I’m almost ashamed to say that this US Power Metal (USPM) band has escaped my ears for nearly two years, but I’m happy to announce another USPM band that can compete with the best of them.
ASHES OF EDEN is the sophomore album of Bay Area Power metallers Total Eclipse. With a ten-year band history, these their roots run deep into the American underground, citing such legendary acts as Omen, and Brocas Helm as influences. With that in mind, ASHES OF EDEN captures the traditional metal sound perfectly so that it would sound equally at home at any point in the 80s or 90s as it does today. Total Eclipse is true classic metal, reminding me a lot of some of my favorite bands: Omen, Manilla Road, Jag Panzer, Twisted Tower Dire, and maybe even a little Savatage or Metal Church here and there.
There is also a strong Euro influence on ASHES OF EDEN. Part of this is due to the competent vocals of Andy “Dracons” Giardina, imported from Italy. Although his voice does carry a slight accent, he is not your typical European high-pitched power metal singer. Instead, I hear more of an early Jon Oliva in many areas, as Andy’s voice carries more of the mid-range power typical of most USPM vocalists. The major European influence is in the dual-guitar attack. The brothers Cameron are shredders at heart, but they show proper restraint in their techniques. The songs are all loaded with great guitar solos and harmonies, but never collapse into a total wankfest. In this regard, I hear a lot of Dragonforce, Onward, and Powerquest influence in the sound.
“Storm Warning” and “Crystal Sky” are my two standout tracks on the album, and are easily the fastest songs that Total Eclipse has to offer. Additionally, “Frozen in Time,” “The Gatekeeper” and “Winds of War,” although not as fast, have that great slightly faster than mid-paced epic feel of traditional metal that bands like Goat Horn and Twisted Tower Dire have done so well at capturing. There is also the obligatory ballad “Tears of the World,” with a deliciously cheesy 80s-sounding chorus that I honestly enjoy very much.
Total Eclipse have unleashed a solid slab of USPM that all traditional metal fans should sit up and notice. Fans of bands such as Manilla Road, Jag Panzer, Dragonforce, Twisted Tower Dire, Omen, and Onward would do well to check these guys out.
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