Rating:
9.2
Edenbridge - Solitaire
30 June 2010


01. Entree Unique
02. Solitaire
03. Higher
04. Skyline's End
05. Bon Voyage Vagabond
06. Inward Passage [limited edition bonus]
07. Come Undone
08. Out Of This World
09. Further Afield
10. Eternity [limited edition bonus]
11. A Virtual Dream?
12. Brothers On Diamir
13. Exit Unique


Are you willing to leave behind your former self in the quest to reach the uncharted lands of human consciousness? Edenbridge's latest, Solitaire, invites us to dive headstrong into our own emotional whirlwind, to unearth higher levels of beauty by conquering our own minds, in order to attain a more dynamic and confident self. And with melodies this addictive and lyrics this inspiring, the often elusive and unseen path to personal empowerment seems more like an illustrious, well-lit highway.

I had thought Edenbridge had peaked with their previous release, MyEarthDream, but that album was instead the beginning of a new era for the band, with Solitaire reaffirming the band's mastery of symphonic metal. The more aggressive guitar rhythms last time around are back again, and creative force Lanvall continues to offer an unending wealth of unique and touching solos. While the live orchestra on the last album does not appear on Solitaire, some stunning use of symphonic software and composing this time around could easily convince the casual listener that the orchestra had never left.

Sabine Edelsbacher's vocals take me on an airborne flight filled with dramatic updrafts and plunges, curving around the mountains and above the tree line like a determined, yet elegant falcon. Lanvall's arrangements are those opportune bursts of sunlight or a dramatic, shadowy cloud that seem to synchronize at just the right moment with Sabine's voice for a picture that charms even the most jaded of souls. Not even a minute into "Further Afield" we find a well-timed instrumental buildup that falls into a layer of a cascading riff, lyrics to match, and a vocal line that flows right down with it, only to catch itself in a crystal clear lake at the bottom of the waterfall, ready for the expansive chorus. "Skyline's End" gives Sabine the floor about three and half minutes through, letting her voice fill the horizon with words of our own humanity's precious time and destiny, sung with such self-assurance that I must say she's outdone herself again.

Looking for excellent solos, courtesy of a sound that only Lanvall knows how to provide? Two of my favorites are found on "Out Of This World," and on "Brothers On Diamir." The former is a pensive, near ballad that delves into an individual's loneliness, and thoughts of the meaning of freedom, an ideal foundation that leads into a song-ending minute and a half long solo that echoes through the ages, personifying a vision that I am looking down at planet Earth from some remote, desperate outpost. "Brothers On Diamir" invokes the sadness of a what initially was a triumph, as two brothers, Reinhold and Günther had climbed Nanga Parbat, only for one to meet his demise on the descent. The music is one of reminiscence, with the solo halfway through providing a tearful clarity and bittersweet bridge to the farewell to a forever lost family member.

Lanvall is smart enough to know that a great guitarist stops short of self-indulgence, and lets intelligent arrangements work their magic and also when to let his vocalist have the spotlight. The promoted video track, "Higher," one devoid of a solo and arranged with inherent simplicity, still leaves me with a renewed sense of myself, as I can drown fully in a soft keyboard melody surrounded by Sabine's moving vocals. Alternatively, in the album's most assertive track, "A Virtual Dream?", Lanvall lets his solo act more as an equal to one of the band's most energetic riffs yet, heavy-hearted choir sections, and a drastic layer of keyboards atop Max Pointner's drumming.

Solitaire offers a fusion of rousing melodies, mature musicianship, and the knowledge that an individual's growth is best attained from within, by overcoming despair, solitude, and loss only to return on a new, more profound plain of existence and comprehension. Edenbridge has yet again rediscovered themselves, taking us to another mountain's peak we never new was there, and now could never consider leaving.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 10


Band profile: Edenbridge
Album: Solitaire


 



Written on 26.08.2010 by
Jason W.
Music and the written word are two of my passions in life, so I figured, why not combine the two?
More reviews by Jason W. ››



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Dark†SymphonY - 26.08.2010 at 21:50  
What a great review!
Though i prefered MyEarthDream, this album is fantastic with some great catchy songs.
Susan - 26.08.2010 at 23:55  
Great review Jason Your metaphors here make me excited to listen to the album again. When I first listened to Solitaire I was VERY impressed but didn't quite have enough love left to give it, as my heart is still so full of the brilliance of MyEarthDream. I think I'm ready to try again and give it full attention.

