EDENBRIDGE – The Great Momentum
The popularity of symphonic metal in any form is undeniable. The options seem limitless – incorporating everything from grand classical textures to power flourishes, even folk and extreme elements can come into play. Edenbridge from Austria have been one of the longest running acts in this genre- together since 1998 and developing their style through the past couple of decades. Four years removed from their last studio album, "The Great Momentum" reminds listeners of the angelic, semi-operative voice of Sabine Edelsbacher along with the songwriting, guitars, keyboards, and orchestration expertise of Lanvall – fleshing thing out as a quartet with latest drummer Johannes Jungreithmeier and guitarist Dominik Sebastian.
Comfortable now under the SPV auspices after a long run with Napalm, Edenbridge prefer to paint broad strokes in setting up these arrangements – although when you hone in on the more commercial aspects, they can truly be hypnotic and intoxicating in their choice of harmonization and main guitar hooks. Looking into "The Moment Is Now" and as much as there are Nightwish nuances, there’s also an ABBA-like presence about Sabine’s phrasing and doubling/tripling up of her voice in the pre-chorus/chorus combination. Darker textures infiltrate "The Visitor", the keyboard layers adding tension while the cleaner verses create mystique for the subsequent distortion driven riffs. Futuristic effects and outer level drumming propel opener "Shiantara", while the somber "Only a Whiff of Life" provides "The Great Momentum" its dramatic ballad number.
People often raise concern over the ratio of keyboards to guitars when it comes to symphonic metal – these musicians keep the balance closer to 50/50 than most. Lanvall comfortably allows each arrangement to dictate the needs instrumentally – Sabine the shining star when necessary for the glorious "A Turnaround in Art" as Johannes chooses snare hits that resemble a march into the battlefield. Once again straddling conventional European proclivities of atmosphere and finesse with say Kamelot-oriented dark chord combinations and phrasings, "The Great Momentum" showcases Edenbridge near the top of their game.