The third release from symphonic metal stalwarts Edenbridge shows the band continuing on with their trademark sound, that being melodic yet bombastic progressive metal featuring the exquisite vocal talents of Sabine Edelsbacher and the guitar/keyboard work of Lanvall. While this new CD doesn't really differ all that much from the bands last album Arcana, Aphelion shows a band that is more confident and polished, especially in the songwriting department.
There's a good mix of crunchy power metal and more atmopsheric pieces here, all punctuated by the majestic vocals of the lovely (and I mean lovely)Sabine. She literally soars on tunes like "As Far As Eyes Can See" (perhaps the most memorable song the band has recorded yet) and the raging "Deadend Fire." The latter is a complex prog metal tune that also features some intricate riffing from Lanvall. The real highlight is the gorgeous closing number, titled "Red Ball in Blue Sky", a powerful piece that sees Sabine duet with famed vocalist D.C. Cooper, while Lanvall lays down a multitude of guitar textures and solos. At just over nine-minutes long, this track is a prog-metal classic that will have fans of Symphony X drooling.
My only problem with this CD is that the band falls into a similar trap that Stratovarius has in recent years. Songs like "Farpoint Anywhere", "The Final Curtain", and "Fly at Higher Game", all kind of sound the same and follow that "speedy double bass drum, chugga-chugga rhythm guitar" formula that I hear way too much these days. It's when this band slows down a bit and breaks from the power metal style to more melodic material that they are the most intriguing.