EDENBRIDGE – The Bonding (2013)
There have been a lot of buzz around Austria’s Melodic/Symphonic Metal act EDENBRIDGE since their foundation 13 years ago, but none of the band’s seven albums to date really hit me much.
Things started to change to my ears with this female fronted group new album “The Bonding”, quite different in its conception than before, featuring nine rather unusual but atmospheric, captivating and emotive (epic) songs.
Chief and multi-instrumentalist Lanvall wanted to create something special here, and enlisted the support of the Klangvereinigung Orchestra of Vienna under the direction of Georg Luksch, and believe me it will stun you when you experience the power that the orchestra brings to “The Bonding”.
We have also a new line-up: with Sabine Edelsbacher on lead vocals, Lanvall on rhythm & acoustic guitars, bass, keyboards, kacapi & piano, Max Pointner on drums and Dominik Sebastian handling guitars, bassist Wolfgang Rothbauer debuts here, while as guests are stellar participations by Erik Martenssson from Melodic Hard Rock wonders Eclipse, and the mighty Dutch Robby Valentine providing backing vocals & choirs.
The album starts with a seven minute song called “Mystic River”, and rumbles along with a mid-tempo gallop loaded with big symphonics (courtesy of the Klangvereinigung Orchestra) and carried by Sabine’s stellar vocals. It’s very lush and features some nice low-key choral segments, with many melodious changes and a magnificent guitar duel.
“Alight a New Tomorrow” is more vibrant and rocking and has a big, hooky chorus that Sabine sells like a pro. Also of high quality is the moody ballad “Into the Sea of Souls” which is restrained and soothing, but full of emotion. “Far Out of Reach” also has a plethora of nice ideas and Sabine is extra impressive throughout.
And then we have title track “The Bonding”. It’s a long sympho epic with many parts, but contrary to what happened before with this band (at least to me) is not boring at all. Really well balanced, with power moments nuancing melodic passages and the orchestra arrangement also adding great texture, this monster composition finds the leads of Sabine in superb concoction with Erik Martensson’s awesome throat.
“The Bonding” is grand, engaging and entertaining, more than just generic symphonic metal. It’s really melodic, never too heavy, and plenty of interesting subtleties to discover.
You can tell Edenbridge put a lot of work into this album: detailed arrangements, thoughtful musicianship and terrific production. But what has chained me this time is the ‘sense of melody’, I mean, this recording isn’t purely based on sympho-metal bombastics, there’s more ambition than before to find ‘the song’ essence.
1. Mystic River
2. Alight a New Tomorrow
3. Star-Crossed Dreamer
4. The Invisible Force
5. Into a Sea of Souls
6. Far Out of Reach
7. Shadows of Memory
8. Death is not the End
9. The Bonding
Sabine Edelsbacher – Lead Vocals
Lanvall – Guitars, Bass, Keyboards & Piano, Kacapi
Max Pointer – Drums
Dominik Sebastian – Guitars
Wolfgang Rothbauer – Bass
Erik Martenssson – Lead Vocals on “The Bonding”
Robby Valentine – Backing Vocals & Choirs
BUY IT !