Edenbridge – Dynamind (Steamhammer/SPV)Monday, 28th October 2019
Worry sets in as a veteran act like Edenbridge establishes themselves as a premiere act in the melodic/symphonic metal spectrum reaching 21 years as a group with their tenth studio album Dynamind. Rarer still is the fact that vocalist Sabine Edelsbacher and guitarist/keyboardist Lanvall have been together since that 1998 start – which speaks volumes to the consistency and continuity that keeps the band’s creative juices flowing. Through numerous playbacks its apparent that the quintet keeps throwing dynamic curveballs to their formula while capturing the catchy symphonic metal aspects that allow these songs to sink deep into your soul, swirling about in this majestic graceful airspace.
The choir-oriented choruses for songs like “The Memory Hunter” and “What Dreams May Come” are crystal clear to envelope the listener in warm comfort – taking cues from ABBA and Queen that add that extra melodic nuances that along with the rich musical context keeps the listener captivated for return engagement to encode. Given the layers of instrumentation and orchestration along with the vocals, it’s not necessarily easy to keep both aspects aligned to still squeeze out the proper musicianship and next level ambiance – but that’s what Edenbridge is able to provide front to back, song to song. The Celtic-fueled “On the Other Side” contains Hammered dulcimer and mandolin amidst it’s conventional metal instrumentation, Sabine aligning to the theme through her carefully crafted word rhythms and rich mid-range to slightly higher cultural melodies. The follow-up “All Our Yesterdays” contains a mix of power/progressive riffs and older 70’s ambiance amidst the cinematic keyboard runs and push/pull orchestration – the musicians aware of injecting passionate heavy parts in a forward thinking, edge of your seat anticipation through the transitions.
Edenbridge also understand the need for varied tempos and arrangements – so it shouldn’t be surprising that a ballad like “Tauerngold” or the twelve-minute epic “The Last of His Kind” fuel the second half of Dynamind. The former contains acoustic guitars and a restrained piano passage, the piece again reminding the listener of throwback 70’s/80’s ballads during the melodic hard rock era – while the latter shimmers through wondrous instrumental sections that include an ambient piano-driven midsection and subsequent bombastic / electric uplift as well as some shred-tastic lead guitar work against the Queen-like choirs driving home the lyrical content. If you have been a fan of the band for years, Dynamind is a logical follow-up to 2017’s The Great Momentum, proving that Edenbridge belong near the top when it comes to melodic/symphonic power metal.