Released: 2013, SPV
2013 has started strong for the Austrian melodic/symphonic Power Metal scene with albums by veterans Edenbridge, Serenity and Visions Of Atlantis, so please to enjoy my reviews of all these new albums in this mini-feature.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Edenbridge is my favourite band of this style and I sort of feel like the bands unsung champion on this site. THE BONDING is album number eight for the Austrians and it is another wonderful work of art.
It has been almost exactly three years since SOLITAIRE, the longest period of inactivity for the band, or at least, lack of productivity in terms of album releases! Some personal tragedy for Lanvall delayed the writing and recording process as well as securing the orchestra took extra time. The intervening years has seem some significant changes to the core duo of Lanvall and Sabine. The band made the jump from Napalm to SPV and along the way have added Wolfgang Rothbauer on bass. This is the first time the lineup has been stable since 2003/2004, and it shows, although it will always be Lanvall as the primary composer. The album art is a bit dull, but it fits in with the fantastic, metaphysical landscapes of the past album covers.
Despite all this Edenbridge has released another fantastic album. The addition of the Klangvereinigung Orchestra of Vienna has expanded the sound of the band. The swirling orchestral parts can be heard across the album, especially on tracks like ‘The Invisible Force’. Having said that, this album is, again, a shade faster and heavier than SOLITAIRE so the band have really returned back to their original heavier sound with the added orchestral elements. Edenbridge have truly mastered the epic, symphonic, orchestral, gothic, soundtrack Power Metal sound. I now that might seem ludicrous in writing, but the band is so multi-faceted and diverse, it is the only way to accurately describe the sound in prose. The opener ‘Mystic River’ is probably the fastest thing they have done in a while. Sabine’s voice is still the highlight for me, her vocal performance is stellar as always. She delivers another world-class ballad with an acoustic accompaniment, strings and intense atmosphere on the song ‘Death Is Not The End’. Lanvall’s melodic and elegant soloing is top-notch. The album ends with the title track, that runs over 15 minutes but never seems long as the band pool all of their considerable writing and performance talent and style into one epic cut.
It would be wonderful to see Edenbridge get greater critical and fan acclaim in North America. Hopefully, THE BONDING will be another step, in an already long and impressive career, towards the greater fame and fortune they deserve.