Review – Edenbridge: Solitaire

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Review – Edenbridge: Solitaire
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Edenbridge: Solitaire
Symphonic Power Metal
Napalm Records
June 30th, 2010
Release length: 52:46
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Edenbridge have always been one of those kinds of Symphonic Metal acts that you could always seem to count on to put out an impressive release, and Solitaire is no different. Solitaire is an amazing album that may very well please fans of older Nightwish who are none too happy with the new vocalist, having plenty of classical elements that could be considered shared between the acts, but still hold their own unique sound that makes Edenbridge stand out against them with great contrast. If you’re looking for something powerful and beautiful, but not an over-the-top fantastical novel brought to life through epic musical constructions, then get ready for another excellent Edenbridge release.

The music on Solitaire is about what you would expect from a female fronted Power Metal act anymore. The band manages to weave an excellent blend of hard-hitting Power Metal music with keyboards that nicely add a symphonic touch to the music that doesn’t go into the “epic” boundaries that many bands in this style feel compelled to do. Instead, the music here retains a feel of some of today’s more well-known female fronted Gothic Rock acts such as Lullacry on some of the songs while still being heavy enough to be considered Power Metal, such as with the track “Come Undone” or “Brothers Diamir”, which acts more as a power ballad then anything and really fits this category well and is one of the most impressive tracks off the entire release, all the while retaining the band’s more Classical approach through the Symphonic elements and even the singing on many of the songs. Most notable for the latter part of that sentence would be the beautiful and astounding “Skyline’s End” which is simply a powerful, moving ballad track that really showcases a more of a Classical singing approach to the music, as well as the choir introduction track “Entree Unique”, as well as the closer “Epic Unique”, which actually works against the album a bit as it braces the listener for a keyboard driven over-the-top Epic then anything else.

The title track “Solitaire” doesn’t do much to brace the listener for what it really coming either when it starts. The song is a fantastic fast-paced Power Metal song, which also shows off some Classical vocal performances against the female singing, but thanks to the keyboards the track does seem to spiral off more into the epic opus song writing field. Luckily, the song doesn’t really go too far into it or get too crazy, leaving everything sitting just right with a mixture of simple and complex guitars to create a nice, heavy track as beautiful as the vocals performing atop of them. The only thing about this album that will really let you down will be the vocals on “Further Afield”. While the song is a slower track that really uses the atmosphere created by the guitars and keyboards to create a rather menacing song by the standards of this style, there are times where you will wish that the vocals would have a little more power behind them and reached higher notes, preferably during the bridge to the chorus, as well as in the chorus, which is set up perfectly for them and leaves your heart practically crying out in agony that such an obvious situation was put into play and completely ignored.

Aside the heart churning vocal issues on “Further Afield”, the song “A Virtual Dream” sounds very out-of-place on the album. The guitars on here are performed rather fast and have a very technical approach, but it conflicts greatly with much of the rest of the album. Ultimately, the songs winds up feeling tacked on because of this, as well the more digital sounding keyboards that appear in the song that do push the proper aspects to coincide with the virtual aspects of the lyrics and song name. This track does, however, feature one of the best solos on the entire album, which is just a bit of a slap in the face, really, even though the guitar solos on Solitaire all suit the music and are very well done.

There’s no denying that Edenbridge have composed another astounding record with Solitaire, and when you break it down, it’s quite possibly one of the most impressive releases of the year. Solitaire features beautiful music that really sets a fantastical tone throughout the album, and only one track that honestly violates the formula and flow of the album. Edenbridge definitely deliver, and if you have never heard of this exciting band, then now is the time to jump in as Solitaire is a must own album for any Metal fan.


01. Entree Unique – 1:13
02. Solitaire – 6:15
03. Higher – 3:50
04. Skyline’s End – 5:32
05. Bon Voyage Vagabond – 5:52
06. Come Undone – 4:11
07. Out of This World – 5:10
08. Further Afield – 5:54
09. A Virtual Dream? – 5:08
10. Brothers on Diamir – 6:52
11. Exit Unique – 2:48
Initial Pressing Score: 8.5/10

Edenbridge
Edenbridge

Digital review copy of this release provided by Napalm Records.