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Edenbridge: The Grand Design

Clearly the genre specification for this band is Angelic Bombastic Rock and that is how I first heard Edenbridge described. I have to say that it is pretty close to the mark with the lovely Sabine Edelsbacher and her melodic and soaring vocals that quickly draw you into the style of this band. She has one of the most pure and passionate styles of vocals and while she fronts a Hard Rock outfit she does not pull off any Operatic forays ala Nightwish and Epica. This allows her to stand on her own from these other fine defenders of female-fronted Metal bands and build a fan base of her own. The group is musically masterminded by Lanvall (who handles the guitars and keyboards) and together they form the foundation of the group that was originally begun as a studio project. They are adept at delivering quality sounding Hard Rock that is rich in sound but not over the top enough to lose you as some music of this type is prone to do. The band is rounded out by Frank Bindig (bass) and Roland Navratil (drums) and as a whole you will find that it is all about the big vocals and harmonies (which are quite majestic throughout the release) as well as interesting musical adventures. Listeners will experience this sense of musical adventure during the albums most epic track, the title piece alone as it explores various aspects of melody and is a really wonderful piece when it comes down to it. "Terra Nova" is also an interesting number, as this opener also has some hints of the James Bond theme in it at times. This little teaser of a riff made me smile when I realized that one of the bonus tracks would be the complete surprise treat of "For Your Eyes Only"; a song once made popular by Sheena Easton and used in the Bond film bearing the same name. This is a dead on cover version and not some blistering re-do version using the bands own "vision". I honestly I prefer when they leave the track alone sometimes and in this case Sabine does a wonderful job of seducing you with her warm vocals. It is a perfect closer to the record.

The bluesy rocking of "Empire Of The Sun" is another bonus track and here Lanvall showcases the level of talents he possesses on lead guitar as it is during this number that the guitar sings instead of Sabine. He is a really good player and I believe that his name will come up a lot more going forward in Melodic Hard Rock circles. If you are a fan of the female fronted bands but not exactly too keen on super displays of Metal then Edenbridge might be just the band you are looking for. They are not tame by any stretch but instead a warm listening experience that is easy to enjoy and will have you singing along with when the choruses hit. This is some great Hard-edged Rock that has a taste of Metal melody to it, but is not buried in too many other enhancements or effects.

Track Listing
1. Terra Nova
2. Flame Of Passion
3. Evermore
4. The Most Beautiful Place
5. See You Fading Afar
6. On Top Of The World
7. Taken Away
8. The Grand Design
9. Empire Of The Sun bonus
10. For Your Eyes Only - bonus

Added: April 15th 2007
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Related Link: Official Website
Hits: 3894
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Edenbridge: The Grand Design
Posted by Michael Popke, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-04-15 21:59:48
My Score:

Edenbridge had the potential and still does, quite frankly to be among the world's elite female-fronted metal bands. Five studio albums into a career that began almost a decade ago, long before putting a hot chick with an ethereal voice in front of anonymous male musicians became hip, this Austrian quartet makes pristine symphonic metal that has almost nothing in common with Nightwish or Epica. (Instead, think Lacuna Coil or Lunatica.) Vocalist Sabine Edelsbacher prefers to sing in a more natural voice, which is just as beautiful as that of her more operatic counterparts in other bands.

On The Grand Design (mixed by Threshold's Karl Groom, by the way), guitarist/keyboardist/songwriter/lyricist Lanvall (just Lanvall) follows a formula that has proven successful for Edenbridge: a dynamic blend of power chords and keyboards, epic yet accessible arrangements, and positive lyrics. The addition of a 64-voice choir, however, pushes the band in a direction it needn't go. Edelsbacher's voice, coupled with a surprising foray into flamenco guitar on the title track and moments of amazing restraint elsewhere, help distinguish this band against all competitors without losing its sense of majesty and drama. Edenbridge needs to focus on what sets it apart, not how it can fit in better.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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