Edenbridge - Arcana
Massacre Records
Operatic Progressive - Power Metal
11 songs (59:18)
Release year: 2002
Edenbridge, Massacre Records
Reviewed by Marty

Edenbridge is another band that uses female lead vocals and an operatic power metal style. They are from Austria and this is their second release for Massacre Records. Before anyone dismisses this band as just a Nightwish clone, they should take the time to really listen to this band. Sure the vocal style at times is a bit like Tarja from Nightwish, but their lead singer, Sabine Edelsbacher, uses a more angelic style of vocal delivery and sings some truly wonderful melodies. On the whole, this band has a more progressive style than Nightwish and creates a truly uplifting and interesting listening experience. The lyrical content is pure epic fantasy and some may find their music a little too light or soft. Edenbridge are another example of how the borders are widening as to what can be accomplished with heavy metal music.

This band uses Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica style rhythms to propel most of their music and there is plenty of very good expressive lead guitar fills and solos. Sabine Edelsbacher has such a sweet, angelic voice that it's hard not to like this band. A more power metal style is heard on tracks such as Color My Sky and Fly On A Rainbow Dream, which also features some very anthemic riffs, great expressive leads and a great soaring chorus. A few tracks have a more progressive style to them with The Palace, containing some cool instrumental passages and some very Marillion like lead guitar and vocal style. The title track, Arcana, features a very dreamy almost Pink Floyd like intro and some of the instrumental passages in their complexity and use of very abstract tempo changes, brings Dream Theater to mind. Lots of acoustic guitar fills, soaring vocals and more excellent melodic guitar leads help create one of the best tracks on this album.

One of the strong points of this band is their ability to create some truly amazing and wonderful power ballads. This type of song is where this band truly shines. Soaring and melodic vocal lines combined with powerful guitar riffs and melodic leads are blended to perfection on tracks such as A Moment Of Time and Winter Winds. These two tracks as well as the title track truly are Sabine's best vocals performances on this album and are bound to send chills down your spine with their grace and beauty. The version of this album released outside Europe has an additional track, The Whisper Of The Ages, with the European limited edition digi-pack containing the track, Velvet Eyes Of Dawn, as a bonus.

The keyboards and rhythm section (drums and bass) are solid but nothing really outstanding. There's very little double bass drumming styles typical of most power metal bands, preferring a more mid-tempo approach to most of their music. Lots of harpsichord is used on most tracks adding an almost medieval or gothic touch to the songs. This band's songwriting is not quite up to the standard of a band like Nightwish, but from what I've heard of their first album, Sunrise In Eden, this album is a vast improvement and is indicative of a band that's definitely on the rise. I don't consider them to be a Nightwish clone band at all. There are enough differences in their music to make them two distinct bands with two very distinct sounds. If you like Nightwish and this type of very melodic, almost angelic heavy metal, definitely check this band out, you won't be disappointed! After Tarja from Nightwish, Sabine Edelsbacher is now my second favorite female vocalist!!!

Killing Songs :
Starlight Reverie, A Moment Of Time, Fly On A Rainbow, Winter Winds, and Arcana
Marty quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Edenbridge that we have reviewed:
Edenbridge - Solitaire reviewed by Vrechek and quoted 65 / 100
Edenbridge - My Earth Dream reviewed by Pete and quoted 84 / 100
Edenbridge - The Grand Design reviewed by Marty and quoted 84 / 100
Edenbridge - Shine reviewed by Marty and quoted 82 / 100
Edenbridge - Aphelion reviewed by Crims and quoted 94 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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