Edenbridge – The Bonding (SPV)

Friday, 14th June 2013
Rating: 8.5/10

Symphonic metal has characteristics that appeal to both genders: bombast and classical elements standing side-by-side with conventional electric instrumentation to create this multi-pronged sonic layering of sound. Austria’s Edenbridge collectively have been on the scene parading their wares for 15-plus years, with vocalist Sabine Edelsbacher and keyboardist/guitarist Lanvall the veterans of the quintet. Armed with a recent bass change in Wolfgang Rothbauer (Disbelief), their eighth studio album The Bonding illustrates premier confidence and accentuating all the right elements to execute a strong outing.

Edelsbacher’s melodies are exquisite with Gothic and classical/operatic strains throughout- adept at handling a classy ballad like “Star-Crossed Dreamer” as much as the dynamic, more power/ progressive oriented material like Threshold-meets-Kamelot opener “Mystic River” or the darker, slightly exotic double bass oriented “Shadows of My Memory.” Lanvall and Dominik Sebastian as guitarists set up the riff charge with this dual tightness part and parcel of most German acts, and the keyboard/orchestration moments form this third mid-range landscape that can be dramatic and emotional depending on the segment.

Edenbridge bookend the album with epics, which I believe is very smart as shorter songs like “Align a New Tomorrow” and “Into a Sea of Souls” give the listeners compact ideas expressed intuitively while the 15:26 title cut that closes the album throws every grandiose chord structure, choir parts and tension building riff in the mix to create a mini-cinematic piece that your ears will return to discover more from.

Edenbridge expand upon 2010’s Solitaire with a stronger guitar tone and overall attention to detail to make The Bonding possibly their best work to date. Those who love power symphonic metal need this band in their ears.

Edenbridge official site