I am a bit of a late comer to Eden’s Curse, not discovering the band until 2013’s SYMPHONY OF SIN. CARDINAL is the band 5th album and once again features some lineup changes. New to the band is drummer John Clelland and keyboardist Christian “Chrism” Pulkkinen. But, when you are an international band that composes songs via the Internet, it is not as big a deal as bands that compose together. The album cover art is a bit of puzzle, not really the type of thing that Eden’s Curse goes for and quite misleading regarding the music on the album. Featuring five women in red and black leather is pretty normal for a glam band, but not for a melodic metal band who has featured fantasy cover art on every album prior to this. Ultimately, the art should not impact the music and in this case it has no effect other than visual first impressions.
Nikola Mijic’s vocals continue to be one of the band’s key strengths, but like previous album there are no weak links in Eden’s Curse, the band skillfully composing melodic and hooky tunes that straddle power metal and melodic metal. “The Great Pretender” moves mid-paced with a memorable chorus while “Messiah Complex” is a big more aggressive and riff oriented. “Find My Way” is a bit weaker, courting balladic piano but not bad overall. Guitarist Thorsten Koehne has become a master at writing classy, upper crust melodic riffs that are impressively technical as well. His solo on “Kingdom Of Solitude” is a worthy representation of how he blends it all together. “Unconditional” features Liv Kristine on vocals and is one of the more commercial tunes on CARDINAL and no doubt destined for radio play.
CARDINAL continues the path of accessibility and commercial leanings that SYMPHONY OF SIN established. All told, there are 12 songs of high quality melodic metal that will be sure to please fans of House Of Lords and Shakra. Dennis Ward, who has helped engineer albums by Unisonic and Angra has delivered another high quality mix on CARDINAL. There are no surprises here or departures on CARDINAL, but that does not prevent it from being another strong album in the Eden’s Curse catalog.
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