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Eden's Curse - Symphony Of Sin

posted 7 Oct 2013, 10:28 by Paul Woodward
(AFM Records)

Review By Woody

It has been a tumultuous few years for multi-national power metallers Eden’s Curse, which has seen the departure of original singer Michael Eden and his successor Marco Sandron, with a revamped line-up the Curse return with their fourth album Symphony Of Sin. Taking up the mic is Serbian Nikola Mijic and also joining is former PowerQuest Keyboardist Steve Williams following the departure of the insanely busy Alessandro Del Vecchio.

I have struggled in the past with some of the progressive and more aggressive elements in the Curse’s previous output, so I have always sat on the fence with my appreciation of them. Symphony Of Sin almost feels like a totally different band to me in many ways, I think the most immediate thing for me was how much more commercial this album is as a whole in comparison to the older albums. Balancing symphonic pompous epics with more straight ahead hard rockers with a strong emphasis on monster melodies and hooks aplenty have really ticked all my boxes with the Prog touches very much less apparent.

You of course feel the Curse vibe in the song writing, first single ‘Evil and Divine’ bears all the trademarks of what we have come to expect from the curse. Outside of this track though they seemed to have stretched out their sound and have unashamedly gone very commercial, ‘Unbreakable’ is beyond radio friendly and easily the most commercial thing the Curse have ever released. It’s also one of the stand out tracks on Symphony Of Sin and the lyrics seem to be very much about the upheaval in the Curse camp in recent times.

New singer Nikola Mijic is a very different type of singer to Michael Eden and for me is one of the most distinct changes in the sound of the band. I think Mijic has done well entering an established band in a very prominent role and making his own mark, a very smooth singer with a great ear for melody. The Curse has definitely found themselves a strong replacement singer. I’m a huge fan of PowerQuest so the recruiting of Keyboardist Steve Williams is very exciting for me as I loved the highly commercial keyboard heavy nature of Steve’s writing. On a couple of tracks his style is really apparent and makes me relish the thought of him been more involved in the song writing on future Curse records.

Paul Logue and Pete Newdeck sure know how to write an attention grabbing hook and maximising impact through well placed and balanced harmony vocals. One of the most obvious remaining Curse traits is guitarist Thorsten Koehne’s instant and memorable guitar licks which harks back to the band’s beginnings but even they seem more streamlined and commercial!

A strong and consistent album, which sees the Curse go a little less power metal and a little more heavy rock with a mega dose of melody! For me the sound of Symphony Of Sin marks the start of a new chapter for them and it’s a really radio friendly start. I think the stronger commercial edge will win over more melodic rock fans, but it still has enough power to appeal to power metal fans.

Track Listing: Symphony Of Sin / Break The Silence / Evil & Divine / Unbreakable / Fallen From Grace / Losing My Faith / Rock Bottom / Great Unknown / Turn The Page / Sign Of The Cross / Wings To Fly / Devil In Disguise / Where Is The Love?

Album Rating: 8/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Unbreakable

Track by Track:

‘Symphony Of Sin’ is an epic symphonic opener containing a powerful chorus with a driving guitar riff. The hook filled ‘Break The Silence’ really emphasises this albums commercial aspect. The most obvious traditional Eden’s Curse song is ‘Evil & Divine’ it has a big epic harmony drenched chorus and a cracking guitar riff from Koehne that really gets stuck in your head.

The most commercial thing they have ever done is ‘Unbreakable’ and its pure heaven to my ears and in my opinion should have been the lead single! Listening to the lyrics you can tell this was written about the recent troubles within the band or at least that’s how it comes across to me. There is some very Williams sounding keys and a killer guitar riff that will imbed itself in your consciousness, this song also showcases Mijic’s vocal capabilities.

Ballad ‘Fallen From Grace’ has a big chorus and some strong commercial hooks. Pounding rocker ‘Losing My Faith’ has a rebel rousing fist pumping chorus with a crunching guitar riff. ‘Rock Bottom’ is a straight ahead rocker with a smooth and ultra melodic harmony drenched chorus.

‘Great Unknown’ is a fast rocker with a swirling keyboard hook on the chorus. Commercial rocker ‘Turn The Page’ has some killer keyboard, a catchy chorus and another kick ass guitar lick! ‘Sign Of The Cross’ is a flowing rocker, but it was one of the few tracks to make little impression on me.

‘Wings To Fly’ aptly kicks off with a soaring guitar riff. There’s a killer keyboard hook which builds you up to a cool chorus. It’s a very commercial track which is borderline melodic rock. ‘Devil In Disguise’ is a more metallic number; again it has some great keyboards that build to a huge but softer melodic chorus. Up-tempo ballad ‘Where Is The Love?’ has a sweeping chorus with a killer guitar lick and some great harmony vocals. This is another track that highlights the band’s move into more commercial territory.