|Eden's Curse The Second Coming||AFM Records / Metal Mayhem|
One of the most talked about bands in the last 18 months hasn't let the accolades of a well received debut deviate them from their attempts at world domination.|
The debut record was one of the very best records of 2007 and one of my personal favourite hard rock / melodic metal albums of the last few years.
So the guys had a lot to live up to as far as delivering a sequel and in my mind they have delivered with The Second Coming.
I have had the good fortune of living with this new album as long as I did the debut before reviewing, so I feel that the playing field is level as far as comparing the two releases against each other. And I don't want to unnecessarily reference back and forth as this is a fine album in its own right. What I will say is that the debut had the advantage of taking us all by surprise and there was certain spark to that record that captured the imagination of many – me included.
I think this album is actually better produced – it truly sounds amazing. There are more guitars, more backing vocals and more just about everything else, not to mention an even bigger bombastic approach, but there is still something about the magic of any band's debut album.
There are a couple of times within the first half of this album that I am not as glued to the speakers as I was the debut.
The intro is a short instrumental piece I could live without and I find myself being annoyed by the vocals of Pamela Moore on the track Angels & Demons, despite its pounding verse and catchy chorus.
Just Like Judas has a damn catchy chorus too and that pounding rhythm section is simply phenomenal as are the harmony vocals, but again…I think the chorus overstays its welcome a little.
Those are just a couple of small issues. The rest of the album I have nothing but praise for. The bombastic opening Masquerade Ball is classic melodic metal; Sail On is a wonderful tempo changing melodic rocker with a really lush arrangement and a blazing guitar solo towards the end – a definite highlight and one of the band's best song to date; Lost In Wonderland is a killer harmony filled aggressive rocker with more over the top guitar work and a cool Mike Eden vocal. I love the short bridge into the chorus…keeps bringing me back for more.
West Wind Blows is slightly less intense, but keeps the momentum going and really sees the album reach the levels anticipated.
Signs Of Your Life is simply a lush harmony filled melodic hard rocker and is part of a mid-album run of absolute hard rock perfection.
Man Against The World is an intense acoustic driven ballad that impresses and beats any of the slower tracks off the debut. The addition of piano and almost an orchestral feel adds to the atmosphere.
Raven's Revenge signals that it is time to rock again, which a hard edge riff right off the bat, followed by a thumping furious drum beat. And the guitars – simply everywhere!!!
Lost Soul is an almost epic that builds from the start and less instant, but rather intense vocal and chorus hook. It still pumps energy through the speakers and the layers of vocals are almost unrivalled.
Games People Play is a little darker and again features a sonically ear shattering arrangement. Good solid chorus that gets better each listen and more of those fabulous harmonies.
Ride The Storm relies more individually on the vocal charm of Eden (who sings great throughout), surrounded by a swirl of guitars, and works great thanks to a well crafted chorus hook. A great way to close out the European album on a high. The closing minute is brilliant.
The US bonus track Prisoner Of The Past is another aggressive uptempo rocker with another really strong chorus and hooks everywhere. Well worth having!
The end result is the same – as catchy as hell and impossible to get out of your head. Another winning album. Metal power - AOR hooks.
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