|Review: Edenbridge - Solitaire|
Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2010
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: June 29, 2010
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Rated 4/5 (80%) (16 Votes)
Speechless. That was my first reaction after listening to Solitaire, Edenbridge's new album. All I could do was hit "play" again to make sure I'd truly heard those amazing songs coming out of my speakers. And then it got better. Edenbridge has created a masterpiece, plain and simple. Female-fronted Symphonic Power Metal every bit as good as anything Nightwish produced at the peak of the Tarja era (to be fair, the Annette Olzon Nightwish is still getting started) is what you'll find on Solitaire.
You know you're in for some big Symphonic Metal when the opening instrumental (as well as the instrumental outro on Solitaire) bears a striking resemblance to Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" with those massive, multi-voice choirs. In between those instrumentals, band leader/guitarist/keyboardist/song writer Lanvall has crafted 9 of the most well-written Power Metal songs you are likely to hear collected on one album. From the title track, a song that could easily be a theme song for a Bond film (think Shirley Bassey's rendition of "Goldfinger") to the melancholy ballad "Brother Diamir," there is not a weak song to be found. Crunchy guitars are supported by background keys while the rhythm section of bass and drums provides the foundation. Heavy when heavy is called for and subdued when that better serves the song, the flow of the album is so smooth, it seems to go by in moments.
But the glue that holds the whole thing together is the amazing singing of Sabine Edelsbacher. I have never heard anyone, male or female, make such a powerful performance sound so effortless. She never sounds forced or out of control, simply supremely confident in her abilities to carry Solitaire to another level. She seems to bring out the best in her band mates as well, as everything on Solitaire is pitch-perfect.
I have listened to Solitaire back to back on several occasions, something I rarely do. I am listening to the album right now, as I write this review, and I'm just as impressed as the first time I heard it. Solitaire is my front runner for album of the year. Fans of Nightwish, Magica, Andem, etc. NEED to own Solitaire. You will not be disappointed. Highly recommended to all fans of well-written, superbly performed metal.
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Interview with Lanvall (Guitar/keyboards) on May 5, 2003 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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