Edenbridge- Solitaire

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Austrian symphonic power/progressive metal band Edenbridge has been creating music for over a decade now and has generated a cult following around the world. Although their material is typically much lighter than most power/progressive metal acts and often crosses over into rock territory, the instrumental hooks and stand out vocals have attracted listeners and this is still the case on the group’s newest effort Solitaire. Comprised of nine songs and an intro/outro, this release is easily one of the strongest albums of 2010 in its genre and is near the top of the current Napalm Records roster.

One important thing to note before you check out Solitaire: it’s one of those albums that is really on the fringe of the metal world. Sure, there are moments where the guitar work gets a slightly aggressive tone, but for the most part Edenbridge is focused almost entirely on melody and songs that skew more towards progressive rock than progressive metal. But there are plenty of bands that have managed to appeal to the metal crowd without being overly aggressive, and I believe this is one of them. Throughout Solitaire there are sweeping melodies that use symphonic elements to create atmospheric and epic sounding arrangements and this works quite well. Admittedly the rock oriented riffs that make up the backbone of the album do sound a little similar towards the end, but the layers that Edenbridge has put over top of them makes up for it and as a whole Solitaire is consistently enjoyable.

I didn’t mention this earlier, but Edenbridge has a female vocalist. Now before you go and assume that this means that they go for operatic arrangements, this is not the case. Singer Sabine Edelsbacher may not have the same range as some of her peers but still has a very light and mesmerizing voice that is sure to hook quite a few people. Considering that the instrumentals are more prog/symphonic oriented, it makes sense that Edelsbacher often sings in a way that is soothing as this enhances the overall arrangements. My personal favorite is “Skyline’s End”, as this seems to be where all of her nuances come together to really grab you but there are plenty of other numbers where the vocals take over and steal the spotlight.

Symphonic power/progressive metal has always been a tricky genre for me to review, because Europe is filled with hundreds of average bands in the genre that all sound the same. But Edenbridge is one of the few I’m willing to get behind, as their material has that special something that makes it stick with you. Solitaire may be a little lighter than what most metal fans typically go for, but give it a chance if you enjoy acts such as Nightwish and I think you’ll come away pleasantly surprised.

http://www.napalmrecords.com/

Full Disclosure: Review copy provided by Napalm Records

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