metalcdratings.com