Released: 2010, Nightmare Records
It will never cease to amaze me how many talented, professional new acts are entering the sweepstakes of metal. Edgend likely realizes that to compete in today’s utterly massive, globally connected metal market, you have to be very competent in all areas from Day One. With an average of a dozen (yes, 12) new, full-length studio releases by metal bands EVERY DAY, all year (!), it takes quite a bit to be noticed by the media and by broader scale fans. Fortunately for us, this young band from Israel has what it takes and have delivered the goods on this extremely solid debut album, A NEW IDENTITY. Having said all that, the band has been around for several years but only just now are getting wider recognition based on the strength of a demo and an EP.
When promoting bands, some (most?) record labels tend to, how shall I put it nicely?...exaggerate...about the talent of their new bands. Fair enough, that is their job. When I read (from the always reliable Nightmare Records) that Edgend was a cross between Symphony X and Dio, I was perhaps a bit skeptical, but happily that is quite an accurate description. More specifically, power marries progressive with a very decent result, an hour long collection of songs that are surprisingly mature and professional. Nightmare Records has a reputation and an untarnished record of finding and signing these types of bands, consistently providing high-quality metal.
Since we are name-dropping I’d throw in Wuthering Heights and Astral Doors as reference points, totally classy all the way. The keyboard/guitar inter-play demonstrates lots of dynamics in the songs without getting too indulgent come the time for the solos…but allowing the players to strut their stuff. Edgend has progressive elements for the fans who don’t enjoy elaborate extended soloing and showmanship and enough metal fire to keep things moving. As with production these days it is good, it has to be these days, and the balance in the mix is just fine. Vocalist Salmon is decent with expressive presentation of the lyrics without being over the top. I’d like to see him cut loose just a hint more as he stays in his mid-range almost all the time. He has a great voice, lots of grit and gravel and sings convincingly.
A NEW IDENTITY is an extremely promising debut, it sounds wise and experienced beyond their years. I’m looking forward to hearing many albums from a long and successful career from Edgend.