We always supposed that living in Eden was like living in the Big Brother house. Except worse.
There is not much going on. There are a lot of small, annoying tasks. And an omnipresent authority figure watching over you. Criticizing everything you try to do.
In Eden you would get up around midday. You would schlep over to the orchard. And choose an apple for lunch.
You would try to avoid stepping on snakes. And that’s about it.
Above all, you would wait in joyful hope for an early eviction.
Eden was a boring existence. No crafts. No books. No sports. No music.
Adam and Eve were secretly very happy when their double eviction came up. It meant that they could finally get on with their lives.
The problem is, paradise is always nice. You never get to appreciate the good things you have. Because you have nothing to compare them against.
There is no dark side. There is no winter. In Eden.
The five-piece symphonic rock outfit – Winter In Eden – from the North East of England – are about to release their third full-length album ‘Court Of Conscience’ this year. After facing the Court Of Conscience – Adam and Eve were expelled from paradise. Probably with a smile upon their guilty faces…
Recorded in The Netherlands and produced by Ruud Jolie and mixed by Stefan Helleblad (Within Temptation) – ‘Court Of Conscience’ will be released in the UK in the Autumn.
We had an early listen:
The album opens with a remarkably sorrowful piano.
This teeters on the ‘Knife Edge.’ Vocals from Vicky Johnson are expressive and grandly bodiced.
The accompaniments seem to accentuate the neckline of her warm, dark deeds.
‘With Intent’ is demonic in its majesty. It has a thunder in its heart.
And a treacly blackened synth exudes like glue from the Tar Pits of Hades.
Guitar and bass are black as bitumen. And once they absorb into your mind you are unable to move against them. This is sinister. But wonderful.
‘Toxicate’ has clear roots in blues-rock. The jangle of guitars enclose around a central theme in highly decorative swirls.
‘It’s Not Enough’ is gentle and progressive. With tiny droplets of sound lightly tapping across those buxom vocals. Then it rises like a scaly wyvern.
‘The Script’ has a deliciously harmonic opening. And a sleeting of keyboards.
Gentle rhythm guitar fluctuates under the skin. And that wonderful lead vocal rises like a communion croque-en-bouche. Enrobed in a glaze of spicy bitterness.
‘Constant Tomorrows’ has a metallic haze to it. Like a badly scuffed hub-cap. And then ‘Behind Closed Doors’ has some satisfying low-chords. And angular framework.
The album concludes with ‘Affliction’ and some fiery fretwork by Sam Cull. This is, in a nutshell, a crush-loading heavy-metal track.
It runs down recognizable tramways. And stops off at all the well-known points. But the mechanism of this song takes on some dark and wonderful diversions too.
With hooks of bass cunningly constructed by Ian Heddle. And adept drums from Steve Hauxwell, it flies like a banshee.
Add to these the flustering synths from Stevie J – they growl and wilt – and you have a song that is full of drama and urgency.
Audience satisfaction is guaranteed for this album. All the musicianship is superb. And the vocals are revealing and demonstrative.
For those who like symphonic rock this will be a great pleasure. Not as dark or as doom-laden as Gothic metal (it has clean vocals throughout) – this is accessible and non-threatening.
Could it have been more dark atmospheric? Yeah, maybe so.
But this never feels stilted or too melodramatic. It retains a lightness of touch and an optimistic outlook. Without appearing poppy or ephemeral.
@neilmach © 2014