"I had thought Edenbridge had peaked with their previous release, MyEarthDream, but that album was instead the beginning of a new era for the band, with Solitaire reaffirming the band's mastery of symphonic metal. "

SO SO true!! I also thought MyEarthDream would be impossible to follow, but that new energy and intensity really continues here and it feels like the band has permanently broken through some invisible barrier that had kept them from perfection before.
fade - 27.08.2010 at 01:57  
Wow what the hell happened to this band! I still onlly have thier first album and listen to it all the time. Why I have not listened to anything else? Honeslty I was bored with the symph metal genre for several years. Until now I have been listneing to this ablum everyday. I have a unique introspective viewpoint here because I have heard nothing in between Sunrise in Eden and Solitaire. They have really come a lng way and I would have to agree with you Jason that they are masters of Symph Metal. Now I get to go back and listen to thier previous albums. Sounds like MyEarthDream will be really good too. You have yet to lead me astray Susan.

Great review Jason!
Ag Fox - 27.08.2010 at 03:21  
Very eloquent words, dismaleuphony! Wish I could write reviews like you and I was inclined to review this wonderful album myself, but now I don't ^^

I actually prefer Solitaire over MyEarthDream. Somehow, Solitaire has struck the right balance b/w Progressive and memorable melodies that I am sure will gain them more fans without compromising on complexity
BudDa - 27.08.2010 at 12:29  
I listened to this album yesterday; side by side with Tristania's. I thot this was beta..MUCH, that Rubicon, I would however give it a slightly lower rating(8.5?). Mayb I need to listen to it again. Anywho..watever, very very lovely review
Ivor - 27.08.2010 at 22:04  
I'm pleasantly surprised. I got tired of the band by 4th and 5th album. Didn't even listen to MyEarthDream. I'm inclined to pick it up again after this one - it really is good stuff.

I.
Stabby - 28.08.2010 at 07:35  
Very nice review. I reviewed this over at sputnikmusic.com. I can't say I was as thrilled with it as you are but it certainly was worth a bunch of listens. And damnit I wish I wrote that first paragraph.

Cheers.
Derwood - 28.08.2010 at 08:05  
I got about half way through this and had to turn it off, and it's very rare I can't finish an album.

Don't get me wrong, this band is very, very good at what they do. I just totally fail to understand what anyone finds appealing about this style of music. All I hear is bad pop songs with occasional bits of guitar.

Sorry, I know there are a lot of people who like it, and I'm not meaning to slag anyone for their tastes, but there is no other style of music who's appeal so completely and utterly eludes me.

If you do like it, great, I'm just mystified about why.
RavenKing - 28.08.2010 at 14:27  
Written by Derwood on 28.08.2010 at 08:05

I got about half way through this and had to turn it off, and it's very rare I can't finish an album.

Don't get me wrong, this band is very, very good at what they do. I just totally fail to understand what anyone finds appealing about this style of music. All I hear is bad pop songs with occasional bits of guitar.

Sorry, I know there are a lot of people who like it, and I'm not meaning to slag anyone for their tastes, but there is no other style of music who's appeal so completely and utterly eludes me.

If you do like it, great, I'm just mystified about why.



Perhaps you're like me, as far as prog goes. I mean, I respect prog for the musicianship but there's no way I can listen to it. It just bores me to death as much as cheesy flowermetal. I think it doesn't have any kind of catchiness. In Edenbridge's case, they use a female vocalist, which doesn't help either, as it increases the boredom factor.
treptolemus - 29.08.2010 at 18:20  
I really want to check this album, but guess what; no spare time now... this is a nice review. Enthusiastic and colorful!

