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Winter In Eden: Social Fake

It’s been a long 8 years since we last received a new release from the UK’s symphonic metal quintet, Winter In Eden, and probably the most surprising thing about that passing time is that there’s only been one change in personal since their 2014 album Court of Conscience. New to the band arrives guitarist Benji Lynch and it has to be said that given his instrument’s importance in this outfit’s sound, he has slotted in seamlessly.

In terms of their approach, the passing years seem to now find Winter In Eden being a little slicker. By that I don’t mean that they’ve suddenly turned into some kind of chart chasing outfit, but the bombast and overblown nature that a lot of acts in this realm usually revel in feels like it’s been pulled back ever so slightly and in a way that I’d say cleverly updates their sound. Singer Vicky Johnson still, along with the keyboards of Steve Johnson and Lynch’s guitars, sits right at the heart of what makes Social Fake an engaging and involving experience. Lyrically, in what might be a brave move in this style, the themes and topics, while delivered with a clever sleight of hand, are deep in the real world - “Out Of Touch” even using that phrase in its chorus by way of passing thought on the lives we live. It’s a smart move, the relatable ideas making what can often be seen as fanciful music feel much more real and relevant. Vitally, these words have been woven into songs that contain memorable hooks and catchy choruses, with these aspects and the excellent arrangements making for an album that really grows on you as you allow it to get under your skin.

The drama and poise at the heart of “Critical Mass - The Change” offers clever variance when followed by the more riff based “Rage”, which is the third part of a “Critical Mass” trilogy. Here Alex Cooper offers an excellent male counter vocal to Vicky’s supreme tones and the more rock based foundation brings a steel that grounds the whole concoction. “Blind Acceptance” again leans into a more metallic stance, but with restrained, almost space-fairground music sections at points accompanied by strings, the variety on display keeps you fully locked in, especially when you also factor in the eerie but beautiful “Smiling Assassin”.

If there’s one thing to be wary of on Social Fake - which also comes with beautiful artwork (and a snazzy poster if that’s your thing (it is mine!)) - it’s that it took three or four spins to really begin to unlock its secrets. Once you’ve been let into the inner workings that Winter In Eden have revolving here, this album suddenly makes sense and an impact that, to me anyway, it certainly didn’t right out of the box. That in itself is a real sign of strength and one that rewards repeat listens rather handsomely.

Track Listing
1. Social Fake

2. Never Let Go

3. Out Of Touch

4. Critical Mass �" Dear Diary

5. Critical Mass Part 2 �" The Change

6. Critical Mass Part 3 �" Rage

7. Down

8. Blind Acceptance

9. Smiling Assassin

10. Exclusive Invitation

Added: July 2nd 2022
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Winter In Eden @ cherry Red
Hits: 216
Language: english

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