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Edenbridge – ‘The Great Momentum’

posted 13 Feb 2017, 13:57 by Paul Woodward

(SPV/Steamhammer)

Review by Woody

Austrian Symphonic Metal act Edenbridge are one the genre’s most consistent acts and are one of the bands from within this specific genre I keep an eye on. Principal Composer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Lanvall knows this genre inside and out and knows exactly what fans of this very defined genre crave. The Great Momentum is another fine example of what Edenbridge can do, with Lanvall’s compositions always been intriguing, grandiose and epic. I’m positive established Edenbridge fans will be left jumping for joy upon hearing it!

Like a lot of Symphonic bands, it combines ethereal vocals, epic keyboards and orchestration with a pounding and forcefully rhythm section and unforgivingly heavy and fast paced metallic guitar shredding. Although the music can come across on the surface as very heavy and seemingly blunt in its directness there is also some quality musicianship at play for those who immerse themselves in the music. Theses flourishes and sometimes they are subtler than the bombastic metal onslaught which powers the songs are what highlight Lanvall’s song writing genius. You’ll hear how he combines a very traditional classical style of musical structure with the energy and aggression of modern metal. He uses a whole host of musical instruments to enhance his own brand of epic and grandiose symphonic metal.

Yes, it is very heavy, but there is lots of ambience and atmospherics painted atop and beneath the brash exterior and its heavy grind lifting the overall sound into a more accessible one. Vocalist Sabine Edelsbacher has the perfect voice for this style of music it has that ethereal tone that draws many genre fans to it. She has a borderline operatic style, which obviously sits well with classical compositions. Her vocal style really adds an extra sense of otherworldliness to the music, soaring and it can be very dramatic. You also get spotting’s of choral vocal harmonies which add a punch to a songs impact and is something I know is insanely popular amongst genre fans, hence the reason these styles of harmonies are used to create drama as frequently as possible.

There is a surprise vocal guest on ‘Until The End Of Time’ and I almost didn’t recognise it at first, but Erik Martensson (Yes, he of Eclipse fame) puts in a real cool and unexpected soaring vocal performance. It’s an epic piano lead Ballad on which Erik duets with Sabine, it’s beautiful and operatic in nature.

Stand out tracks for me include ‘The Moment is Now’ with its prowling guitar riff, beautiful keyboards and it’s soaring and catchy chorus. The whimsical ballad ‘Only A Whiff of Life’ which has some cool intricate acoustic guitar licks and atmospheric keyboards. Another is ‘Return to Grace’ which kicks off with some killer melodic guitar soloing before dropping some heaviness into the mix, lots of fast guitars and full on pomposity!

For me personally though it’s held back by it not been commercial enough for my own tastes, it does have its commercial moments but not enough to fully immerse me in their sound. The Great Momentum is a very strong album which I will return to occasionally but more importantly I think Symphonic metal fans will adore these compositions and I would be genuinely shocked if the album is not embraced by and large by the core symphonic audience. If you’re into Nightwish, Within Temptation and Epica, you should definitely check this album out.

Track Listing: Shiantara / The Die Is Not Cast / The Moment Is Now / Until The End Of Time / The Visitor / Return To Grace / Only A Whiff of Life / A Turnaround In Art / The Greatest Gift Of All

Album Rating: 7/10

Woody’s Essential Track: The Moment Is Now

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