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Edenfall : Under Sultry Moons And Velvet Skies


Edenfall may not be groundbreaking or original, but their sophomore album is a decent slice of Gothic Doom.



Edenfall is a young band from the UK that plays atmospheric and gloomy music, comparable to the likes of Tristania, Draconian, and My Dying Bride. They pursue a formula that is anything but new; Death/Doom riffs and harsh male vocals combined with melodic female singing, keyboards, symphonic elements, and a melancholic atmosphere. Obviously, those who don’t enjoy Gothic or Symphonic Metal are going to want to stay far away from this. However, for those who can appreciate the more romantic side of Doom metal, keep reading.

It’s true, Edenfall is far from groundbreaking or original, but this second album, ’Under Sultry Moons and Velvet Skies’, is certainly not a bad one. Among the many modern bands who have replicated Theatre of Tragedy’s early works, I would say that Edenfall is one of the better ‘beauty and the beast’ bands out there today. Though they fail to really have much of their own personality, they effectively blend influences of British Death/Doom metal, Gothic Rock, and Symphonic Metal into a pretty well-executed and majestic ensemble.

A majority of the vocal duties are taken care of by female vocalist Clare Webster, while the deep grunts and blackened rasps of guitarist Rob George only chime in occasionally. Clare has a nice mezzo-soprano voice that is never melodramatic or overbearing, though also lacks power and doesn’t leave as great of an impression as the likes of Lisa Johansson or Anneke van Giersbergen. The harsh male vocals don’t occur often enough to greatly impact the music, although some very pleasant clean male vocals come up at times, harmonizing wonderfully with the female singing on “Dark Wings, Dark Words”.

The riffs are thick and crunchy, retaining the heaviness and mournful melodies of Anathema’s first two albums. Though mostly sticking to a driving mid-tempo pace, I feel that the guitars truly shine when reaching slow depths or speeding up to sudden blasts of Death and Black Metal (which are done especially well on “Made of Mist” and “The Wyvern Child”). One of my favorite aspects of the band’s music is their heavy use of clean guitars, which have a goth-drenched tone that remind me of The Fields of the Nephilim.

Another part of the band that I really enjoy is their tasteful use of keyboards. While it’s typical for bands of this style to center their sound around synthesizers, Edenfall’s incorporation of piano, organs, and bells more or less compliment the guitars, creating a mystical and dreamy atmosphere that seems to have been resurrected from Widow’s Weeds.

The sound production is average. It’s not primitive or gritty, but it lacks the crystal clearness that is becoming more essential for upcoming bands. I feel that, because of this, the album has a bit more of a pedestrian, amateur-ish quality to it.

Ultimately, I feel that Edenfall is on par with Angellore. Aside from different styles in the vocal department, the music is very strikingly similar; sharing the same influences, pursuing the same kind of direction, and even sharing the same level of skill. Neither band is original, but they do gothic/doom metal fairly well. Upon fixing a few kinks in the vocals and production, both bands could potentially excel.


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Reviewer's rating: 7/10

Information

Tracklist :
1. The Rhinemaiden’s Song
2. Thistle’s Cairn
3. Obsidian
4. Dark Wings, Dark Words
5. Wolves
6. Made of Mist
7. The Wyvern Child
8. Escaping
9. Wandering Moon
10. She Brings the Winter

Duration : Approx. 76 minutes

Visit the Edenfall bandpage.

Reviewed on 2014-09-08 by Dante DuVall
Rotten Copper
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