• Edenbridge - The Chronicles Of Eden (2007)

     

    "The Chronicles Of Eden" is what one can describe as an excellent and essential compilation. The two discs include not only the biggest successes of the band such as the catchy neoclassical hymn "Shine" or the relaxed Sheena Easton cover track "For Your Eyes Only" but also the best epics of the first ten years of Edenbridge such as the stunning "Sunrise In Eden" from their first record that convinces with majestic Oriental folk vibes or the mysterious and haunting double pack "The Canterville Prophecy" followed by "The Canterville Ghost" and we can also find a good number of rare bonus tracks such as "Anthem" or "Velvet Eyes Of Dawn" that are all worth to be discovered and would have merited a great place on any regular album.

    As you can see, this compilation is a perfect way for any new fan to discover the diversity of this stunning band while the true old fan can still find a few great gimmicks in a beautiful package for a reasonable price.

    Musically, Edenbridge play a unique kind of symphonic power metal. Musically, the band sounds almost progressive in their open minded epic tracks that can even exceed the ten minute mark. They employ authentic and truly exotic folk sounds, atmospheric keyboard passages that are not too present and overwhelming but very well dosed, a few majestic and classically inspired choirs that don't take too much space and some truly well done emotional guitar solos. From this point of view, the Austrian band is easily the most progressive one of its kind and surpasses the average works of genre colleagues such as Within Temptation, Sirenia or Epica by much.

    Another fact that makes the work of Edenbridge stand out is the chilling and natural vocals by Sabine Edelsbacher. She sounds grounded and gracious at the same time and is the perfect alternative to high pitched female opera vocals from acts such as Tarja and Atargatis or faceless thin voices from acts like Leaves' Eyes or Stream Of Passion. Sabine Edelsbacher has her very own and unpopular style that send shivers down my spine and I would cite the Austrian beauty as my favourite female metal singer even or because there is not much metal about her as she reminds me more of some talented new age singers like Loreena McKennitt or Enya.

    For me, Edenbridge are actually the best female fronted metal band in the world and I know a lot of those bands. Edenbridge don't fit in any category, they don't get in touch with stereotypes and they truly just sound like themselves without caring for fame, image and success. The band is authentic, creative and often surprising and this beautiful compilation is a parade of enchanting melodies, progressive experiments and harmonic atmospheres. Anybody that cares for female vocalists in the world of metal must have this great output in his or her collection. It's a statement, a triumph, a slideshow of majesty and truly captures the band's best moments from their humble beginnings up to their last two masterpieces. Even though this is a compilation, the track lists are perfectly chosen and the record sounds very coherent and natural. If you wouldn't know that this is compilation, you might probably hardly realize this fact. I have listened to all of the band's records and why every album has one or two fillers, this double album here is perfect and has not one single mediocre song on it. This album might be the best compilation I have ever listened to. Edenbridge really chose their band name for a good reason as they lead us to a divine musical paradise.

    If you really insist though and want to get a regular album at all costs, go for the excellent and quite complete "Shine" and then for this album's continuation with the epic "The Grand Design" or the heavily underrated "Aphelion" that got some unfair reviews.

     

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