|Edenbridge - Aphelion
01. The Undiscovered Land
03. The Final Curtain
04. Perennial Dreams
05. Fly At Higher Game
06. As Far As Eyes Can See
07. Deadend Fire
08. Farpoint Anywhere
09. Where Silence Has Lease
10. Red Ball In Blue Sky
11. The Whispering Gallery [Europe 3D limited edition bonus]
12. On The Verge Of Infinity [Japanese bonus]
While comparisons to Nightwish have been obvious in the past, Austria's Edenbridge have finally created something unique with their third album Aphelion. 2000's Sunrise In Eden was pretty much standard fare, and 2001's Arcana showed promise, but the combination of guitarist Lanvall and vocalist Sabine Edelsbacher have finally come together in perfect unison.
The Eastern touches introducing ?The Undiscovered Land? adds weight to the powerful and dark sound, while Sabine seems to have finally found the right setting for her wide vocal range. From the outset, you can see where the comparisons to Nightwish come in, but both bands are still very distant cousins. Edenbridge are certainly heavier music wise, and Sabine's vocals are far less operatic to that of Tarja Turunen. ?Skyward? adds some power metal to the mix, while ?The Final Curtain? is a sweeping power ballad with some classy piano accompaniment. One of the many high points on the album is ?Perennial Dreams?. The chorus seems to sit perfectly with Sabine's towering vocals, which the soft underpinning or orchestration lifts the song into a higher realm. ?Fly At Higher Game? moves along with a little more speed, while ?As Far As Eyes Can See? gives the band the opportunity to direct the music towards an acoustic setting. One of the heaviest tracks on the album comes in the form of ?The Whispering Gallery?. While the track is a bonus track on the limited edition version, it's far from filler material. Both ?Deadend Fire? and ?Farpoint Anywhere? follow with the heavy theme once more, while ?Where Silence Has Lease? is haunting in its sparse musical backdrop.
The album closes with the epic ?Red Ball In Blue Sky?. The track combines elements of orchestration, heavy riffs, operatic vocal passages and progressive influences. While it sounds like a mess, it's anything but. The band not only pulls it off, but also seem to excel where others seem to fail. Guest vocalist D.C. Cooper [Silent Force] trades of with Sabine like a natural, and adds another dimension to the song. There's a touch of ?The Phantom Of The Opera? during the keyboard breakdown, and while it's not clear wether the similarity was intentional or not, is the only weak moment on the track.
This is an album with plenty of variation, and a band with their potential finally fulfilled. If you have yet to hear this album, and enjoy Nightwish immensely, then I would thoroughly suggest you check this out.
written by Justin | 16.09.2003
Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.