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Edenbridge: Shangri-La

Some 22 years after they debuted with Sunrise In Eden I must admit that I’m not sure I’ve heard a single note from Austria’s Edenbridge, until now that is and their 2022 album Shangri-La. Even with that in mind I’m a little behind the times, this latest of 11 albums having been released a good few months before I wrapped my ears around it.

For the uninitiated (namely me!), what we have here is an accomplished symphonic metal outfit that revolves almost completely around guitarist, keyboard player, songwriter, main lyric writer and producer of this album Lanvall. The only other contributor to the creative side of Shangri-La would appear to be singer Sabine Edelsbacher, who co-penned the words of six of the album’s thirteen tracks. However, the vocalist is a much more integral part of proceedings than that may suggest - not only is she and Lanvall the band’s only two ever present members, she also adds a lot of colour and drama to Edenbridge’s music through what is an ear-catching delivery that skirts but never crosses the line into operatic. That for me is a good thing because it allows Edenbridge to concentrate on their strengths, which is undoubtedly building towering riff totting, drum hammering anthems that are actually a lot more subtle than first encounters would lead you to believe. Although I’d suggest that Sabine’s importance to the band almost makes the instrumental bonus disc a one and done listening experience.

The whole album plays out as a continuous journey and in that sense I’ve found it difficult to pinpoint many true highlights, but that’s only because I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the ebb of the heavier fare here like “First Light” just as much as I have the more restrained flow of “Savage Land”. And whether through the mid-paced drama of “The Road To Shangri-La” or the much more bombastic “The Eleventh Hour” (which provides a Kamelot like kick), everything here is believable and massively entertaining.

So yes, you’ve guessed it, with Shangri-La Edenbridge have become one of those ‘why haven’t I heard them before and now I’m going to investigate further’ bands. I suggest you do likewise if you haven’t already.


Track Listing
CD 1: 
1. At First Light 
2. The Call Of Eden 
3. Hall Of Shame 
4. Savage Land 
5. Somewhere Else But Here 
6. Freedom Is A Roof Made Of Star 
7. Arcadia (The Great Escape) 
8. The Road To Shangri-La 
9. The Bonding (Part 2) - I. Overture 
10. The Bonding (Part 2) - II: Alpha And Omega 
11. The Bonding (Part 2) - III. The Eleventh Hour 
12. The Bonding (Part 2) - IV. Round And Round
13. The Bonding (Part 2) - V. The Timeless Now - Finale

CD 2:
1. At First Light (Instrumental) 
2. The Call Of Eden (Instrumental) 
3. Hall Of Shame (Instrumental) 4. Savage Land (Instrumental) 
5. Somewhere Else But Here (Instrumental) 
6. Freedom Is A Roof Made Of Stars (Instrumental) 
7. Arcadia (The Great Escape) (Instrumental) 
8. The Road To Shangri-La (Instrumental) 
9. The Bonding (Part 2) - I. Overture (Instrumental) 
10. The Bonding (Part 2) - II: Alpha And Omega (Instrumental) 
11. The Bonding (Part 2) - III. The Eleventh Hour (Instrumental) 
12. The Bonding (Part 2) - IV. Round And Round (Instrumental) 
13. The Bonding (Part 2) - V. The Timeless Now - Finale (Instrumental)

Added: December 15th 2022
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Edenbridge online
Hits: 829
Language: english

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