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Heaven for everyone! - 97%

Big_G, March 31st, 2003

This is an exceptional album. The first by an outstanding young group, it is, nevertheless, a masterpiece of sorts. The cover painting done by Mr. Markus Mayer shows a bridge that leads over dark and ominous wastelands into the brightening horizon, further and higher, then, finally - straight up to heaven... And that's exactly where "Edenbridge's" music takes the listener who dares to follow it - melodic paradise.

Yeah, OK, that was pure emotion, where do I start with the actual review? "Sunrise In Eden" is, when compared with their later releases, closer musically to the early solo work of the band's leader Lanvall, which also means: it's more original. Lanvall's solo career developed in a field most accurately, but not fully, described as instrumental prog rock, complete with dreamy atmospheres, rare instruments, awesome guitarwork (as you could expect), and classical choirs. Now all that is present on this disc, just the intensity is on tottally different level, and the general sound has been beefed up, giving the music a new metallic edge.

A legend in Austrian underground, Lanvall needed "broader waters to sail", so he ended up forming a full-time band with his own girlfriend, muse and helper Sabine Edelsbacher on vocals. And with good reason - beautiful as she is, the more so is her voice, beyond description and comparison. To escape the ongoing debate among fans, I' ll just say I like it more than Tarja Turunen's; and after all it is not operatic, it is... well, angelic! That's how "Edenbridge" name their music: "Angelic bombast metal". :)

Romantic aura around the band takes shape as inspiration for their songs. The album starts with "Cheyenne Spirit", a neo-classical power metal anthem, probably one of the greatest I' ve EVER heard. The outstanding melody that drives it, the singing, the solos (including even a bass solo, if I am not mistaken) lift up one's soul and give the body goosebumps. The song's lyrics, however, are very serious, dealing with the tragic history of American Indians, and of American colonization... strange that such a wondrous song should bear such a harsh message! Following it, the long title track flows in a more laid back tempo, reminiscent of what Lanvall used to do as a soloist. Strong presence of Eastern melodies, long instrumental variations, flute and guitar harmonies topped by an epic chorus define this song.

The third one is "Forever Shine On", that I see as the ultimate ballad in any musical genre, hands down. It is not "big", it goes in fact quiet, slowly building up in emotion. Sabine's voice shines here, from soft, smooth and silky in the beginning to amazing crystal clear, soaring notes on the last chorus. Enhanced by well fitting lyrics, this becomes a moving hymn to love and life. Brings tears to my eyes almost every time, and I do not consider myself a wimp! The other two ballads on the disc ("Take Me Back", with its unflagging sincerity, and the impressionistic "In the Rain") do not quite reach up there, but still serve fine examples of how to "do" slow music that does not age with repeated listens.

Getting back to the fast stuff, "Midnight at Noon" has to be considered the weakest song of the album, just because the others are so incredible with this one being simply good. :))Still, the neo-classical key/ guitar solo smokes! Other noteworthy tracks include "Holy Fire" made up of three different melodies that mesh together surprisingly well (verse - pre-chorus - chorus) and "Wings of the Wind", a mid-tempo with great vocal lines (cool intro, too).

Feast for the ears is brought to a close with the 10-minute "My Last Step Beyond", featuring some of the more heavy-metal riffs on the album along with the trademark atmosphere, 3 minutes of soloing during the middle part - there's also a sitar solo by a mysterious guest musician Gandalf -, and various moods. The track starts out "happy" but, going through the solo section, evolves into a dramatic melody that in the end seems to fill the space and transcend it, cut off by the dying sound of chimes... Goosebumps, again. And the "Repeat CD" button.

Three songs into this album "Edenbridge" already was among my Top 10 favorite bands. A year later, it still holds my deep affection. If you like ANY music that is not "brootal" or suicidal, purchase this and support the brilliant band!!! Maybe you' ll expand your very understanding of beauty... Or maybe it's just me? But, heck, I' d refund your money if you ever regretted spending it!