Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Eden's Curse

This week I thought I would shake the Etch-a-Sketch a little more and check out a different section of the prog library...progressive metal.  I have long been a fan of Dream Theater and Liquid Tension Experiment, but I know there are many other flavors out there; newer ones that have not yet achieved the rank in the prog metal world of DT and others...perhaps hungrier and more willing to push the envelope some. They say the view can be better from the edge...

So I took a risk and strolled down a dark hall, lighting an eerie candle in my search for something entirely different...welcome to Eden's Curse.  This is a band I am not at all familiar with going in, so please indulge me while I learn along with you about an up and coming prog metal band.

Eden's Curse...just the name tells me we are walking on the dark side this week...so far so good.  The band formed in 2006 and released their first album in August 2007.  The original line-up consisted of  Michael Eden on lead vocals, Paul Logue on bass, Thorsten Koehne on guitar, Pete Newdeck on drums, and Ferdy Doernberg on keyboards.  Eden's Curse started out by reaching to four countries on two continents to find five musicians...crazy beginning which makes me even more curious...so I think I need a listen before I commit either way on this band...

My first taste of Eden's Curse is a cut from their self-titled debut album called "We All Die Young." This is actually a cover, and it is quite good.  This is a song I probably would have avoided 15 years ago when I was turning my nose up to anything metal...stubbornly clinging to my "classic prog is better" beliefs. Lucky for me age brings wisdom.  For a debut the piece is crisp and clean, the guitars polished, and the vocals hit you square without making your eyes bleed...a good start.  The tempo is definitely fast and my adrenaline is pumping.

Eden's Curse is not for the faint of heart...one more cut from their first album, "Judgement Day" continues in the heavier prog tradition that metal thrives on. Eden's Curse seems to enjoy punching you in the gut right from the start.

A little more background reveals the band has gone through a few personnel changes in its short existence. Michael Eden and Ferdy Doernberg are both out and the current line-up is Paul, Pete, and Thorsten joined by Steve Williams on keyboards...he replaces Alessandro Del Vecchio who replaced Ferdy, and Nikola Mijic handling lead vocals.  EC still seems to enjoy globe hopping to recruit members...

Looking at their more recent output I find a cut from their latest album, Trinity, called "No Holy Man."  The album is a dark look not so much at religion but rather at the people behind the curtain.  It exposes the human weakness in those who consider themselves religiously superior.  But this is a music blog--not a forum for religious debate--so please hold your arguments and rebuttals for the band.  As for the song, it starts out solid and builds from there.  It has a polish to it that tends to defy the song itself...if that makes sense.  The drumming is a bit lacking at times, but Koehne's guitar keeps the band tight.  Vocals are good and stay hard throughout. The live version I listened to featured James LaBrie from Dream Theater--which should have been enough to carry the song. Unfortunately he seemed a bit too subdued for my liking on this cut.

I really want to like this band, so I decide to try one more track, "Jerusalem Sleeps."  This song seems to cut a little deeper and have a bit more precision.  When I hear the words "Prog Metal," this is more what I am thinking. The drums are very definite and solid, and a great lead for the rest of the band to follow.

I am trying hard to break out of my comfort zone with prog, and Eden's Curse is definitely a step in that direction--more like a catapult for me.  Progressive music has changed a lot since Robert Fripp first graced my ears, and I can accept that...but I still want more than just loud and fast metal for the sake of pissing off the neighbors.  Music needs substance, and on some cuts Eden's Curse is dead-on...no pun intended. Other times, however,the band seems to miss the mark.  Eden's Curse are relative new comers to the prog scene, having released their first album only six years ago, and their fourth studio album is not due out until the fall. They have time to mature and come together not so much like a fine wine; but rather like a kick-your-ass single malt...that would be nice...

I chose the cut below, "What Are You Waiting For," because it encompasses everything I believe Eden's Curse imagined when they first thrust themselves on the planet--a great sound; solid contributions from each member of the band that makes the whole better than the sum of its parts.  This cut is from their first album...let's hope they stay true to their roots.

Not sure which direction I will head next week...but rest assured I will be leaving footprints in a yet another section of the prog library yet to be trod by yours truly...

1 comment:

  1. Hi Vincent,

    Thanks for the introduction to Eden's Curse. I listened to all the tracks you mentioned. Great choice IMHO and I will definitely add them to my radar. Thanks for bringing them to my attention \m/