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Winter in Eden: Awakening

Winter in Eden is an English band made up of Vicky Johnson on vocals; Ian Heddle on bass; Samuel Cull on guitars; Steve Johnson on keyboards and orchestration; and Wayne McAloon on drums.

Their symphonic metal sound was shaped on this their first album, 'Awakening'. They are currently working on releasing their latest album in 2011. After reviewing 'Awakening' I look forward to the release of that album.

Vicky Johnson's unique voice, which is more subdued and even range as compared to most operatic, soprano female metal vocalists, provides this band with its own unique sound. She is also classically trained on piano and plays keys adding dimension to their sound. The guitar work, bass, and especially the drums are perfectly matched to the harder sound the band provides. This is an excellent debut with similar themes as many of the leaders in this genre. Excellent music delivered with professionalism.

Track Listing:

'Oblivion' opens with cool grinding heavy metal guitars, drums, percussion, keys, and strings before Johnson's voice joins in "Weeping from these lonely eyes, I see the memory of your face. Welcome to the middle of my world". Excellent power in the instrumentation and the emotion in Johnson's voice. The heavy bass chords add to the dramatic effect of the piece. The keyboard work that enters at the midway point of the track is also a track highlight.

'Inside' again opens with grinding guitars, but this opening is different as the keys and melody are more upbeat. Johnson's vocals are warm and enchanting as she weaves the melody well, "Keep waking, I don't know how to. Break the spell that he cast inside my mind".

Majestic keyboard, bass, and strings open 'Fate Will Oblige' before power drums and guitars join in the sound. One of Johnson's best vocal performances on the album as she sings, "Fate will oblige. There's nowhere to hide".

'Stolen Fairytale' opens with keys again before the pounding bass and drums open forward. Johnson's vocals join in, "Once upon a fairytale, good and evil collide". The keyboard, guitar, bass, and drum interplay is excellent as if this band has been playing together forever. Another of the best tracks on the album. 'Aragon' is full of mystery as an echoing choir opens the track before heavy drums, keys and chimes join in. It is a short instrumental that is the perfect opener for the next set of tracks.

'Ruled by Fear' is full of power keys, drums, bass, and guitars, ala Dream Theater. Johnson's fastest vocal delivery is full of emotion. A fast driving track full of power.

'Frustrated Dreamer' is one of the better tracks on a debut full of creative talent. The opening keyboards and majestic orchestration lift this track above all others on the first part of the album.

'At the Edge of the World' is another fast – paced rocker full of great guitar licks and drum power.

'Cry' is full of beautiful piano and Johnson's voice at its best. "You dreamt of a land far away…and now, I cry for days gone by". A tearful symphony full of excellent guitar riffs, piano, bass, and drums.

'Windelfell' continues the wonderful piano work, before the band runs off on a stampede of drums, guitar, strings, and orchestration. A fantastic instrumental plunge over the edge as all members find a place to showcase their talents. 'Alighieri' is another good solid track adding to the plot of the story unfolding. Johnson's voice is solid and emotional. The piano work is another highlight to this track.

'The Awakening – Chapter 1 - Introspection' opens with full power drums, keys, bass, and guitar. Johnson's vocals lyrics are some of the most powerful yet, delivering some equally strong lyrics. The piano work and orchestration is wonderful. The guitar soloing - haunting.

'The Awakening – Chapter 2 - Unspoken' is full of Johnson's vocals supported this time with soft piano. An excellent closer.

Track Listing:

1. Oblivion
2. Inside
3. Fate Will Oblige
4. Stolen Fairytale
5. Aragon
6. Ruled By Fear
7. Frustrated Dreamer
8. At the Edge of the World
9. Cry
10. Windelfell
11. Alighieri
12. The Awakening- Chapter One (Introspection)
13. The Awakening - Chapter Two (Unspoken)

Added: August 10th 2011
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Related Link: Winter In Eden
Hits: 2572
Language: english

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