Edenbridge – Solitaire (2010) Album Review

Have any of you heard of Edenbridge? No, not the english town but the band. Unlike other bands that dominate the symphonic power metal scene, Edenbridge blended in this industry and genre pretty well. They are not as popular as names like Nightwish but they sure have a pretty good and unexpectedly nice contribution to this genre.

Unlike Nightwish, their sound is a lot more heavier, featuring progressive and power metal influences which gives a much more intense feeling accompanied by orchestra and choir sounds which define the symphonic metal genre but also, the neo-classical genre too. Having a soprano vocalist like Sabine Edelsbacher the band can quickly attract attention and appreciations. Honestly, I’ve seen them live once, and the singer is the real deal, she is splendid both live and in studio recording songs, you can’t find much differences.

Edenbridge’s music has not changed much. If I were to find a band that uses a similar style, After Forever would be the perfect choice. Even though After Forever formed 3 years earlier than Edenbridge, both bands released their first albums in the same year, 2000. Sabine has an enchanting voice. If there is one thing that she can do, she can convince, she can attract the listener with her voice, it’s like she lures you to her own world so that you can explore it and be amazed.

Like any symphonic metal band, Edenbridge uses choir and orchestra sounds which fit perfectly with their style of music. In this album, they managed to enlist the Czech Film Orchestra also featured on their more earlier album MyEarthDream (2008). I have to say that this choir is sort of special, or at least well chosen, it blends pretty well with the style that Edenbridge uses in their music and it does not seem out of ordinary.

The drum beats are very varied and satisfying while the bass lines are also very audible. You can feel the harmony between all the instruments used, there is place left for all of them so that you can feel their influence and their contribution. Although, from time to time, the drum lines seem a little sloppy and lazy, giving the sensation of boredom.

The plus in musical artistry gets the guitar riffs. Like the other albums, Edenbridge’s songs are special because from time to time they make use of special and enchanting guitar riffs and solos done by Lanvall (who happens to be Sabine’s lover) that you don’t hear often in a symphonic metal band. The album itself, even though it does not feature merely symphonic metal traits, it is not heavy, only a few songs try to show a little bit of a more rawer sound but they kind of fail and fall into what we call, mainstream music. We can see that Edenbridge is not a band that is pretentious, it is that kind of band that from time to time might lack inspiration but they compensate with technical sounds and the talent of the artists.

A few songs that sort of caught my attention are mostly in the very beginning. Solitaire the second track of the album (accompanied with the prologue, the first track of the album entitled Entree Unique) introduces us into the world of Edenbridge and is also a sort of an side dish compared with the second track entitled Higher.

If I were to name the best track of this album, I’d go with Bon Voyage Vagabond the 5th track of the album. Though it does not really have such expressive and enchanting guitar riffs like the previous song, the 4th track Skyline’s End it features probably the best kind of sound, a perfect harmony between their classical traits and their metal traits, accompanied splendidly by the orchestra (noticed in the chorus mostly).

All in all, Edenbridge is a band that suits all tastes. You do not need to be an experienced metalhead to like such a band. It is simple, it is enchanting, it is not heavy and it may also appeal for those that are new to metal as well. The voice is what makes this band stand out but lets not forget about the other artists. I cannot call this album a masterpiece, I cannot call Edenbridge a band with a huge meaning in this industry at least not yet and also, I pretty much doubt that this album could withstand the flow of time.

However, one thing is for sure, Edenbridge is refining their sound, they try to gain more experience in this genre, they try all sorts of sounds just to sound different, to create a style typical for them so that they cannot be compared with other bands, which in my opinion it is a good thing, polishing your playing style to avoid comparison is a great thing. Even though, they kind of stand at the edge of the mainstream rock/metal music, for the first time in my life I say that they can stay there, because they are good at what they are doing and suddenly changing their playing style is too risky for an unpolished band.

One thing is for sure, we have not heard the last of Edenbridge, not yet at least. The band did not reach a certain climax, so we cannot really compare the previous albums with this one because its clearly that their sound is evolving. I expect the next album to be much more expressive and why not, the album that finally marks the maturity of this band.

Overall Impression: 78/100