Multinational melodic metal band Eden’s Curse started out in 2007 on a high note, and kept gathering acclaim. Their initial self titled release garnered much attention, to which they followed up with two more albums that continued to fuel their levels of acclaim. Though they received solid attention from the various media sites, more notably was what they got from fellow musicians. James LaBrie of Dream Theater, who did duet vocals for their track No Holy Man off their third album Trinity stated, “They belong with the best of today’s music.” To add to that, the band was asked to open for Dream Theater for their warm up gigs for the High Voltage festival of 2011, during which drummer Mike Mangini stated, “They were unbelievable, their songs were so good!” So what is it about Eden’s Curse that made them able to draw such high acclaim? As I dug into their latest release, Symphony of Sin, it quickly became very clear to me. They just did everything right, beginning to end.
All that aside, how can one not like a band who lists their interest as “Metal, Football, Chicks, Guitars, Beer, Curries, and Sleeping.”? Yep, rock and roll man, rock and roll. Though there was some upheaval in the time between Trilogy and this album, including the departure of founding member Michael Eden, the band came into it with a more than solid line up of amazing musicians. Three of the original members are still intact, including Paul Logue(Cry Havoc) on bass, Thorsten Koehne(Code of Perfection) on guitar, and Pete Newdeck(Lionsheart) on drums. For this album, they added vocalist Nikola Mijic(Dreyelands) and keyboardist Steve Williams(Power Quest, Dragonforce). So, let’s see how all this adds up to my claim of doing everything right.
The album opens with the title track Symphony of Sin, which opens with a series of hard rocking chords before settling into more subtle introductory lyrics. The subtlety doesn’t last long here though, these guys make no claim to wanting to settle down for a quiet evening of music, they go all out, and it takes this track almost no time to get there. Mijic’s vocals are wonderful for the task, he carries the subdued elements well, and flawlessly delivers the multitude of more powerful moments, including a bevy of killer screams. This guy can sing folks, and on this album as a whole he takes nothing with him, it’s all on tape. The guitars are an iron cast construction of riffs and power chords, the bass wonderfully bridging the gap and carrying the pace. And for one of those rare times, the bass isn’t buried in the mix, it is a very real presence on the album, something I love. Track two, Break the Silence is a full frontal rock assault that takes no prisoners, a relentless song. With Evil&Divine, they settle into a slightly slower pace, more rolling on than blowing out, but still with edge.
They embrace the melodic side on Unbreakable, opening with a delightful guitar riff and carrying on through with a seriously uplifting tone. They still hit it hard here, but with style and class, it’s a wonderfully structured song. Fallen from Grace is a stellar power ballad, with some great vocal work from Mijic. And through the album we go, much in this style. Though Eden’s Curse varies from the more ballad like to the seriously down and dirty hard rockers, they remain consistent in the quality of output. Turn the Page, though not a full out metal monster, is a veritable riff fest. In Sign of the Cross, Koehne goes a bit beyond his normal virtuoso range and really lets loose. For sure a few strings were broken, and I kind of felt sorry for his guitar frets by the end of the song, damn does this guy slay. Closing out the album is Where is the Love?, a power ballad-ish number that keeps breaking out of its skin, refusing to be boxed into that class
The album as a whole is relentless. They really don’t let up, even in the so called “ballad” moments, they just keep going and going. It’s one of those albums that you need a smoke after, just to settle yourself down. So let’s go back to said claim, does that mean that we’re talking album of the year? For some, maybe, for others not, that is always a matter of personal taste. There is not a bunch here that is truly groundbreaking, no new genres will spurt out in the wake of this release. By that claim, I simply mean that these guys set out to make a solid album of melodic metal, and did a fine damn job of it. Kick ass songs that are well structured, played with precision by extremely talented musicians, and all produced and mixed wonderfully, all resulting in a sore neck and some ringing ears I am more than happy to call mine.