Edenbridge is a prolific group.
Carl Berg - 04.09.2010 at 19:01  
Even though your reviews are top class dismaleuphony, I must disagree with you on this one. Solitaire is easily not as good as people say it is, Lanvall has left his unique style and creativity to step on the perilious path of wanting to become popular. But hey, who can blame him? After so much (relatively) unrecognised works, it is understandable that he wants to be known. It is sad though.
perroide77 - 06.09.2010 at 05:32  
I like solitaire, but I think My Earth Dream is better .
Aeox - 06.09.2010 at 14:10  
Kind of stuck between choosing MyEarthDream and/ or Solitaire... both awesome albums!!
I enjoyed reading the review, good stuff!
treptolemus - 17.12.2010 at 15:17  
I wait for my copy to arrive. Christmas time approaches and i shall have many hours to explore it. Let's see- can't wait
Jason W. - 18.12.2010 at 01:03  
Written by treptolemus on 17.12.2010 at 15:17

I wait for my copy to arrive. Christmas time approaches and i shall have many hours to explore it. Let's see- can't wait

That's great to see you have finally ordered the album
Lovecraft - 21.12.2010 at 14:40  
I really like this album. It is a grower for sure. I remember being really excited when I first heard it. I was actually counting the days left for the album to be released.
JohnDoe - 28.12.2010 at 17:57  
Written by RavenKing on 28.08.2010 at 14:27

Written by Derwood on 28.08.2010 at 08:05

I got about half way through this and had to turn it off, and it's very rare I can't finish an album.

Don't get me wrong, this band is very, very good at what they do. I just totally fail to understand what anyone finds appealing about this style of music. All I hear is bad pop songs with occasional bits of guitar.

Sorry, I know there are a lot of people who like it, and I'm not meaning to slag anyone for their tastes, but there is no other style of music who's appeal so completely and utterly eludes me.

If you do like it, great, I'm just mystified about why.



Perhaps you're like me, as far as prog goes. I mean, I respect prog for the musicianship but there's no way I can listen to it. It just bores me to death as much as cheesy flowermetal. I think it doesn't have any kind of catchiness. In Edenbridge's case, they use a female vocalist, which doesn't help either, as it increases the boredom factor.


there's nothing progressive about this band; it's just power metal.
RavenKing - 28.12.2010 at 19:41  
Written by JohnDoe on 28.12.2010 at 17:57

Written by RavenKing on 28.08.2010 at 14:27

Written by Derwood on 28.08.2010 at 08:05

I got about half way through this and had to turn it off, and it's very rare I can't finish an album.

Don't get me wrong, this band is very, very good at what they do. I just totally fail to understand what anyone finds appealing about this style of music. All I hear is bad pop songs with occasional bits of guitar.

Sorry, I know there are a lot of people who like it, and I'm not meaning to slag anyone for their tastes, but there is no other style of music who's appeal so completely and utterly eludes me.

If you do like it, great, I'm just mystified about why.



Perhaps you're like me, as far as prog goes. I mean, I respect prog for the musicianship but there's no way I can listen to it. It just bores me to death as much as cheesy flowermetal. I think it doesn't have any kind of catchiness. In Edenbridge's case, they use a female vocalist, which doesn't help either, as it increases the boredom factor.


there's nothing progressive about this band; it's just power metal.


Symphonic Powermetal or Prog, it makes no difference to me in the end, as I find both genres immensely boring.
JohnDoe - 29.12.2010 at 21:39  
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:


there's nothing progressive about this band; it's just power metal.


Symphonic Powermetal or Prog, it makes no difference to me in the end, as I find both genres immensely boring.


It really depends what you've listened to that you're so bored; I find a lot of prog-rock and prog-metal bands boring as well, but they're still my favourite kind of music. Progressive music is an acquired taste anyway, one either loves it or hates it.

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