Eden's Fall - Harmony Of Lies
Nothingheart Records
Power Thrash
9 songs (43:22)
Release year: 2006
Eden's Fall
Reviewed by Ken

Eden’s Fall. I’ve been hearing this name for a long time now, but just the name, never the music. They were always described as a throwback power-thrash band in the vein of the legendary Overkill and the more recent Nevermore (not a thrash band, by the way, for those of you who insist they are). Well, after finally hearing this band I can say that those comparisons are somewhat accurate, but they can only be used as reference points as Eden’s Fall really doesn’t sound like either band, rather they incorporate elements and encompass a similar vibe.

The band formed in Chicago in 2000, released their first and only demo in 2001, and just now released their first full-length. So Harmony Of Lies has been a long time in the making. The album was produced by the band and it sounds killer. To help with that process, though, the band enlisted the help of two of metal’s biggest names in the history of the genre (they clearly take this here metal thing serious)! Dan Swanö, producer/musical extraordinaire, handled mixing duties on this album. Mr. Swanö has not only written amazing music on his own with Edge Of Sanity, Nightingale and Bloodbath, but also produced classic albums by such bands as Opeth, Katatonia and far too many more to name. Quite an impressive name to have on your unsigned band’s debut full-length. But wait…that’s not all—is this an infomercial?—none other than James Murphy (Testament, Death, Obituary, Cancer) mastered the album. Now that shows some serious dedication to your art! And on a relatively short resume those names carry some serious weight. The question is, did it help? Absolutely. How could it not? Still, what about the music?

Harmony Of Lies begins with “Blur The Lines,” a very heavy, mid-paced and groove-laden, technical metal tune featuring some excellent time signature shifts, great lead work, some slight death metal vocals during the chorus and a hefty dose of snarling from vocalist John Barr, taken from the book of Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (Overkill). It’s followed by “Planet Hate,” a metal monster with a massive groove. This is generally the formula you get throughout the album, but they do change it up on songs like the excellent “Lost Again”—which features probably the catchiest chorus on the album—and “Bleed,” another catchy, heavy yet melodic tune. Both of those songs were first released on the 2001 demo along with the track “We Betray,” which is another of the albums better tracks with its old school “March Of The S.O.D.”-like stomp. The album comes to a somber end with the mellow thrash ballad, “Nothingheart,” easily the most melodic song on the album.

Overall this is quite an impressive debut. I’d liken this album more to the great and underrated 90’s power-thrash band Forté before comparing them to any other band. The sound of the album is excellent, as can be expected with the blessings of Dan Swanö and James Murphy, but let’s not forget that the band produced the album and they clearly did an awesome job. The musicianship is outstanding, the solos are intricate and not masturbatory, but the vocals may not connect well with some people. If you’re looking for the next Geoff Tate, look elsewhere. John Barr’s vocals, for the most part, are mid-range and offensive to the ears. And by that I mean they’re thrash vocals, they’re meant to be harsh and acidic and they complement the music perfectly. The album hits a few bumpy spots toward the back end of the CD with a few of the songs not being as good as the others, but there are no bad songs here.

Harmony Of Lies is a quality release and whereas I don’t think the Nevermore and Overkill comparisons are completely accurate, they are justified. I would say Eden’s Fall is a slight mix of both bands’ musical styles and a respectful nod to Bobby Blitz's vocal sound, all wrapped up in what was Forté’s brilliant technical power-thrash forté (pun intended). In short, this is definitely a band to check out and a worthy debut.

AUDIO: Blur The Lines (Full), Lost Again (Clip), We Betray (Clip) and Planet Hate (Clip)

Note: In time these links will likely becoming outdated.

Killing Songs :
Blur The Lines, Lost Again, Planet Hate, Dead Thought Matrix, We Betray and Nothingheart
Ken quoted 85 / 100
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There are 4 replies to this review. Last one on Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:59 pm
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