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Eden's Curse: Symphony Of Sin

What with their upcoming performance at Firefest being my first chance to experience Eden's Curse in the flesh, I've recently been spending a lot of my time revising the catalogue of one of the UK's best Heavy Rock acts of this century. 2007 saw the band's self titled debut make an instant, lasting mark, but Second Coming in 2009 improved on what many saw as a tough act to follow. Amazingly however Trinity, which kept up the bi-annual work rate, took the searing Hard Rock with bags of melody and a sharp edged aggressive template cast on the first two albums and turned it into a stone cold classic. All three have stood up remarkably well to recent scrutiny, but the last couple of years haven't been kind to Eden's Curse, even if two years down the line from Trinity, they are back once again.

Gone is keyboard whiz Alessandro Del Vechio (himself a replacement for Ferdy Doernberg), the in demand songwriting producer now knee deep in Frontiers Records projects and bands. However it has been the well documented and fractious departure of singer Michael Eden, that has had onlookers interested to see how Eden's Curse hold together for album number four, Symphony Of Sin. Especially after a brief dalliance with Italian singer Marco Sandron garnered no more than a slightly below par free download single and promo video, before he too was on his way into the history of the Cursed.

So after a second bout of auditions and internet scourings, in steps Serbian Nikola Mijic to attempt to fill the shoes of a vocalist who it has to be said went a long way to helping create the Eden's Curse signature sound. He's done a fine job, but one that does take a little adjusting to. Eden possessed a scything style that brought a tough edge to the more melodic leanings of EC's music, adding aggression and bite to an already potently energetic mix. Mijic however is a smoother beast, actually he's a better singer, but with a style that reminds of everyone from Danny Vaughn to James Christian, David Glenn Eisley, or even in places Steve Perry, the songs themselves have evolved into altogether, more overtly Melodic Rock creations. Something built upon by a greater use of layered, lush backing vocals than previously. However after spending three or four weeks with Symphony Of Sin and initially being a little stand offish with it, repeat listens have revealed an album of real depth, variety and power. A different power from before, but powerful nonetheless. Guitarist Thorsten Koehne is in immense form once more, firing out blazing riffs and slashing solos, while bassist Paul Logue remains the musical heart of the band alongside powerhouse drummer Pete Newdeck. However Steve Williams, ex of Power Quest and Del Vechio's keyboard replacement also makes his presence felt throughout, being a fine addition to the band.

The uncompromising seven minutes plus of the album's title track makes for a strong signal of intent for this album, bristling riffs, swirling keyboard atmospheres and thunderous rhythms hitting hard. While impressively unlike some bands who have parted with immediately recognisable singers, Eden's Curse put Mijic front and centre from the off. He thrives in the role, attacking songs like the mix of old and new Whitesnake of "Turn The Page", the almost speed metal gallop of "Great Unknown" and thunderously energetic "Losing My Faith", with confidence and precision. Any potential detractors firmly and instantly put in their place. While his delivery on the slower numbers such as "Falling From Grace" is nothing short of stunning. Can Nikola cut it live on the well loved tracks from the first three albums? We'll find that out soon enough, but on this showing, it feels like it will be a resounding yes!

After a tumultuous two years that some, myself included, had doubted they'd come through, Eden's Curse have delivered another fantastic, if slightly more polished album that continues to mark them out as one of the few, true leading lights this genre currently enjoys. Their blood sweat and tears have truly been worth all the effort.

Track Listing
1. Symphony Of Sin
2. Break The Silence
3. Evil & Divine
4. Unbreakable
5. Fallen From Grace
6. Losing My Faith
7. Rock Bottom
8. Great Unknown
9. Turn The Page
10. Sign Of The Cross
11. Wings To Fly
12. Devil In Disguise
13. Where Is The Love?

Added: October 15th 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Eden's Curse Online
Hits: 2685
Language: english

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