Rating:
8.7
Edenbridge - MyEarthDream
25 April 2008


01. The Force Within
02. Shadowplay
03. Paramount
04. Undying Devotion
05. Adamantine
06. Whale Rider
07. Remember Me
08. Fallen From Grace
09. Place Of Higher Power
10. MyEarthDream Suite (For Guitar And Orchestra)
11. MyEarthDream


This is the album that forever changed the way I look at Edenbridge. Over the band's previous five studio albums, I'd always enjoyed the majestic vocals of Sabine Edelsbacher and the instantly recognizable guitar work of Lanvall. However, I consistently craved a more expansive, fatter production and a heavier songwriting approach. On MyEarthDream, Edenbridge has done exactly that and more.

Not content to create symphonic metal with keyboards alone, the band enlisted The Czech Film Orchestra, whose presence is felt throughout the album. Immediately the listener is welcomed with the orchestral "The Force Within," an intro track that is better than most, as it manages to mix the grandiose and reflective emotions of past Edenbridge releases, but strongly hints at more contemplative, imperative emotions. And what a follow-up "Shadowplay" is, offering the band's heaviest guitar riff yet, something that really surprised me upon initial listens. Don't mistake me, Edenbridge has by no means left their light, angelic sound behind, but has instead created another level to a sound they've developed for a decade now.

Of course, for many longtime followers, this may not seem as exciting to hear, so your opinion on the band's direction here may differ. Lanvall does not have his skyward-reaching guitar solos as much, but instead places them strategically for dramatic impact. He has always played with a sense of relaxed confidence, but on MyEarthDream there is an urgency that the rhythm guitar parts give that was not there before. Therefore, the feelings the listener takes away are still uplifting, but now in a more intense, complex way. Some guitar work highlights are in "Fallen From Grace," where Lanvall's solo seems to personify the fall from grace itself. In "Adamantine," each riff steps into the next so smoothly, but always with a focus on a memorable melody. The changes are very efficient, and really you will not feel a wasted moment here or in the album.

Irregardless of Edenbridge's musical evolution, Sabine's vocals are as grand as ever, pouring out maturity and consistency. The orchestral arrangements and heavier production give her a newfound identity, offering a dynamic contrast with her voice now. The album's promotional photos show Sabine in classic pose, with her arm outstretched and her palm facing skyward, and longtime and new fans I think will agree that it's an accurate representation for the emotions Sabine expresses here.

I have a few minor issues with the album. First, because of the heavier production and songwriting, I think the song "Whale Rider" really feels out of place now. A fine ballad by itself, but after repeated listens, it became the track I enjoyed least because it feels like a song from an earlier release, not for this one. The second is that at times there is too much choir beneath Sabine's vocals. I love when the choir acts as a second vocalist, singing different lyrics, but when they are together, it drowns out Sabine's strength. She sounds best alone to me.

Of course, these are small complaints, or maybe personal taste. I think Edenbridge has given us one of the strongest symphonic metal albums of 2008. I will not say they have created something new here, but instead redefine themselves and what symphonic metal is all about. Lanvall's strong production and songwriting together with a perfect mix of Karl Groom (of Threshold) challenge old fans to embrace the new sound, and offer those who've overlooked the band a reason give them a second look.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 10


Band profile: Edenbridge
Album: MyEarthDream


 


written by dismaleuphony | 09.01.2009



Comments

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MetalManic_Joel - 09.01.2009 at 07:10  
Awesome review! Thanks. I will definitely check these guys out
Angel_Lament - 09.01.2009 at 14:18  
Wonderful Review & Awesome Album indeed, Thanks a lot for reviewing it
I think Their best after Arcana, The Sound is more Progressive & heavily Symphonic & Sabine's voice is great in this album
But as u said The Choirs are so crowded with Sabine's vocals, and thats not a very good point, although that The album is the best Symphonic Metal album in 2008!!!!
Taktsekte - 09.01.2009 at 15:29  
Nice review, dismaleuphony. I agree with almost everything you said. MyEarthDream is probably what Symphonic Metal in general needed right now - finally a distinct product of its own, a full-fledged music opus which defines a mature, well-thought style. "Edenbridge has by no means left their light, angelic sound behind, but has instead created another level to a sound they've developed for a decade now" - my thoughts exactly.

Does anyone else find the "Paramount" chorus the epitome of catchiness?
kaos666 - 09.01.2009 at 16:54  
Saw these guys on the Rage tour and they were fantastic! Had to buy the album and it was definately worth it! The review suits perfectly!
Katatronik - 09.01.2009 at 17:54  
This is their best album IMO, and one of my favourite 2008 albums...
Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk - 10.01.2009 at 00:44  
"Remember me" if my favorite so far.
Janne - 10.01.2009 at 14:03  
I totally agree with the writer's opinion about 'Whale Rider'. I think I've already mentioned it somewhere before.
dismaleuphony - 14.01.2009 at 04:58  
Just wanted to say thanks for all the comments! This is my first review here for MS, and I'm already working on my next! This album has been one of the most listened to for me in 2008 (and still now), and I'm glad lots of you have checked it out and enjoyed it just as much. Cheers
Grin Of The Cat - 22.01.2009 at 18:33  
That was a great review - I can tell by they way you wrote it that you really have a passion for the band. It seems like something I may really enjoy-this band owes you for my purcahse of the album.
Carl Berg - 02.07.2010 at 02:50  
Very good review. I was kind of dissappointed by this album, as we hear less of Lavall's epic solos and guitar work, but more heavy riffing instead. As you said, Whale Rider is a little out of place, personnally for me it just doesn't fit into the album. Of course, the other compositions are top notch, but they lack the "Lanvall" touch. I just hope they won't start selling out with Solitaire, I woulnd't survive that.
Wishmaster - 06.09.2010 at 16:28  
This is the album that forever changed the way I look at Edenbridge.

Agreed. They were really boring that I can't get them, but this album is so good.

Nice review, btw.

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