Hailing from Austria, Symphonic Metal band Edenbridge was created in 1998 thanks to Guitarist/keyboarder – Arne Stockhammer known only as (Lanvall), bassist Kurt Bednarsky and the beautiful Sabine Edelsbacher on vocals. As a studio-project Edenbridge became a recording band with the final member Roland Navratil joining the band on drums.
Finally in 2000 the debut album Sunrise In Eden was released and they signed a worldwide deal with German Label Massacre Records.
Fast forward to 2017. With a high turnover of band members, and 8 studio albums, 2 live albums and 1 compilation album, Edenbridge is back with their newest studio album The Great Momentum which was released Feb. 17th 2017 on SPV Records.
With over 2 years of not playing live, Edenbridge was welcomed on the 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise out of the USA. This was their first time playing on this side of the world. We can only hope this will be a sign that North, Central and South America will get to see a tour.
I first heard of Edenbridge only 2 months ago, thanks to my Swedish friend Anders who knows my love of Symphonic Metal.
I quickly found their discography and was amazed. Finally last week I was able to get my hands on the new release.
With 9 new tracks, the album starts out with the first single that came out in December, “Shiantara”. A wonderful song that caught my attention right away. With a mixture of great guitar riffs, melodic and a symphonic sound with a choir made for theatre production. A powerful track that is well deserved as a single.
Next up is “The Die Is Not Cast”. Taking the listener on a symphonic journey with many different musical textures within this piece. We really get experience how talented and creative Edenbridge have grown to be.
As I have enjoyed what I have heard so far, it was time for the newest single “The Moment Is Now“. I am loving Edelsbacher on vocals as the chorus really stands out for me. I catch myself singing along. It is a very catchy song with some great guitar riffs that sound even better loud!!
A handful of guests appear on the new album. I was very excited to hear this next song “Until The End Of Time“. Joining Edelsbacher on vocals is Erik Martensson lead singer of Eclipse from Sweden, and guitarist for W.E.T., and one of my top CD’s of 2016 Nordic Union. This is a beautiful ballad with an outstanding duet performance. It is great to see how the versatility of 2 amazing singers can have such a different range throughout their musical careers.
“The Visitor” is a more straightforward rock song with a taste of symphonic and even some acappella to give the song a variety of sound, keeping to the pace of the album.
“Return To Grace” starts off instrumental, before Edelsbacher kicks into high gear rocking this heavy riff track. Her vocals go perfectly with what Edenbridge wanted to accomplish. It is a fast paced progressive melodic rock track with a symphonic touch. Definitely a little heavier musically than most tracks on the album.
After a fast paced track it was time to slow things down with “Only A Whiff Of Life“. With mostly keys and breathtaking vocals of Edelsbacher, this song is a beautiful showcasing of her incredible talent.
Bringing us back to the Symphonic orchestra sound is “A Turnaround In Art“. It is mostly slower but has many different textures throughout the song.
The end is upon us with the last song “The Greatest Gift Of All“. It is the longest track on the album, being over 12 minutes. I am not normally a fan of the long songs, but many times the long songs have the best musical stories in the symphonic metal world. This song is just that. A Symphonic masterpiece with a wonderful collaboration of the Junge Philharmonie Freistadt Orchestra and choir. A perfect finale to such a diverse album.
My thoughts would be this is their best work to date. Overall an orchestra music sensation. With being more symphonic on The Great Momentum I look forward to future releases following on this musical path of Edenbridge.
Shawn “Animalize” Irwin